I visited the cemeteries in Zurich, Hamburg and Hong Kong.
I saw some headstones, which have been renewed from 19th to 21st century. Throughout those centuries, there are lot of changes, such as discontinuation of churchyard, protestant reformation, WWII, computer invention, digital world development and so on. However, many families’ graves are kept there. It is a sign of resistance to the rapid change in this modern century.
When I strolled around the cemetery, I felt that I was visiting their homes.
Every family headstone has its own structure. In some families‘ graves, each family member has he/she own headstone separately; however, some headstones are like a genealogical record of a family, engraving every family member name on a headstone, from fathers to sons, mothers to daughters throughout centuries. I believe that this expresses their wish to dwell to this final resting place together as a family.
I listened to the sound file recorded in Zurich. I heard that there was the sound of children walking on the rocks (actually for the Zurich they always play in cemetery in daytime). As an interdisciplinary sound artist, those footsteps have inspired me to become the key element of my sound sculpture which you are listening. Those back and forth footsteps are like the ghosts / spirits of those who were buried in this cemetery, walking back to their family graves as their final resting places.
Today it is very common to travel: people migrate to other countries, they live in foreign countries for many years, and they may even forget what their family members at home look like. However in this world of continuous movement the notion of “going home” at the end of one’s life – to rest in peace – still gives peace of mind. People may not have seen each other in a lifetime, but they take comfort in the prospect of staying together after life. This idea has never changed.
Nekropolis: Eine Stadt aus letzten Ruhestätten
Die heutige Zeit ist geprägt von Wanderungen: Menschen verlassen ihre Heimat, ziehen in/durch verschiedene Länder, leben viele Jahre in der Fremde, vergessen möglichweise sogar, wie ihre Angehörigen daheim aussehen. In dieser Welt der dauernden Bewegung spendet die Vorstellung, am Ende des Lebens »heimzukehren«, jedoch immer noch Trost. Familien mögen sich zu ihren Lebzeiten nicht gesehen haben, die Aussicht aber auf ein Zusammensein nach dem Tod hilft dem Seelenfrieden.
Inseln aus Kieselsteinen markieren den Weg. Unsichtbare Schritte schreiten über die Inseln in die Stadt der Toten.