Shinji Turner-Yamamoto's Stunning "Hanging Garden" Shinji Turner-Yamamoto's Stunning "Hanging Garden"
The Planet

Shinji Turner-Yamamoto's Stunning "Hanging Garden"

by Ben Jervey

October 21, 2010


Since 2000, the Japanese artist Shinji Turner-Yamamoto has been creating jaw-dropping, site-specific installations for his Global Tree Project. His latest, "Hanging Garden," is on display now in the abandoned, deconsecrated Holy Cross Church in Cincinnati.

Shinji explains:

I saw large uprooted oak in a park. It laid as if sleeping on the hill.
It's leaves were still very green. A few days later, when I returned, the tree was gone, leaving a mound of [raw] earth in it's place. I envisioned a new tree growing on this mound.

In that moment, the Global Tree Project clicked into place. I saw a thread running through all my work, one that reopens our connection with trees, and showing the interconnectedness of all life.

Like a tree in the forest surrounded by other trees and plants, these trees are given singular sculptural presence. By taking a tree out of it's natural context, I invite viewers to experience nature in a normal, more contemplative way.  [See the video below for more.]

And here's Shinji talking about this in the context of the broader Global Tree Project:

I don't often get excited about so-called "environmental art," as, frankly, it's typically way too literal or over-the-top or just crummy. But this, wow.

Special thanks to Kate for putting these stunning images on my dashboard. 

Ben Jervey More Info

Ben is a writer and editor covering climate change, energy, and environment, and is currently the Climate and Energy Media Fellow at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor at GOOD Magazine and his work has appeared regularly in National Geographic News, Grist, DeSmogBlog, and OnEarth. He recently worked with the non-profit Focus the Nation to publish an Energy 101 primer. When living in New York City, he wrote a book, The Big Green Apple, on how to live a lower impact life in the city. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.
Some recent articles by Ben Jervey:
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Shinji Turner-Yamamoto's Stunning "Hanging Garden"