Timur Si-Qin: Ecotone Dawn
Date: 2023.07.09 – 09.17
Venue: Kunsthalle Winterthur
Titled Ecotone Dawn, Timur Si-Qin (b.*1984, lives and works in New York) refers to the so-called “ecotone”, which in ecology refers to the transitional zone between two different ecosystems or biotope types; typical ecotones include forest edges or shoreline zones. The nature of the actual separation or boundary can take various forms; permeability and interaction are variable, but ecotones as a whole are characterized by increased biological diversity. As hinges for interaction between bio-diverse areas, ecotones are also bridges for the affects of climate change.
In the brightly lit main hall, Timur Si-Qin freezes a desert sunset in four wide-format light boxes (Sharaan Sunbreak, 2023). The images are a rendered panorama using original footage from the Saudi Arabian oasis of Al-Ula. In the centre of the space, Etching the Path to the Sea Within (2023) features a 3D-printed tree trunk that was found and photographed along a pilgrimage route in Thailand. Various messages carved into the bark by passers-by are preserved by the artist, as are the support structures necessary for stability in the making of a 3D print. Instead of removing and smoothing their evidence away, Si-Qin keeps them as part of the sculpture. The fusion of root extensions and technical support structures creates a cyborg-like hybrid, referring both to the artist’s own production and that of the natural world.
The mystical atmosphere that pervades the bright main hall extends into the darkened smaller halls of the galleries. Four photographic prints from the series Natural Origin (2023) depict what appear to be a particularly dense and lush forest, but in truth, the pictures are shots from virtual cameras in a 3D rendering modelled by the artist. Derived from the flora and fauna of Upstate New York, the rendering is both a visually pleasurable composition of digitized nature, and a simulation of an entire ecosystem. The complexity leading to the bucolic image motifs is further enhanced by the projection of moving leaf shadows over the four images.