In this time of war and pandemic our plans and habits and the things we think wouldn’t change have all changed in an instant. Self-isolation and reduced contact with others force us to confront our own fears and our own mortality. Online we see an ever-rising death count bookended by contrasting images of gourmet food and joyful travel. These extremes wage a war inside us with no center. Yuwen to seek a center, to spend time living next to Qilixi Stream, a stream so small that it doesn’t even have a name on Google Maps, to quiet her mind and body, and seek some sort of redemption.
In 2021 Yuwen began her river tracing plan, spending time following river bed, exploring rock piles and the intertidal zone, walking, stopping, and collecting items from nature, tasting the land, feeling its textures, looking deeply, and taking in the atmosphere. She went repeatedly, not looking for beauty, but looking for the natural essence of the place, its spirit, something bigger than us. Whether observing a tree or the stream, she wasn’t looking at scenery, she was interacting with a living spirit. Inspiration for her work comes from these interactions and her imaginations of nature.