Tarek Atoui : The Ground

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A sketch by Tarek Atoui during the research process in Pearl River Delta..

The Ground is a composition which takes inspiration from the long-term observations of human practices within farming and agricultural context of the Pearl River Delta.

Like the cycles of soil that recovers from fertilizer, The Ground has no beginning and no end.

Its pulses and rhythms are the Mirrored Gardens’ traditional brick walls. Its timbers and textures are its piles of rocks and the aggregates that form these rocks.

Its sound libraries and samples are compost. Some were cut and collected over years, others are unused footage and recordings from past projects.

Its instruments are the swamps, the stones, and the wood of this place. Flutes share air the way ponds do with water, analogue pedals and electronic software filter and distribute sound the way farming spiral structures support plants.

Its space is the neighborhood’s fish ponds and their invisible connections. And like an aging tree in the bottom of a river, it is a space to invite musicians and artists to use it as a record, a bow, an orchestra. A studio, a garden or a temporary place to cultivate sound.

——Tarek Atoui


The Ground project will host the following musicians at Mirrored Gardens during the process: Shane Aspegren, Deng Boyu, Takuro Mizuta Lippit, Wu Na, Xiao He.

The Ground is a composition created and initiated by Tarek Atoui at Mirrored Gardens. We cordially invite you to visit and experience this sonic piece that Tarek Atoui will activate on 30th September at 14:00. The performance is limited to 50 people, please make an appointment by writing to the below address:

Duration: 30th September – 15th December, 2017
Venue: Mirrored Gardens
Daily Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm
Address: Hualong Agriculture Grand View Garden, Panyu, Guangzhou, China
Tel: +86-20-31043759


[About Tarek Atoui]

Tarek Atoui is an artist and composer, working within the realm of sound. His work often revolves around performances that develop from extensive research into music history and tradition, and explore new methods of collaboration and production. At the core of his work is an ongoing reflection on the notion of instrument and how it overlaps with the acts of composing and performing.

Atoui’s use of sound challenges and expands our established ways of understanding and experiencing this medium. His project WITHIN, for instance, departs from Deaf Culture to find new ideas for building instruments, composing and performing. On The Reverse Collection, instruments of unknown age and origin in an anthropology museum, get played and recorded then a new collection of instruments is created from exclusively listening to these recordings.

Atoui has presented his work internationally at the Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates (2009 and 2013); the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (2010); Mediacity Biennial in Seoul (2010); the Haus Der Kunst in Munich (2010); Performa 11 in New York (2011); dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel, Germany (2012); the Serpentine Gallery in London (2012); and the 8th Berlin Biennial (2014). He recently presented the Reverse Collection one of his leading projects at the Tate Modern in London and was appointed co-artistic directors of the 2016 Bergen Assembly, a triennial for contemporary art in Norway. His publication including: Tarek Atoui: The Reverse Sessions/The Reverse Collection (Mousse Publishing,2017)

Image: A sketch by Tarek Atoui during the research process in Pearl River Delta..
Text & Image from Vitamin Archive, © Vitamin Archive, 2017