MEL CHIN

 

REVIVAL FIELD PLOT MARKER NO. 67, 1991-93

Size: H 24" x W 3 3/4" x 1 1/2" D, Materials: redwood, aluminum, bakelite, glass, zinc, copper, lead

 

The Revival Field Project began as a conceptual artwork with the intent to sculpt a site's ecology using hyperaccumulator plants that can remove heavy metals in concentrations enough to be recycled as ore.  Revival Field was active at Pig's Eye Landfill from 1991 to 1993.  Scientific analysis of biomass and soil samples from this field confirmed the potential of "Green Remediation." Revival Field, an artwork, catalyzed scientific processes and opened paths of international exchange and awareness in both the scientific and public realms. Its stated goal remains - the transformation of hazardous sites into productive environments.

 

 PLOT MARKER No. 67

The Revival Field stakes were meant to be conceptual comments on the eventual targets that the hyperaccumulators faced and to identify the individual plots in a unique fashion.  At the “Superfund” Pig's Eye Site, St. Paul, Minnesota these plot markers were specially constructed out of redwood, aluminum and stainless steel, with the "target" metals within glass.  The sealed bottles, which contain zinc, copper and lead, act as real and symbolic antagonists dangling above the hyperaccumulators to challenge their growth and serve as accurate numerical references to the 96 plots.  Metal bars and shot inside the bottles are assigned 20-based system denominations:  zinc = 20, copper = 5 and lead = 1.

 

Bio

Mel Chin is known for the broad range of approaches in his art, including works that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas. Aside from projects like Revival Field,  he has produced projects such as, In the Name of the Place 1995-1998, a conceptual public art project conducted on prime-time television.  This work debuted at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, CA, and concluded with an auction at Sotheby’s with all proceeds donated to create educational scholarships.

Mel Chin continues to exhibit extensively in the United States and Europe, including one-man exhibitions at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, the Menil Collection, Houston, TX, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, and the Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia, PA.  His  proposal for a New World Trade Center was part of the American representation at the 2002 Venice Biennale of Architecture. His most recent one person exhibition was entitled, Do Not Ask Me at the Station Museum in Houston. Named after the poem by Pablo Neruda, the exhibit featured poignant works that bear witness to political tragedy created from 1989 to 2005. He is currently creating an animated film: 9-11/9-11. He is the recipient of many awards and grants including a Cal Arts/Alpert Award, a Rockefeller Foundation grant, a Pollock/Krasner Foundation Fellowship, a Tiffany Foundation Award, a Joan Mitchell Award, an Engelhard Award, a Penny McCall Foundation Award, and several NEA Fellowships. Chin is one of 16 artists included in the PBS Series Art of the 21st Century aired in the Fall of  ‘01.

Illustration: Detail photograph of Revival Field Plot Marker No 67, 1991-93