Untitled (Song Dynasty Mercury Jar)

Untitled (Song Dynasty Mercury Jar) is a photography-based work that reflects on the ephemerality of the physical world. The desire for longevity is framed within the brevity of life.

The image depicts a thirteenth century (A.D.) mercury jar that is set on the beach at the edge of an ebbing tide. The ceramic vessel, a reference to the human body, is surrounded by the elements that have the capacity to erode it over time. Mercury, the original element contained in the jar, was once believed to impart immortality to those who ingested it. It is now known to be toxic. The bodies of those wishing for eternal life are long gone, yet this ceramic vessel still exists. Over much longer timescales, it too will change and disappear.

The persistence and ephemerality of nature and spirit depends merely on the timescale at which they are viewed.

Project Details

Lightjet C-print mounted on dibond (diptych)

24in x 38in