‘Stalactite Project’ by artist Shin Jung-yeon
Blurring the boundaries between the artificial and the natural, Shin Jung-yeon searches for stalactites in cities instead of limestone caves. Exploring the forms that caltemite, a by-product of concrete, takes, ‘Stalactite Project’, he proposes an opportunity to look at the urban environment and its components through a lens that has not been explored before.
Shin Jung-yeon presents a collection of urban stalactites following a process of investigation, appreciation and attachment for each piece found. Stalactites that grow on buildings can appear more diverse than those that grow in a cave in the wild due to various factors, including paint, plumbing, and construction materials. ‘ThThe city emerges as a treasure hunting field that has not yet been explored from the perspective of the urban speleothem,’ explains the artist.
large collection of various urban stalactites
all images courtesy of Shin Jung Yeon
urban-stalactites EMERGING FROM THE CITY BUILDINGS
Calthemite is a secondary deposit derived from concrete, lime, mortar, or other calcium materials. Calthemite deposits typically grow in places like old buildings and underground parking lots. These ‘urban stalactites’, like Shin Jung-yeon has named them, they are a by-product of human activity and are very similar to natural stalactites in limestone caves. According to the artist, ‘the way people treat the two is completely different. In many cases, urban stalactites are not even noticed.’ TThe project does not convey any direct intent, but it does open up the possibility of noticing things that have been overlooked in their existing context.and discover strange and beautiful objects in places where people live.
In the video above, Shin Jung-yeon presents archival footage of the process of ‘hunting’ (or ‘damaging’) the urban stalactite from its original location, as well as conversations with residents during the process. These objects appear as an architectural by-product to the audience, including the residents of the collection site. The urban stalactite is subject to collection, investigation, fixation, and appreciation, like stalactites in limestone caves. By showing the stalactites of the city, the artist presents the experiences that have the potential to create various points of view on materials and human beings. The project is currently underway with the aim of working in more diverse cities and regions.
urban stalactites are similar in shape, composition and production process to natural stalactites
urban stalactite samples
diverse collection of stalactites