Hsiang-Lin Kuo

Liquid Magic

— From FAUX Musa (2021-2022)

“Liquid Magic” explores the intimacy between plants and humans through gardening, specifically in the gesture of fertilizing. “The garden is an essential metaphor for our relationship to the natural world,” as On the Necessity of Gardening quotes Gerrit Komerij, describes the bond between species through the process of gardening.  

I have been collecting hair from plant owners to make fertilizer since the summer of 2021. This recipe is adapted from the British Journal of Applied Science and Technology’s “Quick Release Nitrogenous Fertilizer from Human Hair (2016, Md. Mominur Rahman)”. By adding the perfect amount of potassium hydroxide, an essential nutrient for plant growth, the hair dissolves and releases the nutrients into a thick slimy liquid. I would later give the results back to the donators, who are invited to fertilize their garden with their hair. The experience enhances the unusual intimacy between humans and plants.

Commissioned and will be exhibited in National Taiwan Science Museum 2024-2026.

.   .