While visiting New Zealand's south island, I was awed to discover the Pororari River Valley, a wonder of nature sculpted by glacial movement 70 million years ago. That glacier also produced millions of smooth round stones which now line the river's bed, and which I found unusually cool and soothing when I held them in the palms of my hands. While picking up 11 of these stones as souvenirs, I suddenly realized that simply by taking them out of the river I was changing their circumstances forever. When I returned to Taipei, I had each of the 11 stones replicated in bronze, yielding 11 pairs, one original and one bronze replica.
This project centers on two ideas. First is the notion of ownership. What does it mean to own something, either natural or manmade? Second is the concept of value. Which stone is more precious, the natural stone or the fabricated one?
I ask those who become the owners of these stone pairs to decide when, where and how to discard one of them, a decision involving considerations of ownership, control, value and loss. It is this thinking/valuing process that I believe to be the heart of the project, not the stone pairs themselves.