Gola Hundun Escapes to Ivy-Covered Nature in Japan

Animals use natural space without transforming it but they seek the space to meet their needs. A cave will provide shelter for a bear. The bear will not paint it, wire it for electricity or install air-conditioning.

Gola Hundun. “Abitare”. Emilia Romagna, Italy. (photo © Johanna Invrea)

Safely (somewhat) in Japan right now, the Italian land artist Gola Hundun is studying space again for his self-created ABITARE project.

“It’s my personal research on the border between human functional space and other species’ use of space,” he tells us as we look at this ivy-covered hump of industry that he regales with gold lame. We often imagine New York City’s skyscrapers engulfed in ivy and wildflowers with enormous insects and birds freely roaming about.

Gola Hundun. “Abitare”. Emilia Romagna, Italy. (photo © Johanna Invrea)

“I think I want to title it ‘Presence’,” he says, “Because this time I found a space where some dead trees were re-colonized by ivy and vitalba that generate really evocative imaginary shapes,” he says. “Like Readymade sculptures, like giants and strange horse-giraffes.” You can see his eyes alight, the dialogue inside his head full of calculation and intent that turns these ephemeral “sculptures” into abstract beings inhabiting space.

He talks about his relationship with gold, which has reoccurred throughout his multiple ABITARE installation. “Gold and green is the combo color for this project.  I use gold because it is for me  the color of the sun, the color of the soul, of the divine.”

Gola Hundun. “Abitare”. Emilia Romagna, Italy. (photo © Johanna Invrea)

And of our current crises of an infectious coronavirus circling the globe and threatening humanity, killing some of us, crippling our lives in many cases; what does this Earth-Star man observe?

“For me, it is a way to critique our modern human behaviors, post-capitalism, post-economic globalization, which is the main reason why we have arrived at this point, at the brink of ecological systemic disaster.
I think this issue with Corona is a good opportunity to meditate about slow down the rhythm.”

Gola Hundun. “Abitare”. Emilia Romagna, Italy. (photo © Johanna Invrea)
Gola Hundun. “Abitare”. Emilia Romagna, Italy. (photo © Johanna Invrea)