Hiromi Tango, 'Roots', Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha - video transcript

This is a transcript of the 5.30 minute video about the Roots artwork by Hiromi Tango at The Platform, Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha. 

Artist Hiromi Tango was commissioned by the Brisbane City Council to produce an artwork for the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha.

[gentle music]


>> HIROMI: Take a seat wherever you feel comfortable with, and you can move around too. Our head gardener, Brett, said to me, “Hiromi, this is once off because it is a struggle for us to get. It takes 40 years to grow, and it grows high.”

My name is Hiromi Tango. I’m an artist who is interested in generating healing conversations through arts engagement. I was interested in how this beautiful botanic garden, and what kind of care, and love, and passion’s involved, and the challenges. We decided to hold workshops, and then we explore in the garden and find the natural materials, which has got some connection to each gardener. My purpose here is to be responsive to you. So me, as an artist, really I’m providing the opportunities for us to get together, and your identity, your philosophy being involved with botanic garden.

The Exploration

[gentle music]

>> GARDENS STAFF MEMBER 1: So I started close to the office with one of my favourite plants from the area which is the black bean, or Moreton Bay Chestnut.

>> VOLUNTEER STAFF MEMBER 1: I’ve put together a number of very diverse plants here.

>> GARDENS STAFF MEMBER 2: Well, the pod’s off a tree called the happy tree.

>> HIROMI: Happy tree!

We say, you know, we follow the voice of nature, and I followed the garden carers.

>> VOLUNTEER STAFF MEMBER 2: Have you seen the caterpillars on the terminalia?

>> All: No.

>> VOLUNTEER STAFF MEMBER 2: They've stripped the leaves completely.

>> All: Oh, yeah!

>> VOLUNTEER STAFF MEMBER 2: But if you go up close to the tree and look in the furrows you can see all of the caterpillars.

>> All: Oh!

[pleasant chatter]

The creation of the work straight after the workshop, I would take to Phillip, at the foundry.


[gentle music]

>> HIROMI: Now, the preparation is made, and we’ll find out how they’re going to communicate to each other.

The concept has further evolved. Originally, I was imagining of the vigorous energy pushing the ground, and things grow, and the roots are more intertwined with the actual nature’s energy, almost. I imagined, giving, asking the permission to the nature of the roots to harmoniously open up and form like a dandelion seed. Pointy energy, and the circular harmonious energies are different energy, and I felt we need more warmth. I’m actually adding, maybe, humanity into the nature, if nature give us a cuddle.

[gentle music]

>> HIROMI: So I thought it would be helpful to work on the...It’s inspiration only.

[gentle music]


[gentle music]

>> HIROMI: Collaboration is important for me, because the connection, the physical connection, it is something about the energy. When we are in a same space we generate energy, and that electricity, we as animal, we all enjoy. I really care about what arts can do to connect us and how we could engage or encourage wellness.

[gentle music]

>> HIROMI: I really would like that viewers feel the process of engaging with gardeners, the process of engaging with gardeners, and the carers of the garden, and celebrate their contribution of these wonderful botanic gardens. Often we appreciate this beautiful garden, but we forget how much effort and love has been put to grow this beautiful garden.

[gentle music]

Last updated: 3 March 2021
Topics: public art