The aquanaut’s specimens were sculptures made of clay and resin, which mirrored the perpetual geological procedures and was analogous to fossilized sediment and solidified water. Preserved in the specimens, there were natural objects, organics, artefacts and graphic evidence, exemplified by celestial bodies, totem-like prehistoric animals and a mini sketch of fishery.
The sculptures rendered our gaze as one that was akin to God, for not only everything they immortalized could fit in the palm of a hand, but also they erased the linearity of time and packed items hundreds of millions of years apart into a shared moment. They raised questions of how human experience time and how we bestow value upon things beyond even our ancestor’s existence. In this sense, they were nihilistic tokens offered to the definitiveness of the known world, and monuments of the infinite possibilities of natural history.
Text / Li Qi