Memorial Field is an installation by Yoon-Young Hur at Stroll Garden in Los Angeles, dedicated to the deaths caused by Covid-19. As of February 2021, there have been over 2 million deaths worldwide, with 500,000 in the US, and over 20,000 in Los Angeles County.
Facing such loss presents great mental and physical challenges. In Memorial Field, Hur considers how and where we grieve. The installation is an offering to those who have experienced hardship and worked on the front lines through the pandemic. For Hur, the gallery’s high ceiling is reminiscent of spiritual spaces such as cathedrals, and its name, Stroll Garden, has links to cemeteries. Inspired by these connections, this abstract ‘garden’ is a place for contemplation, mourning and resting the spirit. A total of 36 anonymous hand-built clay rocks are laid on the ground a grid, inviting the viewer to walk between their delicate, gestural forms. Each unique rock suggests intimacy with the earth, memory, and the passage of time.
Hur observes that we all have our own ways of grieving, whether in private or with others. Rocks and stones have been used for millennia to commemorate the dead; from pyramids to gravestones, they are part of the deep cultural significance of physical memorials. Denoting presence and strength, they help us bear the weight of personal and collective loss. Behind the installation is Hur’s conviction that rituals for honouring the dead and grieving their loss help to heal our individual and collective souls, and are a necessary part of human experience.
25 June - 7 August
Stroll Gardens, 7380 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Photos: Stroll Garden
Words: Stroll Garden & Francis Gallery