"Beyond the Border: Ocean"
at the Setouchi Triennale

Invited by the renowned Japanese curator Fram Kitagawa, Lin Shuen-Long repeatedly participated in the Setouchi Triennial in Japan, creating the groundbreaking Beyond the Border series with the DADA IDEA team. Based on ingenious conception, form, and choice of material, this series attempts to transcend national and cultural boundaries, resonating with the viewer.

In this series, the iconic Beyond the Border: Ocean (2013-2016) incarnates imagery of sailing, migration, and womb. With a giant structure of driftwood in the form of a Barringtonia acutangula seed, the work is laid on a beach against a blue sky. The scene was shown on the cover of the catalogue of the Setouchi Triennale in 2016, and the work was included in school textbooks in Japan.

The “seed boat” shape of this work was inspired by seeds of the Indian Barringtonia floating from the Philippines, passing by Taiwan and Okinawa to arrive Japan. 
The route mirrors that of human migration during prehistoric times. Since 2013, the contemporary seed boat has sailed from Taiwan’s north coast all the way to Teshima in the Seto Inland Sea, Japan. After nearly a year of deep exchanges with Kou Village in Teshima, the boat returned to the Dongshan River in Yilan, Taiwan, before resiliently setting off again towards Takamatsu Port at the Seto Inland Sea in 2016.

For the Setouchi Triennale in 2016, the seed boat of Beyond the Border: Ocean was restructured primarily with the driftwood remaining from Typhoon Morakot, along with various woods from Taiwan, forming a miniature representation of forests in Taiwan. On the large grassy plaza outside were tall Juniperus Chinensis trees, with large black fishing nets dangling between them and the seed boat, evoking imagery of the boat drifting along the Kuroshio Current which had facilitated the ancient human migration.