[“Big Trees”] consists of 1525 woven stalks of bamboo imported from plantations in West Java. Bamboo is historically associated with traditional craft. . . . [Avianto] borrows and reinterprets traditional Sundanese (West Java) weaving techniques to construct his exaggerated sculptural forms. His innovative process of breaking the long compact fibres of the columns between each node of the bamboo stalk makes it pliable while maintaining its strength. This allows for the bamboo to be manipulated, bent and woven into soft curvilinear lines. An underlying concern for Avianto is the changing socio-economic and cultural values associated with bamboo cultivation. This includes the decline of village owned and cultivated bamboo forests in West Java due to a new wave of global industrialisation, and the aggressive monoculture of the palm oil industry.
— from the sculpture’s label at the Kunstverein
You can watch a 4 1/2 minute video of its construction here.
And from a hill,
The earth is masses
Of cane, bamboo,
And other grasses.
— Donald Hall, from “Bamboo“