Olafur Eliasson: Never Tired of Looking at Each Other – Only the Mountain and I

Olafur Eliasson: Never Tired of Looking at Each Other – Only the Mountain and I

Concept: Olafur Eliasson Studio&The Pavilion
Editors: Anna Engberg-Pedersen, etc.
Designer: Huang He
Publisher: Walther König&The Pavilion
2012 I Chinese, English I 17.5x28.3cm I 316

Flocks of birds fly high and vanish;

A single cloud, alone, calmly drifts on.

Never tired of looking at each other—

Only the Jingting Mountain and me.

— Li Bai (701-762), Sitting Alone in Jingting Mountain


Olafur Eliasson: Never Tired of Looking at Each Other – Only the Mountain and I is a publication as an experimental space. Rather than a linear narrative, it follows an improvised internal logic. The Chinese scholar’s garden was tested as a spatial model for walking through the art works of Olafur Eliasson in book format and for exploring the key philosophical concerns in his artistic practice.


The book contains extensive material from a trip undertaken in February 2011 to the Master of Nets Garden and the Lion Grove Garden, two scholar’s gardens in Suzhou, China, just outside of Shanghai. Along with the initiators of the journey – artist Olafur Eliasson, writer Hu Fang, and Zhang Wei – the group included choreographer and dancer Steen Koerner and a film crew among others. The journey explored the traditional Chinese scholar’s garden as a model for physical movement, for duration, rhythm, and sequencing, and also as inspiration for the present book.


The significance of gardens lies not in their confirmable existence, but rather in the fact that one can experience them in a variety of ways. The spatial structure of the book replicates the emotions we experience walking in a garden: the flow and drift of energy that slowly changes as we traverse an infinitely evolving route. If reading the book can be considered to be a journey, it is one characterized by many routes and constantly changing emotions, and eventually, it becomes each person’s individual (E)motional Map.


The book includes texts by Olafur Eliasson, Hu Fang, Francisco Varela, Bruno Latour, Günther Vogt, and the Chinese poet Ling Yue.















About Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson’s art is driven by his interests in perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings of self. Eliasson strives to make the concerns of art relevant to society at large. Art, for him, is a crucial means for turning thinking into doing in the world. Eliasson’s diverse works – in sculpture, painting, photography, film, and installations – have been exhibited widely throughout the world. Not limited to the confines of the museum and gallery, his practice engages the broader public sphere through architectural projects and interventions in civic space. Eliasson lives and works in Copenhagen and Berlin.



Image and Text: the shop, ©Authors, the shop, 2019


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