HARVESTING THE PATTERN PUZZLE: This series discovers macro patterns emerging out of micro behavior.
Seaweed is a plant-like organism that usually grows on rocks in coastal areas. In China, the culture on artificial floating rafts started in the 50s. The annual Chinese seaweed production from more than 200’000 acres of seaweed farms is about 2’000’000 wet tons. This seaweed grows in kelp ropes on a floating line. On the harvesting day, they are collected in small boats and put on bamboo drying lines to dry them in the wind. The 2’000’000 wet tons seaweed weight corresponds to about 250’000 dry tons of weight. Seaweed is mainly used as a vegetable in China.
Beautiful patterns emerged in the sunrise hours when all harvesting boats left the port and individuals starting to de-connect the seaweed from their floating lines, collect them in their boats. With loaded boats, they returned to the port in order to put the seaweed onto the drying lines. These activities kept them busy up until late at night.
The patterns that emerged from bamboo poles, fisher nets, and stone columns inserted in the mudflats that are all used to dry seaweed, kelp, oyster, or laver. So beautiful, how macro patterns emerge from different micro behaviors: Sun rising and setting, tides coming in and flowing out, but the harvesters make the difference. By driving in and out with their boats they put seaweed on the bamboo sticks or leave them and thereby create beautiful patterns they seem to puzzle.
China | 2018
Photographs from this series received the following international awards:
• Bronce Metal at the 2018 Epson International Pano Award.