Since 2006, Emmanuel Wolfs and Boyoung Jung have been creating surreal construction of transformed trees, exploring the human perception of nature and the ethical dimension of our contemporary industrial culture and technology.
Following the previous projects ‘NATURE V2.01’ (2006-2009) and ‘IMPOSSIBLE TREES’ (2014-2017), ‘ENGINEERED NATURE’ (2017-2021) is the third phase of WOLFS+JUNG’s exploration into synthetic biology as a cultural artifact.
Beyond the boundaries of what is perceived as natural, the ‘ENGINEERED NATURE’ interrogates the limits of altering the living with its prospective designs, whose geometry is reminiscent of radical modernist formal exploration.
These geometric and often symmetrical tree forms question the aesthetics and ethics required in the age of synthetic biology (e.g., “Synthia”), reminding us of the significant role and ethical responsibilities of creators today - potentially re-defining life and the concept of nature.
Not only are they to define the aesthetics of the bioengineered age, pushing progress and challenging the status quo; but also, often in radical opposition, to question the long-term social and anthropogenic impact on our environment.
“To make or not to make” is the burning question in this era of excess and rapid technological progress.
When does a tree stop being a tree?
'ENGINEERED NATURE' (2017-2019)
dimensions vary / 46-49 (H)(cm)
wood, natural tree bark / cast bronze
hand-sculpted by WOLFS + JUNG