Through Chen's investigation of modern ruins, Chen has discovered that ruins are often the surviving remnants of military and industrial trauma. They are a concrete reminder of the passage of time and, like memory, they are incomplete and imperfect. Moss co-exists with ruins and it is normally associated with decay and abandonment.
During WWI, a group of women in Dublin started an initiative for making surgical dressings from Sphagnum moss as an alternative to cotton wool, which was in short supply as its use was prioritised for military purposes.
Chen is attracted to Sphagnum moss’ healing and cleansing properties, and find it aesthetically beautiful. Che's intention is to to argue that even the minimal and unnoticeable retains inherent and immeasurable value. As a female, Chen is interested in what roles females play in traumatic times.
Stella Chen 2015, Sydney
Photos c/o Brandon Park/Franz Anthony/Stella Chen