The Source of Spring is in the Trace of a Movement

Screenprint on paper with debossing, framed

60 x 60 cm

Courtesy of the artist

Photo: Studio Haegue Yang

The Source of Spring is in the Trace of Movement is an adaptation of the inscription on the original marquetry floor of the South London Gallery’s main exhibition space, designed by the 19th-century artist and socialist activist, Walter Crane. The original inscription, “The source of Art is in the Life of a People” has been translated into Burmese and re-worked to relate to recent mass pro-democracy protests in Myanmar. This movement, known locally as the Spring Revolution, began in opposition to the military coup of February 2021. Basing the design for her print on a digital tracing of the original floor pattern, Yang has reconfigured Crane’s Art Nouveau motifs to allude to the three-finger salute used by Myanmar’s pro-democracy protesters. The imagery of Burmese medicinal plants, inserted between the original motifs, appears significant considering the current unrest and adds contemporary texture to the notion of a people evoked by Crane.


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