South Korean writer Hang Kan Joins Artistes in Norway for a futuristic Journey


South Korean writer, Hang Kan ,who was the winner of the Man International Booker prize in 2016 for her novel The Vegetarian, has joined the ranks of literary greats who are giving their writing for the Future Library Project in Norway started by artist Katie Paterson in 2014.

Katie Paterson, an award winning Scottish artist known to play with and find inspiration in nature using her imagination to create unique artworks based on natural phenomenons like glaciers,stars and the universe itself, planted one thousand spruce trees in the Nordmarka forest, just outside Oslo in Norway. The paper from these woods will be used in 2114 to print the books of the literary greats who are participating in the project, which include literary giants like Margaret Atwood and multiple award winning novelist David Mitchell and whose ranks Hang Sen joined last month.

The manuscripts will be stored in a special room lined with the wood from the spruce forest in the new public library at Oslo to be opened in 2020, known as “New Deichman”  and printed in the next millennium. The authors’ names and titles of their works will be on display but the text will only be made available in 2114, a hundred years after the initiation of the project. Each year, an author will contribute to the project till its year of completion. 

While it is interesting to see such a multi-national, multi-cultural, unique project swinging across a borderless world of art and literature, one wonders if in one hundred years later, we will still be using paper to print books? Will we still have countries? Will the spruce trees still stand tall? 

Says the founder and visualiser of this Project, Katie Paterson: “Future Library has nature, the environment at its core — and involves ecology, the interconnectedness of things, those living now and still to come. It questions the present tendency to think in short bursts of time, making decisions only for us living now. The timescale is one hundred years, not vast in cosmic terms. However, in many ways the human timescale of one hundred years is more confronting. It is beyond many of our current lifespans, but close enough to come face to face with it, to comprehend and relativise.”

Read more about the project and Hang Kan’s contribution in The Guardian.


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