Battle Between Human and Nature


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To the dead- we mourn your loss and honor your memory.
To the survivors- we express our sincere desire to work together to help.
To all of us-having witnessed tragedy and experienced fear, it is time to join hands, work together toward a better future and remember that where there is love, there is hope.

This post was placed on the wall of the entrance of the art exhibition hall in Bejing by a famous Chinese artist Zhang Huan’s “Hope Tunnel”.

A shocking section of the train wreckage immediately catches our eyes.

Parts of the train were scattered all over and we can easily see the reflection of the broken windows on the ground.

Other damaged parts are also spread all over the ground.

On May 12, 2008, freight train no. 21043 was carrying over 600 tons of grain and 12 tanks of aviation fuel through tunnel no. 109 on the Baoji–Chengdu railway when it collided with a massive boulder displaced by the quake and derailed. An hour later, the fuel tanks exploded, engulfing the train in flames and trapping two conductors in the engine carriage. Fortunately, both conductors were quickly rescued and survived the ordeal.

After the incident, the workers spent six months to dig out the train wreck, clean up and re-clear the rail tunnel, so that relief supplies could be delivered on time to the disaster area.

Zhang Huan purchased the wrecked train and transported parts of train from Xi’an back to his workshop in Shanghai to renovate. Repeatedly, the video played a documentary that follows every step of the train’s journey — from a  Xi’an to Shanghai, and finally to this exhibition hall in Beijing . The artist in film said that mankind has been subjected to these disasters, and tragedy has happened none stopped. But after the disaster, there is still hope.

We can imagine that the train suddenly became a large pile of scrap metal littered the ground after the quake, and visitors were able to touch the wreckage with such a short distance. People who are here will feel the impact caused by earthquake tremendously.

By the incredible work of the artist Zhang Huan, it seems, the scene of the moment when the train was damaged and destroyed, was frozen. It leads us not only to feel, but also fear the power of nature. Can human creation such as a train, conquer the nature? Why do we need a triumph over nature? I think it is the time for us to reconsider our relationship with nature.

Just as it mentions in the post  “To all of us-having witnessed tragedy and experienced fear, it is time to join hands, work together toward a better future and remember that where there is love, there is hope.” Indeed, in this “hope tunnel”, Zhang Huan asks us to reflect on the disaster with love, not just between people but also to expand between man and nature. Then, there will be hope.

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