Soil is the loose, surface layer of land that supports plant growth. It is a naturally occurring component of land formed over a long period of time under the combined effect of various factors such as climate, landforms, and soil age.
In recent decades, the rapid increase in population has caused excessive pressure on land resources. People have caused deforestation, overgrazing, and imbalance in arable land with respect to oxygen – these in turn have caused soil erosion, land desertification, soil pollution and land degradation issues. Land degradation has led to the deterioration of the ecological environment and the decline in the speed of economic development – these in turn affect the living environments of human beings.
As a middle school student, it is inevitable that we make our own contributions after understanding the status quo of the soil, the ecological environment, and the need to protect human being’s living environment.
In class, we observed various soil experiments to understand the nature, characteristics, and regional distribution of the soil, so as to make full preparations for visiting the “Ecological Chronicle” by the soil artist Song Chen.
With thinking and curiosity, our Middle School students walked through the factory buildings to the “Ecological Chronicle” of the Shanghai Xinqiao Art Museum. As soon as we entered, a huge clay art project stood in front of our eyes, occupying the entire room. It was a “soil baby”. I saw that it was surrounded by terracotta, with the color of loess, its hands and feet curled up like a baby in a mother’s womb, the umbilical cord twisted and twisted around the back and finally connected to the ground. Land is like life, nurturing everyone’s continuous growth. But when I look closely, the baby’s face is hideous, and the surrounding land is comprised of sickly, sandy soil. This project seems to be telling us about humans’ excessive damage to the soil.
We learned more about the background of the production of soil artworks from an explanation from artist Song Chen. Viewing soil particles under the microscope brought us closer to the soil, and the soil science literature exhibition slowly revealed for us the serious status of soil problems, inspiring our young minds to protect the soil environment.
On the walls were paintings of ‘ink on the soil’, made of mud, magnificent mountains, thick and smooth plateaus, vast ravines and cliffs, and vast deserts… all in one painting. Looking closer, the magnificent waves had become condensed with accumulated soil; thousands of gullies had disappeared and only the hard-dried and cracked soil could be seen. The vast waves of smoke had also become weathered sand. This particular, exquisite ‘ink on the soil’ work was glamorous on the surface, but the undercurrents, surging from behind, represented our endless infringement on the land!
In the sunroom on the third floor, there were fragments of soil. Hundreds of small pieces of soil seem to have endless magic power! Sometimes soil is as solid as a rock, like a thick shield; sometimes it rains down like rain from the sky; sometimes it is as dazzling and wonderful as ordinary stars holding the moon. When I look closer, they were only pieces of soil that were as crisp as paper, withered and thin. With a light touch, they uttered a deep voice, as if they were moaning that had they had been sealed in mud for thousands of years.
“The earth is a baby and needs human protection.” We have gone through the industrial age and over-exploited nature, which has led us to our current state. The exhibits here gave me the feeling that our treatment of land and soil is shocking! Human greed has caused indelible damage to the Earth. Yes, water can both carry a boat as well as overturn it. We can’t let Mother Earth, who once gave birth to us, become the murderer of mankind.
The human-land relationship is an open system that is interactive and influences each other. At its core, humans influence various elements of the land through the production process. In turn, the changes in the land system affects the human living environment.
We advocate the adoption of active and effective measures to protect land resources, the prevention of further degradation of land resources and further deterioration of the ecological environment, following the laws of nature, and the adoption of reasonable land resource development and utilization methods to ensure sustainable development.
Students’ Impressions of the visit
“Everything comes from mud and will eventually turn into mud again.” I thought that going to the art gallery was just about looking at mud. I initially thought that it was meaningless. However, when I actually entered the Shanghai Xinqiao Art Museum, everything around me seemed to cause me to return to nature and our origins. The moment I stepped into the museum, the artist Song Chen’s “Land Healing” was written on a huge white wall, evoking people’s thoughts. Is everything in the museum just art? In fact, the countless different types of contaminated soil have already told us everything. With the continuous development of society, our land environment is getting worse and worse, and the original state of ecological co-existence no longer exists. Because of this, our teachers let us observe the soil, understand the soil, and truly helped us to regard it no longer just an art, but as a great force for ecological equality and coexistence!——7A 纪淑曼 Amanda
We love the earth, just as a newborn baby loves the warm embrace of their mother.
This sentence tells reminds us that human beings are like babies in the womb of the Earth, inseparable from the soil of the Earth. In order to awaken people’s attention to soil pollution, which is a problem very much linked to human survival, this art exhibition served to help us reflect on the living conditions of the Earth and of humans through various displays of soil, and to remind us of the contradiction between ecology and humans. The universe is a massive creation showing incredible diversity, but now all the animals and plants in nature have become degraded.——8E 周舒婷 Shirley