Chameleon Meadow - In Praise of Shadows

Sculpture: Chameleon Meadow - In Praise of Shadows

Chameleon Meadow

Artists: Yvette Dede & Hiroko Inoue

Yvette Dede & Hiroko InoueYvette Dede is from New Orleans, La., and moved to Charleston in 1991. Her artistic efforts include collaborative sculpture installations throughout the United States. and one in the Czech Republic. In 1994, she and her collaborators were awarded the Installation/Collaboration Project Grant, from the North Carolina Cultural Council and the Alternate Visions Grant, from Alternate Roots of Atlanta. In addition to site works, Dede draws; her drawing installations were included in the South Carolina Artist Triennial 2001 and 2004. She was an active member of the South Carolina Arts Commission Artist in Residency program from 1994-1998, where she worked numerous artist residencies in public schools throughout the state. Currently, Dede is a full-time adjunct drawing professor at the College of Charleston. She received her B.F.A from Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge and her M.F.A. from Vermont College, Montpelier, Vt.  You may contact Yvette at or 843-953-4991.

Hiroko Inoue, a native of Japan, has exhibited her sculptures and other work throughout the world. Most recently, she has been working on the photography exhibit "Inside Out."

Artists' Statements:

Hiroko Inoue, 2007

In February 2007 I came from Japan to South Carolina to create - together with Yvette Dede - the work »In Praise of Shadows«. Sometimes it was a pretty hard work to construct such a big sculptural project but we received tremendous encouragement and support from the South Carolina Botanical Garden staff and volunteers and Clemson University’s landscape architecture, horticulture and sculpture professors and students.  

When I first arrived and looked around I associated this place with memories of human history and landscape which appeared behind the present life of the people in this area. Developing the concept for the sculptural project I realized that its main motto is »West meets East« and its basic element is the relation among the special red soil, plants and trees and man - combined with the medium of water. I am very pleased that the scientific engineering of this big bamboo-project makes a contribution to storm-water management and that we could create - by using natural material only - a work of art which carefully corresponds with nature and environment. I think that this work is part of an epoch-making project dedicated the protection and the future of our Earth.

It is our intention that the visitors of this place will be delighted entering the bamboo tunnel, hearing the sound of wind, watching the movement of shadows and breathing in the smell of grass. This place invites all visitors to have a time of meditation, to interact with each other and with life. It invites especially the children and students to develop courage, hope and honesty in their lives. 

I was very touched by the gentle people, the wonderful landscape and the impressive architecture in this area. I look forward to visiting Clemson again and our work »In Praise of Shadows« which could not be made without such abundant dedicated help and support.

Thank you very much, arigato and sayonara.

Yvette Dede, 2007

Two women artists, a native-Japanese and an American of Dutch-Indonesian descent, met at the South Carolina Botanical Gardens to collaborate on a nature-based site specific sculpture.  The premise was to explore East/West identities as they combine their unique perspective into one harmonic voice.  Two bamboo structures that represent each artist’s unique space are connected together with a bridge.  During the course of a close interactive month, they discover and embrace common and differing positions regarding culture, work, play, food, and family.  The sculpture stands as a monument to the intersection of two lives effected by many from the past, present, and future.

The sculpture’s purpose was two fold. First it was a forum on personal cultural investigation and expression. Secondly, it addressed water management issues for the garden.  Incorporation of specific variables designed to direct and purify water was an integral part of the design.  In the swales, green grass filters pollutants from moving water that flows into out lying collection ponds.  Metaphorically this water transformation parallels the cultural exchange.   Through one’s social interaction, impressions and observations move through one’s personal framework of reference, and enhances and expands one’s overall cultural understanding.

The collaborative nature of the sculpture is a crucial and unique component that distinguishes it from the other SCBG sculptures.  In depth human interaction from several sources was needed to design a unified sculpture, to address water management issues, to guide in the selection of plants, and to construct a sculpture of this scale.  Combining intellectual resources and talents proved to be an exciting creative challenge.  The cooperation needed to successfully realize all visual and structural intentions mirrors the global interaction of societies we witness today.  No longer is the world stage limited to an isolated cultural viewpoint.  Globalization engages and culls unique talents into one collective pool. The edges of cultural definition are blurred. We are currently engaged in the transformation of identity as we adapt to reflect the changing cultural landscape.  Nature will contribute to the metaphorical identity shift as seasons, growth, and decay transform and embrace the sculpture.

Installation: 2007

Installing Chameleon Meadow

Current Appearance

Chameleon Meadow 2009

After snowfall, March 2009