PlantPopNancy Daly2016

"Naoko Wowsugi: Permacounterculture" in PlantPop

PlantPopNancy Daly2016
"Naoko Wowsugi: Permacounterculture" in PlantPop

an excerpt from the article...


The political, anti-establishment lyrics are one of the things that define punk music. It’s a genre that desires to break away from the norms. So what does punk music have to do with plants?

Art professor at American University in Washington, DC, Naoko Wowsugi, seeks to answer probing questions like these using the art world as her platform.

Naoko immerses herself in her artist work. She wants to discover the links between two, often very different, cultures.

In the case of the “Permacounterculture” exhibit, she explored the connection between punk music and growing wheatgrass.

Nicole Dowd, the program manager at the Hamiltonian Gallery, where the exhibit is being showcased, says Naoko presents a whole new perspective as she immerses herself in these different worlds.

"She is more of a community-based artist. A lot of her ideas stem from experiences and groups to which she belongs in the community."

Using a little scientific discovery and a lot of creativity, the artist orchestrated the exhibit, which puts a few different punk bands in a small garage space housing the wheatgrass. The exhibit highlights the way sound waves and increased carbon dioxide actually help these plants grow.

Naoko says it's a complicated process, but it can be broken down into a simple concept.

"We grow the wheatgrass by playing punk makes a better environment for the wheatgrass."

From there, the wheatgrass is made into shots taken by band members and spectators alike. 

"It energizes the DC community."

This experiment unites two worlds in a great way. Nicole observes people coming to the show are from different communities from around the area.

"We have people who would normally come to an art event here at the Hamiltonian really interspersed with a lot of people in the punk community." 

The exhibit is a fun and unique way for the bands to show their talents as well. Drummer, Chris Moore, says it’s not every day they get to perform and produce a healthy wheatgrass shot at the same time. 

"It's a really cool concept. It takes the typical punk show and makes it something a little more interesting." 

If you’re in the Washington, DC area, check out the next and final show of “Permacounterculture” at the Hamiltonian Gallery on September 9th!

Read the original review.