Su Yu Hsin
Blast Furnace No. 2
LWL-Industriemuseum Henrichshütte Hattingen, Germany
Mar 12 – Apr 2, 2022

In her video installation, “Blast Furnace No. 2”, Su Yu Hsin explores the history of Blast Furnace II. In September 1989, Henrichshütte’s blast furnace was bought by a Chinese steel mill, it was transported and continued to operate in Hunan until 2015. 

In “Blast Furnace No. 2”, the artist weaves archival material and interview excerpts into a speculative narrative that connects the years 1989, 2020, and 2050. The video work is about a filmmaker who comes to Hattingen for a shoot. She follows the trail of Lin, a Chinese translator who accompanied the dismantling of the blast furnace. Lin left behind an unfinished science fiction novel. The plot of the novel takes place in 2020 and processes the events at Henrichshütte 30 years earlier. In the novel, the protagonist develops a utopian machine in the form of a blast furnace. With this apparatus, she escapes into space with the goal of finding an alternative energy source to replace coal. The filmmaker spins the story forward to the year 2050: will humanity be able to solve the energy problem?

In “Blast Furnace No. 2”, the iron-bearing meteorite in the mineral collection of the Henrichshütte also plays a role. It stands for the cosmic origin of the metal that is so important for human history. Su Yu Hsin thus refers to the interactions between earth and social history, globalization and natural resources, which have shaped the fate of the blast furnace and the workers from Hattingen and Hunan.