they’re everywhere

So there I was, a couple years ago, walking the quiet galleries of the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, when I encountered this patch of urban decrepitude:

Weeds! Growing in the cracks between the walls and floors!


Well, of course, the domain of botany is usually outside the museum walls, and what you’re seeing is an art piece by Yoshihiro Suda. Each of these itty bitty little growths is actually a miniscule piece of sculpture, carved out of wood and then painted to resemble plant-life.

Suda_Weeds_At floor level

Fun, yes, but if it’s a wet wintertime in Southern California—ack!–you’ve already seen all the weeds a sane human should be expected to endure. But hey, this is art. Calm down, I told myself. As much as I wanted to do it, I resisted my natural urge to pluck the little green monstrosities and introduce them to the lifecycle of compost.


And then I start wondering. These don’t look like the typical weed species in my garden. Are these examples of the weed species the artist encounters in Japan? Or is there artistic license being exercised here?

But whatever species they are, it’s clear that these plants aren’t meant to be there, that these are weeds. To a gardener, some things are universal.

Suda_Weeds_Alt overview

5 thoughts on “they’re everywhere”

  1. I normally wouldn’t get into this type of installation, but pulling real weeds is much easier than the artist making *each* one for this! Imagine if this artist made herbaceous weeds typical for each place he were to show?

    “Hierbas Malas” for weeds on the sign’s Spanish translation…as opposed to your post on Denver’s new industry, hierbas buenas according to its fans .(or is it yerba buena?)

  2. A cute idea. I’m not sure it’s worth the painstaking labor, but I guess the painstaking labor is what makes it worth lingering on.

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