press release

until 26.7.

Unconstrained Textiles: Stitching Methods, Crossing Ideas
(March 21–June 14, 2020)

Marking its first anniversary since opening in March 2019, CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile) announces its Spring Programme 2020, Unconstrained Textiles: Stitching Methods, Crossing Ideas. Opening on March 21 until June 14, 2020, this exhibition will propose room for new ways of considering textile(s) and art through diverse works and practices. Featuring 7 prominent contemporary artists, the exhibition Unconstrained Textiles: Stitching Methods, Crossing Ideas curated by Takahashi Mizuki aims to present contemporary art practices of these artists who have engaged and experimented with textile materials, concepts, subject matters and techniques, and invite visitors to reconsider their understanding and preconceptions of art and textile(s) by presenting works of wide-ranging methods and ideas.

As a defined category or artistic genre, textile art has been discussed in relation to craft, design and gendered, often female, works, adding to the ongoing scholarship on interdisciplinary studies and critical discourses in fine art. In the longstanding tradition of textile art, its rigid categorical classification is inevitable and which has sometimes hindered textile element from coming into prominence in non-textile art. The intention of Unconstrained Textiles: Stitching Methods, Crossing Ideas is not to subvert the taxonomical classification of and the accumulated discussions on textile art, but to broaden the discussion of textile’s contribution to art in general by examining contemporary artworks through a textile lens. To honour each of the 7 featured artists and their respective artistic practices, and to offer visitors the space to contemplate on their individual explorations of textile(s), this exhibition is designed to provide sufficient space for all artists so that they can present their body of works realised by their tireless artistic exercises. With works occupying Gallery 1 and 2, and also spanning the space at The Arcade at CHAT, The Hall and The Park at The Mills, this exhibition will form an open-ended patchwork, and propose an alternative way of learning about textile(s) and art.

Artworks from Kato Izumi and Byron Kim (recently the recipient of the 2019 Robert De Niro Sr. Prize) will exhibit colours, forms and textual surfaces achieved with textile techniques such as dyeing and stitching. Embroidery featured in Ham Kyungah’s work will highlight the socio-political situation of and counter-propose reinvented ways of communication between South and North Korea. Bi Rongrong’s textile and audiovisual works explore the interplay between architectural features and textile patterns. David Medalla offers a scroll of fabric as a participatory platform, inviting visitors to either embroider or stitch their personal souvenirs or stories to the fabric to incorporate their microcosmic personal visions into the penultimate collective sculpture. Responding to labourers’ situation in factories, Kawita Vatanajyankur’s mimetic performances of textile(s) in its mechanical processes highlight the objectification of labourers and the severity of the working conditions many of them face. Samson Young utilises textile(s) creations conceived with CHAT’s own textile team to illustrate his multidisciplinary artistic visions in his performances and installations.

CHAT’s permanent display Welcome to the Spinning Factory! will be showing together with Unconstrained Textiles: Stitching Methods, Crossing Ideas during this exhibition period.