The way which Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art unfolded, is to adopt the solo exhibition of a representative artist as a div of its own exhibition structure. This time we invited the artist Yin Xiuzhen. Taking into account of the present conditions of the venues, Yin presented seven works which created in recent years into seven exhibition halls within seven days. By using "Seven days" intervals, different sequences and special implications, these elements constitute Yin Xiuzhen's resheach-oriented and staged creation. During her process, where fiber serves as the main media, or as the way to conceive, she sewed and weaved personal experiences, memory traces along with changes of time through collecting, replacing and stitching fabrics. In an attempt to find diachronic memories in real time and space, to measure the complex relationship between individuals and society with the method of counterpoint. At the scene, where the feeling of being present is formed, the "collective subconsciousness" of our ordinary experiences are created spontaneously.
经历之重 Weight of Experience
水泥、穿过的衣服 Concrete,used clothing
尺寸可变 / Dimensions Variable
《经历之重》是我水泥系列作品的延续，我在1994 年第一个装置作品《对话》中就使用了水泥干粉，那是我使用水泥的开端。1995 年的第一个个展中展出的《衣箱》就是水泥封存的作品，那时我把过去三十多年中穿过的衣服一一缝合好，摞成一摞，用水泥封存在我父亲做的我使用多年的衣箱中。从那时起，穿过的衣服所承载的记忆、历史和时代的印痕就成为了我作品中的重要元素，我“搜尽经历打草稿”，“经历”成为了我这类作品看不见的核心。而水泥遇水凝结的特性，它的冰冷和建筑性以及质感一直吸引着我。我试图使用它，给予它生命的温度和启示。我曾在手中攥着湿水泥团儿，让它与我的体温相同，冰冷的水泥在我的拳中不断地固化和升温，而我的手不断地被水泥降温，被同化，我可以感受到由软及硬的微妙变化，最后达到平衡，湿软冰冷的水泥团儿变成了干硬的、带有我体温和印痕的硬物。之后我把水果封到水泥中，看着水果慢慢地在水泥中腐烂变干，最后被鸟叼走，留下印痕和空间，那是生命和时间的痕迹。我在水泥中封过很多日常物，也做过封有日常物的水泥砖，那是水泥对时间和经历的封存，也是水泥对岁月的禁锢。我也把水泥灌入由穿过的衣服构筑的领、袖容器中，用领袖的形限位水泥。当我把黄油封入水泥时，较量出现了，水泥禁锢着黄油，而黄油渗透到水泥中瓦解着水泥，这相互交映的关系和多年来对水泥的体会，让我对经历的重量产生兴趣，这个重量不是物质的重量，是认识的重量，是精神的重量，是经历之重。
Weight of Experience is a succession of my concrete works. The year 1994 marks the beginning of my employment of concrete when Iused dry concrete powder in Dialogues, my first installation work piece. Suitcase in my first solo in 1995 is also a concrete work piece. I sewed the clothes I wore in the past three decades and piled them up to seal them into a worn suitcase made by my father and served me many years. Since then, the worn clothes with memories, experiences, and imprints of times have become significant elements of my works. I searched all experiences to get inspired. Experiences have always been the invisible core of my works of this kind. What attracts me most in concrete is its coldness, architecture property, texture, and its coagulation when mixed with water. I tried to make the most of it, giving it the warmth and enlightenment of life. I once held a lump of wet concrete to warm it to my body temperature. The cold concrete ball, gradually solidified and warmed in my hand, constantly cooled and assimilated my hands at the same time. I could feel its subtle change of hardening, and eventually reaching a balance. The lump of wet soft cold concrete turned into a hard, dry, and solid chunk with my temperature and my palm prints. After that attempt, I stored fruits in concrete, witnessing them rot and dry, and being pecked by birds and leaving only their vestiges and hollows. They were tracks of life and time. I sealed many daily life articles with concrete and made cement bricks containing those things as well. The concrete thus seals the meaningful time and experiences and locks time. I also poured concrete into containers made by and in the form of neck and sleeve openings of used clothes, which were used to mould the shape of concrete. However, when I tried to seal butter in concrete, some interesting antagonism appeared that concrete limited the butter and at the same time the butter penetrated into and disorganized concrete. The interactive forces and years’ interaction with concrete arose my interest in the weight of experiences. It wasn’t the weight of object, but the weight of cognizance, spirit, and experiences.
Concrete is held in those plain or colorful clothes with experiences and body temperature. It is wrapped up by clothes once enfolded human bodies. Those clothes, worn and warmed up by people and experienced various lives, move on to carry the cold constructive materials. As time passes away, they harden. When I peel the clothes off, I saw the imprints and temperature of experiences were printed on concrete. Those clothes, going through vicissitudes and brutality of time, now live together with those cold concrete. The cold concrete has seemly got its temperature of life.
时间纤维 Time Fiber
尺寸可变 / Dimensions Variable
我一直持续地对衣服所承载的多重属性感兴趣，也对穿过的衣服所带有的历史、记忆和经历感兴趣。衣服是人经历时间的容器，也是人的第二张皮。而这些经历、记忆和情感温度成为灵魂留在衣服的纤维中。我曾经做过一系列叫作《21 克》的作品，就是借助瓷泥烧制穿过的衣服得来的。21 克是灵魂的重量。
Time is abstract, and concrete as well.
There are various interpretations of time. Time is about movement of matters. It’s continuity of changes. It’s manifestation of order. Time is more than a parameter used to describe the moving process of matters, and the developing procedure of events, but also the extension of movement and energy. Fiber, on the other hand, is made up of continuous threads. Fiber has a significant effect in maintaining tissues. What time and fiber have in common are continuity and ductility.
Some people say time is life. In my mind, time is the fiber of life, knitting a spiritual and emotional cosmoses with experiences, memories, temperature and feelings.
One thing that distinguish human beings from other animals is that we can make clothes. Besides the functions of coverage and warming, clothes carry various properties. Back in the hierarchical era, people were forbidden to wear clothes beyond their social status. Even at this modern time advocating everyone born to be equal, clothes also bear many properties beyond practical uses, such as ethnicities, cultures and politics. And also, the choice of fashion style and the way of dressing also divide people into different communities with different views over the world, values, life, and aesthetics.
I ’ve always been interested in the multiple properties of clothes, as well as history, memories and experience of those used clothes. They are a container of our passed time, and our second skin. These experiences, memories, emotional temperature become the soul left in the fiber of clothes. I have once made a series named 21 Gram, which was created by firing mixture of used clothes and porcelain clay. The name comes from the saying that 21 Gram is the weight of soul.
We live in the endless universe, and in our deepest soul live numerous microcosms. The fiber of used clothes carries time and experiencesis just like enlightenment monk’s sarira, a crystallization of wisdom and virtue, and like buddha, the awakened. Sarira coming from enlightened ego, enlightened others, and enlightened conducts. That are the three aspects of enlightenment and the completeness to awareness of wisdom.
Fragments of used clothes worn by different people were soaked in porcelain clay and the mud penetrated into every ostioles of the clothes to be fully mixed with experiences and time. I kneaded the mud into buddha statues and fired them in porcelain kiln. The clothe fiber was burned off and the soaked porcelain clay was hardened to be porcelain crystallization in flames. Not only is it the crystallized statue, but also crystallized space and time. Every piece of fiber was burned into ashes, leaving invisible spaces for souls. These unrecognizable buddha statues create new imagined time and space. Just as Alert Einstein came up with in The Theory of Relativity, time, space, andmatter cannot be explained separately, I made Time Fiber, combining time, space and material.
消化腔 Digestive Cavity
铁架、穿过的衣服、布料、不锈钢、海绵 Steel frame, used clothing, fabric, stainless steel, sponge
325cm × 818cm × 835cm
Steel frame, used clothes worn by different people, fabric leftovers.
Inspired by and based on elements of gymnastics mats and expressways, the digestive field a “stomach” was created by sewing up used clothes and leftovers of fabric used to produce various daily necessities. These used clothes with people’s smells, experiences and temperature make the membrane. Under the dome of the “stomach”, the mat with the element of expressways provides a space for communication and digestion. When entering this “digestive cavity”, the viewers become part of the digestion process.
行思 Walking Thinking
132 双宁夏本地人穿过的鞋子、织物 132 shoes worn by Yinchuan local people, fabric
尺寸可变 / Dimensions Variable
Shoes are not only pedestals to human body, but also vehicles of experiences. It has been said that you can't blanket all the roads around the world, but you can put shoes on your feet. Shoes go with roads. Travelling ten thousand miles is like reading ten thousand books. Shoes worn by different people carry different experiences, memories, impressions and aesthetics. On the one hand, it is living objects and on the other hand, it is recognition object. It is collecting experiences to collect used shoes. I “search all the experiences to get inspired” and make “experiences” an important element in my creation. Experiences enable shoes off human bodies generate new energy. Each pair of shoes is worn by long fabric “legs”, as if the lengthened "flesh legs" are still alive. Knotted and hung up, one foot is hung in the air and the audience can see the sole of the shoe while the other foot touches the ground with its tip, just like ballet. In the tranquil there is a hint of unease and in the grace cruelty. In the field there are collective subconscious flows. Individual loneliness interweaves with collective slavishness. The upward steps juxtapose with the forward steps, just like fetters from ego as well as bondages from others. The imitation of skin by synthetic materials makes these things biological. Shoes worn by different people collected together bring different people’s experiences and footsteps together and infuses into the work human spirituality. These extended “legs” conflate to be a wood through which the viewers stroll. The shoes of the walking viewers and the shoes hung there help build the "walking thinking" field and turn the work from static into dynamic.
不同人穿过的衣服、木框、墙壁、影像 Used clothing, wood frame, wall, video
尺寸可变 / Dimensions Variable
It is a symmetrical balance picture containing signature or government buildings of different countries made from clothes recycled from various countries. The diagram of the universe (Chinese: Taiji) is unfolded into a horizontal picture composed of two systematical rectangular pieces, one black and one white opposing each across the original reversed S curve dividing yinyang straightened, thus form a unity of two opposing sides representing yin and yang, day and night, black and white, and right and wrong respectively. Two of each building are made, one white and one black, lying in contrasting color background and opposing each other to represent yin and yang respectively. The black and white are not pure. They are of different chroma blocks to enrich the roughly white or black backgrounds. It seems that those white or black clothes with experiences and different chroma were dancing with fetters. The reflection picture is hung on a wall canvas with black and white sides switched to be the background and the separating lines are superposed. Thus there is white in black and black in white to form a screen wall of reflection. I mark off a horizontal dividing line on the wall. It exists, but nowhere to be seen.
穿过的衣服，不锈钢架，铝板，木板，灯 Used clothing, stainless steel, aluminum panel, wood panel and lamp
The society continues to operate at high speed, leaving people no room to breathe. Highways are networks connecting different places and sometimes turn into parking lots. High speed represents efficiency and also bears the hazard of speed. We should stop to look at each other. Sit down to listen and talk. Reflecton “high speed”.
德国科姆尼茨当地人穿过的衣服，缝纫机，更衣柜，工作台，椅子及台灯 Used clothing worn by locals of Komnitz in Germany, sewing machines,lockers, working benches, chairs and table lamps
直径 / Dia. 1000cm × 500cm
开姆尼茨是德国南部城市，民主德国时期称卡尔·马克思城，两德统一后1991 年复名开姆尼茨。开姆尼茨自中世纪以来一直是纺织业中心。但随着20 世纪90 年代“后冷战”和“全球化”时代的到来，以及中国纺织制造业的兴起，它逐渐地失去了纺织业中心的地位。大量的纺织业工厂关闭，纺织相关产业人员被迫转业。曾经的纺织辉煌不在。
我邀请城中会缝纫的人们加入到这个《公社》的项目中，大家都踊跃报名参加，他们在这个公共空间中把每一件衣服剪成条儿，拼合成5 米高的竖条，之后再将这些条拼合在一起，逐渐形成一个直径10 米，高5 米的空间。这个空间把所有参与的人包围在其中，这当中有收来的衣服和当时纺织工厂的更衣柜，以及众多收集来的不同的、使用过的缝纫机。这些志愿者大多都曾是不同制衣厂和纺织厂的职工，现在从事着各种不同的行业，就是与纺织没关系。他们是用业余的时间来参加这个缝制工作的，每天不同时段都会有不同的人参与，非常积极。很多人即使不当班，也会来帮助打下手。他们说在这里似乎找到了消失很久了的温暖，在这里他们是志愿者，经历、记忆和与之相关的反思成为他们的共同利益和精神财富。当最后一个布条被缝合的时候，所有人都恋恋不舍地离开这个曾经共同拥有并一起工作的空间，只留下更衣柜、桌子、缝纫机和带着经历的还未被缝合的衣服。大家只能从由衣服围合的、围墙上的孔洞向内张望，这些孔洞是领口和袖口。他们用自己的双手建了一道自己不能进入的围墙，而这个有着经历和温度的围墙把这个新世界连在了一起。
In 2007, I went to Chemnitz in Germany, at the invitation of curator Volkmar Billig to do research and prepare for my later creation there.
Chemnitz, in the south of Germany, was called Karl Marx city during German Democratic Republic period and restored to be Chemnitz in 1991 after the German reunification in 1990. It had been a centre of textile industry since the Middle Ages. However, as the development of the post-cold war and the globalization process in 1990s and the rising of textile industry in China, the city gradually lost the status as a textile industry hub, which caused amounts of textile factories to be shut down and related industries and employees to transfer. The former glory was gone.
In art creation, I try to, through employing the medium of recycled clothes with human experiences and body temperature, combine history, culture and memories to bring people into the same one space to look forward with reflection on turning points in history.
Commune, the performance installation art work in a public open space at a transportation hub in the downtown area of the city, is made with used clothes I collected from different places, such as schools, malls, cinemas, stations, neighborhoods, business firms, stadia and government offices.
This Commune I created with volunteers is spiritual, but the real Commune in history was a unique community where all members shared common tangible interests.
I invited people with stitching skills to join the campaign Commune and received active participation. On the open plaza, they cut every clothe into ribbons and then spliced them into 5-meter high tapes that were pieced to enclose a bucket of 10 meters diameter and 5 meters height and barreled all the people, recycled clothes, lockers used in textile mills, and numbers of used sewing machines of different types. Most of the volunteers had been employees of various clothing firms and textile mills and then working in different sectors that have nothing to do with textile. They volunteered their spare time to sewing this campaign up and thus different people work at different times everyday. Some of them came to aid even in days not on their duty. As they said, itseemed that they could find back warmth used to surround them and had been lost for a long time. As volunteers, they share the interests and spiritual treasure of their experiences, memories and reflections. When the last strip was sewn, all participates had to left reluctantly the space they worked and occupied, leaving lockers, tables, sewing machines, and clothes with past stories yet to be sewn. Only could they look in through the holes on the clothe fence formed by neck or cuff openings left naturally. They built a wall without entrance with their own hands, and the wall was of experiences and warmth connected the past to this new world.