"If Time Was Wearable And Foldable" — an art exhibition combining the fascinating worlds of technology, craft, and textiles — will be on view from Jan. 3 through Feb. 23 at the Nantou-based Taiwan Craft Culture Park.
The exhibition will be presenting the works of curator and artist Shih Wei-chieh's (施惟捷) "Laser Dye (雷射染)" project. From presenting the latest interdisciplinary applications in textiles to re-constructing natural fibers and dyes with laser scanning, the curator hopes to provide viewers with a different perspective on traditional crafts.
Laser dye is the study of alternative textile treatment that utilizes UV laser-scanning and fabrics pre-coated with photosensitive cyanotype ink, creating permanent prints on textiles, canvas, and even footwear.
Shih explained that he was able to improve the traditional cyanotype process and use laser scanning as a printing tool to create his innovative dyeing technique for making garments. Shih wanted to demonstrate how traditional crafts can be transformed by artisans themselves through collaborating with technology and entering the fields of creative contemporary art and fashion.
Several works selected for this exhibition are created from a combination of natural and laser dyes. By repeating the textile-dyeing process using both stovetop and laser methods to encourage a chemical reaction resulting in unpredictable colors, Shih was able to create one-of-a-kind works of wearable art.
One exceptional set of works comprises large-scale fabric prints that depict visual representations of sound files. This was accomplished by converting audio data into different frequencies that dictate a pattern for the laser to print; moreover, contrasting gradients were tailored by varying the speed of the laser. Shih's successful breakthrough enhances the possibilities of incorporating poetic elements like music in garments and producing alternative materials for fashion.
In addition to art displays, the exhibition will also showcase the preparatory work and tools behind the "Laser Dye" project, including equipment such as large-scale printing and laser devices, and experimental notes from combining natural dyes with agricultural waste such as pineapple peels and paper mulberry bark.
The Nantou exhibition will also be accompanied with workshops led by visiting guests such as Victoria Manganiello, an American installation and mixed media artist, and Ryu Oyama and Kim Ilda, the two artists behind the Japanese-Korean duo ISC.
‘Nature Fibre x Laser Dye: If Time Was Wearable And Foldable’
Date: Jan. 3 – Feb. 23, 2020
Venue: Taiwan Craft Culture Park (1F & B1, Craft Design Hall)
Address: No. 573 Zhongzheng Rd., Caotun Township, Nantou Country, Taiwan (ROC)
Hours: 9am – 5pm (Closed on Mondays)