Sophie Hong (洪麗芬), a Taiwanese fashion designer who is famous for reviving the uniquely textured "lacquered silk (湘雲紗)," was invited by the Roubaix-based La Piscine – André Diligent Art and Industrial Museum to hold a solo exhibition in northern France from March 14 through May 31.
The solo exhibition is titled "When Time Turns Mulberry Leaves Into Silk Dresses" to reflect her achievements in natural textiles. At the beginning of Hong's design career, she sought wide and far for dyed fabrics and rediscovered "lacquered silk," which is also known as "mud cloth" or "gambier gauze" after the traditional treatment of being soaked in organic pigments and then chemically activated with river mud.
It is then enhanced by long exposure to strong sunlight to create this interwoven, silky finish coated with earthy tones of deep indigo, black, brown, and dark red. The oxidized fabric originated from the Tang dynasty but its trade secrets were slowly being forgotten. Hong had to reinvent the craft, improving the process and developing more colors and textures along the way.
Hong, who has been involved in interdisciplinary creations since her early years, interprets lacquered silk through sculptures, multimedia installations, fabrics, paintings, and ceramics. As a leader of eco-friendly and sustainable development in the garments industry, her approach intends to promote dialogue among different art and cultural mediums.
This is the first time that a Taiwanese designer has been invited to exhibit at a French heritage museum. Based on the site of a former Art Deco municipal swimming pool, La Piscine – André Diligent Art and Industrial Museum is all about preserving the social heritage of Roubaix, a historic textile production hub in northern France that will serve as a complementary host for Hong's beautiful works.
Read the French-language press release here.
‘Sophie Hong: When Time Turns Mulberry Leaves Into Silk Dresses’
Date: March 14 – May 31, 2020
Venue: La Piscine – André Diligent Art and Industrial Museum
- Tuesdays through Thursdays: 11am – 6pm
- Fridays: 11am – 8pm
- Saturdays through Sundays: 1pm – 6pm
- Closed on Mondays