Never do I fail missing the native soil in the past, where pure sincerity exists.
This is an experience on creating the space for Chinese folk arts and crafts, a “weaving” activity originated from Chinese soil, and an organic visual form similar to growing of things. Look back again to grass-roots handicrafts in Chinese folk society in a bygone age, and wonder if we can seek for natural dialogue and blending with advanced modern space to re-embrace those handicrafts that sparkle humanistic instinct on the ground of modern space in China. In the past folk life of China, “weaving” was a common household handicraft offering a large number of assortments, neither made by skilled craftsmen, particularly in the light of its origin in the rural underclass, nor seen so exquisite as the “weaving” objects by craftsmen for the wealth, but absolutely out of the basic need for survival, or “instinct”. In the soil full of natural materials, they found what they needed for living, or “livelihood” even seriously. All they wanted were attained by their unskillful hands. It is unwise, and rather of little importance in the eyes of skilled craftsmen, but the only choice for the people haunted by impoverished life. The “weaving” was instinctive creature and all was like that. Their handicrafts are not delicate due to the very “instinct” but appealing for their sincerity and even strikingly moving, poor enough though, but with highly emotional intensity and practical functions. If, from the perspective of art, controllable but uncontrolled “sincerity”, arising from the making process of these seemingly unattractive objects for lack of skills and proficiency, is the most precious “element” in making artistic work. This space is where we can explore such an experience.
Try to avoid the interference by a perfect plan. At workshop thence creation instantaneously brings a perceptual experience. A group of unskilled workers are mobilized to “weave” such a spatial form with most native approach and unremitting efforts, all from their memory of “weaving” handicraft as they did on their native soil. The exquisite form is also freely figured out by these people, who should be actively encouraged to become bold in making the “weaving” objects that stay in their memory of their past, in spite of misgivings. Like a director’s instruction on playing the role, these temporary workers are propelled to find their own inspiration, with a continual drive only by words such as “you can” and “you can get it done”.
Finally, the space now is exhibited before us. I have no idea how to make an accurate expression to all that is completely created by every craftsman in the face of the space-making. What I merely did for the space was to gather the workers without special ability, devote myself to the work and put their roles into good use, giving them natural power to be aroused souls dancing wildly as everything on earth grows. Nobody has the ability to control what it could be whilst a profile, a high and huge space and a complex main architectural structure were instantly produced on spot at the beginning. In the light of functional demands, they were “weaved” like bacteria and mould sticking on the surface of such a structure from which both the origin and present condition are visible. As things growing relying on the soil, so is the space. If you look for a mountain, there it is. It looks like anything you are looking for. If I am asked, one thing I can tell is that it’s gazing at the native soil of China, and looking back to things much about the state of true feeling, life, nature, and largely concerning the era we live in, as well as our reflection on and inspection of this industry today. Just as Su Dongpo said, “Many movements rise from static, myriad visions rise from the void”.