Friday, August 9, 2013

BEAUTY: Performance Art--Beili Liu

Chinese-born artist Beili Liu is just incredible. She works with unconventional materials like thread, water, salt, carbon, bread, and burning charcoal.

For her performance piece The Mending Project, she had gallery visitors cut off strips of cloth so she could sew them back together, working under hundreds of suspended Chinese scissors.

From her website:
"The installation consists of hundreds of Chinese scissors suspended from the ceiling, pointing downwards. The hovering, massive cloud of scissors alludes to distant fear, looming violence and worrisome uncertainty. The performer sits beneath the countless sharp blades of the scissors, and performs an on-going simple task of mending.

The overwhelming situation presented in The Mending Project is balanced and softened by the silent persistence of a simple mending action. The large quantity and intense force of the scissors elevate the confrontation between the objects and the performer. The installation/performance evokes urgency, concern, and fear, while simultaneously influence viewers through the calming and healing aura of the mending action.

As each visitor enters the space, one is asked to cut off a piece of the white cloth hung near the entrance, and offer the cut section to the performer. She then continuously sews the cut pieces onto the previous ones. The mended fabric grows in size throughout the duration of the performance, and takes over the vast area of the floor beneath the scissors."

The amazing piece alludes to the role of women not only in Chinese culture but in the world, the Sisyphean tasks of slave labor in Asia and elsewhere, and the strength and perseverance of those in such situations.

Liu now lives and works in Texas. Visit her website to see some truly remarkable installations.

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