The work is a component of Nature series that the artist has been making for 25 years. In the past 25 years, the artist takes life and time as his core concepts, taking the life span of silkworms as the art medium to explore intersections between art and biology, between sculpture, installation and performance. In this work, the artist peels away flimsy sheets of silk from a round-shape silkworm foil (specially made by the artist), on which silkworms repetitively spin their cocoons before changing into pupae. The artist treats these round-shape silk sheets as readymade, and hung them up on walls as independent artworks.
Foil originally means a bamboo curtain. The silkworm foil refers to a breeding container made of bamboo or reeds. It is the living place for silkworm’s whole life cycle from worms to spinning cocoon, turning into pupae, and becoming moths. The silk spun onto the foil is usually thrown out because of the lack of commercial value due to its fragile texture and poor quality. In this work, the artist reuses the “useless” silk sheets to make them as an “empty” container, and they become a material expression for practical uselessness. At first sight, the artist takes a readymade approach in this work, but actually, through observations and research on the living habits of the silkworms, the artist construct a form for the “alive” silk, as these silk sheets represent the very moments that silkworms turns from active to inactive states. This work, therefore, is the artist’s experimentation to represent a temporal happening in a spatial form.
The accumulations of silk threads are a biological representation of the life sculpting process. The sheer silk delivers the warmth of a “living” sculpture, in a minimum formal expression.