BOWIE LEE

Warp and Weft – You were there

Location: (22.2856798, 114.1474165)

 

 

Warp and weft in textiles weaving are the essential components for constructing a fabric. They perform as grids, as well as a system for creating surfaces. They are imagined boundaries that invisibly sit within the hollow space on a loom, rhetorically postulate the movements of weavers, and pragmatically establish industrial efficiency in human history. 

 

Longitude and latitude on maps are the coordinates system to indicate positions or locations of any place on Earth - the system on a plane that traces our existence and movements with a graphical interpretation called the x- and y-axis. The grid is the geometry of spaces contained by the x- and y-axis. There are numeric digits that project rational measurements on the symbolic map, acting as a device to translate spaces for human perception. 

 

In Chinese, the characters for “warp” and “weft”  經緯, share the same meaning as “longitude” and “latitude “since ancient times. In ‘Shuowen Jiezi’, the ancient Chinese dictionary from the Eastern Han dynasty (25–220 AD), philosopher Xu Shen(30-124AD) explained that the warp represents the vertical silk in stillness, while the weft represents the horizontal silk on the move. (從絲為經,衡絲為緯,凡織,經靜而緯動。) In ‘Discourses of Zhou III’, the collected text of speeches attributed to rulers and other men from the Spring and Autumn period (771-476 BC), longitude represents the sky whereas latitude represents the ground, our Earth’s surface. (天六地五,數之常也。〈天有六氣,謂陰、陽、風、雨、晦、明也。地有五行,金、木、水、火、土也。〉經之以天,緯之以地。〈以天之六氣為經,以地之五行為緯,而成之也。〉經緯不爽,文之象也。)

 

In English, the word "surface" derives from "sur-" and "face" in French from the 1610s. Beyond the superficiality of our knowledge about the world we are situated in, this surface is a piece of fabric, simultaneously being woven and tangled by uncountable threads. To define "sur-" as "above, the outermost and the uppermost layer, what is above our faces? How do we perceive our existence in the "surface" we live in?

 

The connection between our movements and the world has become even more complicated on the post-Anthropocene Earth - our smartphone photography, the information that is perceived, coded and decoded, transmitted and interpreted, alongside with our locations as part of the database of "our world", are making the subject if movements an aggregated geography in the contemporary society.

 

This exhibition is to navigate the tactile, the textiles, and the applied embodied in a contained space. 

Distance
Distance
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Pale Blue Dot
Pale Blue Dot
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Gridiron
Gridiron
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 519716BowieMA3-Distance-2.jpg

Weft, 2021          video, duration 04.35

You were there
You were there
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Sur-(above) face
Sur-(above) face
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Longitude and Latitude
Longitude and Latitude
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 519716BowieMA3-Distance_between_the gri

Warp, 2021          video, duration 03.41

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