Artist Liang Shaoji talks to TWOC about using the symbolism of silk to lay bare Earth’s evolution
The glass case is lined by dozens of palm-sized miniature beds—but not the warm, supportive kind that invites a good night’s sleep. Rather, twisted together from charred copper coils the artist found in electronic repair shops in the 1990s, these bed frames look rugged and even feverish. Each is entangled with a wild web of silk and, occasionally, a cocoon that serves as both the occupant’s cradle and coffin.
Each bed, a vestige of the life and work of a silkworm, conjures up an image of its beginning: a naked worm squirming on naked wires, a creature very out of place, trying to make sense of the surroundings life has given it.
“Beds/Nature Series No.10” is just one thread that makes up “A Silky Entanglement,” a solo exhibition from interdisciplinary artist Liang Shaoji, curated by Hou Hanru, currently on view at the Power Station of Art in Shanghai. Liang’s work spans a variety of media and formats with one main theme: the life processes of silkworms, whom he calls his “collaborative partners.”
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Life, Entangled: Artist Liang Shaoji on Working with Silkworms (Paywalled) is a story from our issue, “Access Wanted.” To read the entire issue, become a subscriber and receive the full magazine. Alternatively, you can purchase the digital version from the App Store.