A piece of ordinary fabric may not stand against the test of time, but it is often interwoven with everlasting memories, containing stories that cross generations. The winter exhibition in CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile), Yin Xiuzhen: Sky Patch, explores the idea and the very action of patching and repairing one’s relationship with their surroundings and the various communities to which they belong through the common thread of textile.
The exhibition sees the world-premiere of two new video works of Yin Xiuzhen. Commissioned by CHAT, the two videos, titled Sky Patch (2020) and Rebel (2020), trace her family history as she delves into her mother’s past as a textile factory worker and the growth of her own daughter respectively. The two videos present fragmented snippets of the family’s daily lives, shedding light on the role industrialisation has played in family estrangement and intergenerational communication between mother and daughter. Along with the video installations, the reconfigured gallery space turned memory bank also showcases a diverse set of sewing machines, visitors are invited to reflect on the intricate linkages stretching from oneself to their families and their socio-economic environment.
Yin Xiuzhen, Factory Floor, 2020 (Detail)
尹秀珍擅長跨媒介創作，她透過收集舊物探討集體記憶，反思在整個中國工業發展過程中，社會結構重組與個人生活帶來的巨變。尹秀珍的藝術創作與紡織淵源甚深，從這一主題延伸到各種收集而來的材料，包括以丙烯酸、鋼和玻璃創作的《小宇宙》（2016）和《黑洞系列4號》（2019），亦以其他各式物件如放大鏡、行李箱和地圖等創作的《可攜帶城市》系列（2001 – 至今）。
Known for her agile cross-medium practice, Yin Xiuzhen is committed to her ongoing exploration of collective memories manifested in collected materials. Embodying both personal experiences and sentimental contemplation on the monumental impact China’s industrial development has had on the country’s social fabric and the lives of its people, Yin’s work is deeply rooted in textile, and yet extend from this subject matter to incorporate collected materials including acrylic, steel and glass for Microcosm (2016) and Black Hole No. 4 (2019), while playing around with objects such as magnifying glass, suitcases, and maps for Portable City series (2001 – ongoing).
Visitors can also find Dress Box photo series (1995), exhibited for the first time. This set of 32 still images is displayed uniformly on the gallery wall and is to be read alongside personal descriptions written by Yin. Captured within the frames are clothing items once worn by Yin which are neatly folded and stitched shut, each becoming a series of mementos of the artist’s early years – a time where clothes were rationed objects and difficult to come by.
Yin Xiuzhen, My Clothes, 1995
With the idea of CHAT as a former textile manufacturing plant, Yin personally redesigns CHAT’s gallery space to explore the motif of intergenerational divide and collective memories derived from various socio-economic backgrounds. Yin’s spatial reconfiguration challenges the conventional approach of visiting CHAT’s gallery space. The whole space is reimagined and restructured to seamlessly integrate the elements of Hong Kong’s textile industrial history at The D. H. Chen Foundation Gallery into the seasonal exhibition Yin Xiuzhen: Sky Patch as part of the visiting experience.
‘Fracture and suture, opposition and integration—antithetical motifs and concepts are placed at the centre of Yin Xiuzhen: Sky Patch. Yin’s art often revolves around the use of found objects that have been marked with personal traces. Through the processes of collaging and rearranging, these old objects are reconstructed to reveal codependent or contradicting memories and experiences, both personal and communal, thus reflecting on the individual condition in our fast-changing political, social and natural environments. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Yin offers a sense of poetry and humour in her works, denoting a heartwarming wish to the visitors despite the perpetual struggles and conflicts,’ said Weiwei Wang, CHAT’s Curator, Exhibitions & Collections.
「尹秀珍：補天」Yin Xiuzhen: Sky Patch
Date: 2020.10.31 – 2021.02.28
Time: Monday, Wednesday to Sunday 11:00 – 19:00
CHAT, The Mills, 45 Pak Tin Par Street, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong
Photos courtesy to the artist and CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile), Hong Kong