Chinese-born artist Beili Liu received the Austin (Texas) Critis’ Table Award 2010-2011, Outstanding Installation last June for ‘The Mending Project’, a performance art and installation project consisting of hundreds of Chinese scissors suspended from the ceiling in a shimmery but dangerous cloud.
The piece involved the artist sitting in front of a small black table, hand-mending patches of fabric together which visitors are encouraged to cut themselves near the entrance. As the performance continues, the piece grows as one continuous cloth lying spread on the floor.
Overhead, the hovering mass of the downward-pointed scissors represents the distant fear and looming violence present in today’s cultural climate. The sharp blades above the artist contrast with the silent and simple act of mending. The conflicting reality of fear and danger contrast with the calming effect of the sewing, creating a surreal atmosphere in the room.
Images by Don Mason