Fiber, metal, clay and wood are the earliest kinds of materials people utilize in daily ware, and they are extremely important in the life of human beings. There are many types of fibers and traditional skills developed or evolved in different places and cultures. In Taiwan, we used to define craft making by skills so fiber crafts are often differentiated as “dyeing crafts” and “weaving crafts”; however, craft making skills are constantly innovated and technology helps to develop more varieties of materials. As a result, craft making is now re-defined by the types of materials. The fiber craft refers to all kinds of skills which use fiber as the only mean of presenting.
The exhibition “The Horizon of Fiberland: A Journey of Fiber Crafts across East Asia” invites 15 studios which dedicate to fiber craft making. Most of the studio are from Taiwan and some are from Japan and Korea. Some artists live in the wild and learn from nature, and their crafts try to present the trueness of nature through specific fibers, skills and lifestyle. Some artists try to make bridges between residents and culture/history, and their works try to express the trueness of conservation through traditional and innovational skills. A particular group of artists attempt to mix & match different fibers and skills, and their works have shown the trueness of purity through experiences. Some famous artists use their influence to call for more participants into fiber craft making; these masters have practiced fiber craft making in real living and set up true examples for others. The exhibit will introduce the spirit and vision of these artists through 4 parts of the discovery journey.
To emphasize the bond between people and lands, the artists try to connect human beings with nature through environmental, organic and natural botanical fibers; they attempt to use fiber craft making to revive the beauty of nature. Taiwan Organic Cotton Innovation Technology Co., Ltd is devoted to organic cotton planting, and brings back the prosperity of cotton-planting history in Taiwan. Association of Xinpu-Dyeing Culture in Hsinchu County uses a particular persimmon dyeing skill to create the unique colors of sun and earth. LALABAN Xinshe Banana Fiber Workshop brings back the banana fiber weaving from Kavalan culture. Maslinagan Studio builds an ecological garden of Beautiful Galangal and makes every possible use of it.
Tradition and heritage are essential to craft making. Kurotani Washi Cooperative Association (Kyoto, Japan) and Goang Xing Paper Mill insist on traditional methods to produce paper and have developed new application. Kaludasan Creative Life Workshop starts with its family weaving and continues to create new inspirations in order to pass on heritage culture. Xiang-Hua Shi uses her childhood experience of making fragrant sachets to create new one. Qiao Xin Three-dimensional Embroidery Workshop has developed a unique three-dimensional embroidery with twined flower skills. These artists learn from tradition and add new ideas and inspiration into their crafts; meanwhile, their hand-made crafts are going on with the legacy.
Practice the aesthetics of craft making in daily life. ViiN Collection (Seoul, Korea) has applied traditional patches to bags and cloth bundles which are shown a unique modern Korean style. Ms. Ling-Liang Jian and Ms. Qiong-Zhu Feng study natural dyeing, waving and fiber variety, and they hold classes in Taiwan in order to carry on the art of fiber crafts. Green Wool Felt & Textiles Studio has made special dyeing creation with its skills and ideas. Cotton Workshop shows the aesthetics of Taiwan east coast, and tries to build a connection between weaving crafts and domestic tribes. These female artists with different personalities and life experiences share the same faith of ego-ideal searching. In the endless path of creation, these artists get in touch of fibers, understand fibers and try to utilize the most of fibers; they have set up a goal through education and collective creation.
Words can never be enough to describe the upmost skills and the beauty of essence. Fukumi Shimura and Yoko Shimura, the mother-and-daughter artists from Kyoto Japan, make classic kimonos with kinds of natural dyes. Hyo-Jung Kim from Hansan Korea has applied ramie to types of weavings. In the process of lines and colors, these master artists have made examples for young craftsmen.