'Oriental Silk 鄉綢' Digital Book Launch
May 19, 2021
19:00 - 20:30 CET
Hosted by the ifa gallery Berlin
Co-hosted by Hatje Cantz Verlag
Published by Hatje Cantz in 2020, Xiaowen Zhu's English-Chinese bilingual artist book 'Oriental Silk 鄉綢' is a memoir, a biography, a company history, and a visual elegy. The Oriental Silk Emporium, founded by Kenneth Wong's family in Los Angeles in the early 1970s, has become a productive place to reflect on the astonishing histories of Asian migration and to critique the idea of the American Dream. Through her multi-sensory works, Zhu opens up a multifaceted view of a firm that is distinguished, like its silk products, through its own haptics, style, colors, and values. The people, places, and stories that make up the phenomenon of Oriental Silk form a fascinating, vivid tapestry in which the past and present, art and life, are closely interwoven.
The digital book launch will embody four conceptual elements, derived from 'Oriental Silk' – threads, texture, translation, and tactility. Each of these elements corresponds to the non-linear narrative structure, design, and aesthetic exploration, language, and translation, as well as a new collaborative performance artwork associated with the project. Through conversations and exchange, the story of 'Oriental Silk' and its rich context are meant to stimulate wider engagements and open discussions that link people and places – and provide purpose – across time and borders.
Xiaowen Zhu (Artist and Author)
Nicky Harman (Translator)
Michael Mason (Designer)
Yon Natalie Mik (Performance Artist)