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The Pickle Bar Presents Xiaowen Zhu's Oriental Silk and Yon Natalie Mik's Performance

For Pickle Bar’s Summer Program, KNOT KNOW explores craft’s potential for building solidarity and queering beliefs across Central Asia and China. Each month, a specific work will be presented at Pickle Bar–a paper cut-out, an ikat, or Muslim Chinese calligraphy–as a gnostic thumbnail, a point of departure for lectures, screenings, podcasts–online as well as in real brine. Crafts offer a tonic to the many jinns of contemporary society: be they cults of personality, secular rage, or ecstatic acceleration. Crafts tend to invest in continuity as a means of re-thinking notions of progress. Innovation is decoupled from individualism, so as to avoid the incessant ruptures, the breaks with the past, the patricides, matricides and transicides of our modern era.

On 31th July, 2021, artist Zhu Xiaowen presented her recently-published book Oriental Silk 鄉綢 (Hatje Cantz. 2020). Both visual and tactile elements corresponding to the narrative, craft, design and language of 'Oriental Silk', a company founded in the 70's in Los Angeles are meant to stimulate wider engagements and intimate discussion on migrations across time and borders. Dancer and writer Yon Natalie Mik presented Silk-Shop-Oriental-Body (2021), a performance about bodies in translation, and a letter to Ken who is the shop owner in Xiaowen Zhu's documentary film Oriental Silk (2015).

Xiaowen Zhu presents Oriental Silk via curated reading, photograph by Rina Nakano

Yon Natalie Mik presents Silk-Shop-Oriental-Body (2021), photograph by Rina Nakano


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