kllylmrck was invited to be one of the participating artists for the Light to Night Festival 2018 exhibiting within the Asian Civilisations Museum.
Following the theme of the year, Colour Sensations, this piece was initially inspired by the shapes and colours found within the colour wheel, which is symbolic of colour harmony. Noting the geometric shapes and contrasting colours, a walk through the galleries of the museum saw a recurring pattern of these shapes in multiple artefacts. As such, the theme 'tessellation'- very often used through Asian history and culture and thus reflecting the museum- was decided.
To create this 4m x 3m large hanging which framed the lobby of the museum, 63 volunteers were engaged to crochet diamond shapes that could be tessellated to form this 3D cube pattern. While each volunteer was given the same crochet pattern and yarn to work from, the diamonds differed from person to person with their handmade quality. This was reminiscent of how tessellation was done in the past as seen in some of the artefacts in the museum- extra effort has to be put in to match the pieces and tessellate properly, as compared to a machine that can produce identical replications.
The strong, modern lines of this Portal of Patterns artwork in the colonial-style architecture of the building makes it stand out visually, creating a patch in the fabric of reality. As if someone had knocked a hole in a familiar image, this would hopefully make the viewers question- what are the stories that lie behind each artefact? Like each diamond made by a different person has its own story, each artefact comes from one; and just like this stitched up hanging, they contribute to a single piece of history we recognise.
Having such a prominent spot in the lobby, the artwork forms a huge 'portal' which people cross under before entering the galleries. With so much rich history hidden in the galleries, this portal is one that almost makes us feel we have gone through time as we step through it.
The second artwork is one directly facing the main piece- a 6m stretch of fringe spread over the glass door entrance. The volunteers crocheted leaf-shaped modules, that were then stitched up into a round shape. These were then crocheted into a grid-like lattice, forming a tessellated pattern at the top of the fringe. The fringe was then tied to mimic a repeated diamond pattern, quite commonly used in both Chinese and Indian culture. This stretch of colours added on an extra pop of colour to complement the main art piece and deck up the lobby to suit the Colour Sensations theme.
I also gave a 2-hour presentation on the artwork, followed by a workshop open to the public. It was the very first time I tried doing a 'group knitting circle', where participants were literally all tied up in the leftover yarn from the artwork, working together to knit a joint piece! The result was a colourful, huge net, which everyone made together using the simple technique of arm knitting.
This is the first time I have worked with this many volunteers acquired organically through the internet, and I have to say this artwork is theirs as much as mine. I was extremely touched by their passion and enthusiasm, rushing out the pieces and staying for long hours to complete the piece with me. This truly would have been impossible without all the volunteers, and my assistant Carissa. They taught me so much during this period, and is for me, the highlight of this entire project to have had the honour to work with all of them.
Project Assistant: Carissa Leow
Volunteer Co-ordinators: Alice Chiang, Janet Hin, Wendy Kong
Volunteers: Amy Chan, Anandhi Krishnan, Angela Ong, Angeline Lim, Anna Au, Audrey Gan, Bel Loh, Cassandra A .Chew, Catherine Chua, Chan Siu Hung, Chen Xiao Ying, Cheryl Arastal Tan, Chew Wai Yee, Chong Bee Bee, Christie Foo Lee Chin, Claire Soon, Crystal Sng, Daphne Donough, Dayana Zaihan, Deepa Anantharamaiah, Eileen Er, Ervinna Neo, Eve Kawashima, Flordeliza Flores Hafalla, Goh Beng Tin, Grace Quek, Harri Tricker, He Yulan, Idy Ho, Ivy Teo, Janice Sng, Jasmine Angela Lau, Jasmine Wai Yin Lan, Jayanthi Krishnan, Jeanie Chow, Jenise Koo, Jenny Lai Ginn Poh, Jenny Toh, Jezlynn Koo, Joyce Tng, Karen Forbes, Kit Ngoh, Koh Yan Ling, Kristine Ang, Lilian Chang, Lilian Law, Low Bernadette, Mandy Tan, MJ Eckman Morgia, Neo Siew Chin, Ng Siow Chin, Pamela Yu, Pauline Wong, Qian Bei Li, Rosalind Lim, Rohini, Sabrina Lee, Serene Chew, Sheryl Chong, Shirley Seah, Tan Gek Hoon, Tan Gek Li, Thaqifatunnazurah Bte Abdul Aziz, Tilly Murphy, Victoria Koay, Wong Pei Ling, Yeo Lay Choon
This project would also not have been possible without my wonderful sponsor, Shaw Contract. Shaw Industries is the largest carpet fibre manufacturer in the world, and produce their own copyrighted Eco Solution Q Fibres. The resulting yarn is 100% recyclable, making them environmentally sustainable. This recyclable quality itself makes it very suitable for yarnbombing or yarn installation work, which usually results in a lot of trash at the end of the event, and which has personally bothered me a lot. The yarn produced from this nylon fibre can also be dyed in virtually any possible colour, do not fade under rain or sunlight (making them suitable for outdoor installations!), and is superior in tensile strength and durability.