Everything about cotton is about cotton | 2018
In the installation, Everything about Cotton is about Cotton, Kang makes use of cotton, which is closely related to our daily life but largely ignored, to unfold the complex layers of the relationship suggested by the title. The photographic work of the cotton fields speaks of the cycle of material resources, labor and unreasonable exploitation in the industry; the album with images and descriptions reveal stories of objects associated with cotton in countless ways; the soft sculpture that simulates cotton plant and cotton plant bugs addresses the power, political and economic history about cotton. Moreover, Kang also folded Indian bank notes into cotton plant bugs to discuss the relationship between natural plants and pests as a metaphor that hints at the historical view suggested by the material. Therefore, this work not only displays the archive and documents about cotton from past centuries, but also manifests the warmth of and imagination about the material unfolded by the artist. In short, Kang has used cotton to pursue the nature of life and all beings as well as the value of labor.
Cartilage | 2018
“Cartilage” is an installation of textile sculptures expressing links between individuals and society, and between past and current forms of communication. In physical bodies, cartilage has a supporting and connecting function. In this work, cartilage has a transforming and relating meaning. In this project, Kang used textiles to explore how cultures evolve and share over time. “Cartilage” poses questions about the relationship between apparent opposites such as organic-inorganic, soft-hard, words-images, and life-death. In the past, textiles served as tools for recording stories and information. In this site-specific installation, the leftover leather scraps are the metaphor of the water which is never sitting still and connecting countries and places, life and death, people and environment, past and present. There is about 70% of the Earth’s surface is water-covered, and the oceans hold about 96.5% of all Earth’s water which connecting Taiwan and Portugal, linking the processes of urbanization and industrialization, and the family or community as the fundamental unit of society. The sculpture forms are from the leftover soap by the communal laundry wash tanks. Those shape are unexpected and organic, and having recording of people’s life and time. They are the archaeological objects from our modern life which represents the life, time, industry, trade, faith, influx, immigration and modernization. It welcomes the conversation about the history of Guimarães and how can art and culture bring for the future.
Dirt Carpet #3 | 2017
Being an outsider, I observe the life of people and the things surrounding us, and find the connection between public society and personal experience. It’s easy to find the geometry patterns everywhere especially on the doors, windows, tiles and carpets. The installation used the dirt materials from outside of the building that is under construction, and transforms the patterns from Kang’s culture research in Istanbul’s architectures and Kilim carpets that have their own particular meaning related to mysticism and astrology. Audiences were invited to walk on the dirt carpet installation area thereby altering the order in the patterns by shifting around the dirt with their steps. These process embracing accidents, accretions of surface and detail with time that represents the constantly and irregularly changing. It represents my respect of the life cycle in various ways.
Note: The text above was written by the Artist. No modification was made by C.O.C.A.
Ya-chu Kang is a Taipei-based artist. Her work explores issues of identity, the relationship between human and natural and the social environment through mix-media sculpture and site-specific installation. Kang debuted her art and research base on her travel and residency experience that were related to the local textile cultural history and contemporary social behavioral appearance. The themes often reflect of boundary that relate to life and death, yin and yang, known and unknown, artificial and natural. Described as “simulation objects” the work eliminates the boundary between usable items and sculpture — the functional and the aesthetic. She works in a practical manner and practical working progressing reactions to exteriors often articulated through process.