VI. Exhibition

The first iteration of the Silk Poems exhibition at MASS MoCA included three elements—the nanoimprinted poem viewed through a microscope, a draft of the Silk Poems manuscript and Charlotte Lagarde’s film.

When first entering the Fung Ping Shan gallery, visitors were greeted by a projection of bilingual selections from the book and a silkscreened strand of the poem which was made during a Rauschenberg Residency. Due to the HKU campus shut down, the official opening for the exhibition was combined with Ms Bervin’s Poetry Nights reading at the Jao Tsung-I Academy in Kowloon. Over the week of the festival, many of the festival participants took part in guided tours of the exhibition.

Bilingual selections of Silk Poems projected onto a UMAG column
Translators Jennifer Feeley and Andrea Lingenfelter taking a break from the Poetry Nights festival to watch Charlotte Lagarde’s film
Digital language artist and theorist John Cayley reading a copy of Silk Poems

The vitrine to the left of the microscope showcases the Granary Books special edition of Silk Poems, titled 7S (Seven Silks), a boxed edition of 100 that elaborates upon the research and writings that informed the exhibition.

Custom enclosure for Granary Books special edition of 7S (Seven Silks)
Glass jar with Bombyx Mori silk cocoon and vials with silk skein, silk scroll and liquid silk from 7S (Seven Silks)
Silk Poems strand and silk cocoon image printed on silk

The vitrine to the right of the microscope contains reference materials developed throughout the artist’s research process and printed fragments from notes she used to draft the poem.

Vitrine with preparatory materials, including liquefied silk prototypes, notebooks, and altered stones from an artist’s residency in Liguria
Liquified silk film prototypes from Tufts University’s Silk Lab; nanofabrication prototypes from Stanford University
Manuscript materials and stones altered by the artist

A number of related public events were developed for the exhibition space. One of the most popular was a series of weekend drawing courses led by artist Philippe Charmes. Participants worked from specimens on loan from a collection managed by Dr Benoit Guénard in the HKU School of Biological Sciences.

US Consulate cultural staff Adeline Fung and Sarina Yuen with Charlotte Lagarde and Jen Bervin at Poetry Nights
Four Qing era silk works were selected from the permanent collection. These both complemented the exhibition and acted as a bridge to an upcoming show curated by UMAG researcher Kikki Lam on woven silk textiles.
Drawing class with artist Philippe Charmes