The Cultivation Series. Hand built porcelain and bread, NYC 2016
The Cultivation Series. NYC 2016
This project started with the idea of combining two materials – one representing a firm structure (as seen in society or nature) and one forced to adjust itself according to that structure – forming a coherent whole.
I ended up combining porcelain, a material I know well, with bread. Bread dough is in many ways similar to clay, but the final products, bread and ceramic, can be viewed as semiotic opposites. I made hand built structures in porcelain, into which I baked bread. The rising dough must conform to the rigid porcelain, and the organic element of yeast adds an unpredictable and living contrast to the sterile ceramic. I let the materials evolve together to form sculptures where both have an equal importance for the final shape.
Qixi bridge from Kumla Prison. Venice Biennale 2015
Qixi bridge from Kumla Prison. Embroidery assemblage and drawing. Made during the Swatch Faces Show at the Venice Biennale 2015.
The depicted buildings in this work is Kumla Prison, a high security prison in Sweden, where Cecilia has been making art in collaboration with the inmates for many years.
There are often big flocks of birds resting at the roofs at the prison. The artwork is based on a photo of these birds flying off the roof, reminding of a bridge to the sky. As referred to in the title, there is a bridge made of birds in an old Chinese tale: The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd. It is a love story between Zhinü (織女; the weaver girl, symbolizing Vega) and Niulang (牛郎; the cowherd, symbolizing Altair). Their love was not allowed by the gods, so they were banished to opposite sides of the Silver River (symbolizing the Milky Way). But once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day.
There are many variations of the story. The earliest-known reference to this famous myth dates back to over 2600 years ago, which was told in a poem from the Classic of Poetry. The tale of The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd has been celebrated in the Qixi Festival in China (also called the Chinese Valentine´s day) since the Han dynasty, in the Tanabata festival in Japan, and in the Chilseok festival in Korea.
Zhinü´s sisters. China 2014-2015
The Zhinü´s sisters series consists of four hand knotted silk carpets. Each carpet portraits the person who made that carpet. The colors are referring to the portrait of Mao on the Chinese 100 yan bill. The title is referring to the Han dynasty love story: ”The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd”. The couple in the story is celebrated each year during the Chinese Valentine´s day The Qixi Festival or The Magpie festival.
The project started 2014 while I was at the Swatch Art Peace Residency. I had earlier worked in Jingdezhen with the project I call ”identiteth” in which I worked with porcelain and incorporated Chinese porcelain workers identity in my works. My idea was to do something similar in Shanghai but in an other material significant for China: silk.
I made a couple of different projects, but I think the Zhinu series is the most interesting. The women portrayed on the carpets are the actual women who made the carpets, by hand, knot by knot, for six months. The colors of the carpets are pink and a warm white as a reference to the 100yan bill in china. I want the impression of the women to be that they are confident, competent, unique human beings. The name of the series refers to an old Chinese fairy tale: The weaver girl and the cowherd.
But the project is not over yet.
My idea is that whenever I sell one of these carpets, I will contact the woman who is portrayed on that specific carpet and give her a list of international charity organizations. I will ask her to chose one organization and then the profit from the sold carpet will go to that organization (they have all got payed for making the carpets, so I am not giving away their money)
So, the buyer has to choose which woman will have the opportunity to donate money. The woman has to choose which organization will get the money.
I hope that this project will provide a feeling of being connected and important. My belief is that we are all connected and important, we just seem to forget it sometimes.
Nine Suns LTD Shanghai 2014
Nine suns LTD. Carpet, embroidery with silk thread, assemblage with Chinese newspapers, charcoal, white crayon, W 5meters, H 2 meters.
The title is referring to an old Chinese folktale: ”Hou Yi and the ten suns” a tale about how the world almost got destroyed by the heat from ten suns. This is an image of the western world: a tired old white man
Jinmai series. China 2014. Installation view Gallery Art Labor Shanghai. Prints on silk chiffon
Jinmai series. Prints on silk chiffon scarves. Shanghai 2014
A collaboration with the staff at Jinmai.
I took photos of the staff working in the printing facility at Jinmai in Suzhou and then hired them to print the images of themselves on silk chiffon scarves.
Identiteeth series Jingdezhen China 2011
Identiteeth consists of two parts. The first is a series of lidded bowls, designed and made by me, with casts of Chinese craftsmen’s teeth as part of the design. The second part consists of traditional Chinese sculptures. I processed the sculptures and added castings of my own teeth.
Arm. Foam, 5 meters. Nora Sweden Exhibition ”Himmelsvitt”