Knitting the Future, 2015, 2016
Performance with knitting needles and leeks
Collection of the Artist
In this durational performance piece, the artist slowly knits a body-length garment out of leeks over five weeks. Chia is of ethnic Teochew Chinese background, and the leek holds significance for the Chinese diaspora. During the Lunar New Year, it is a tradition to eat leeks, garlic greens or scallions, which are known generically as suan (蒜). As this word is homophonous with the verb ‘to count’ (算), an old adage goes, ‘If one ate leek, there would be money to keep’. The artist is also concerned about environmental issues; as she remarks, “This performance produces a suit to protect the body from an unknown future.” The human body is “land that needs to be taken care of.” By protecting the body, she is protecting the land through this performance. Knitting the Future recalls older rituals of food preparation and suggests that perhaps our future lies in our past.
Production supported by: Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts