Silk Fish: Swimming in the Air

A solo exhibition of textile sculptures, and silk scroll paintings. A sweet dream from the East.


FEBRUARY 8 – 19, 2022


Ruth Upjohn Gallery

*COVID-19: Public access to the gallery is guided by government regulation and protocols. All visitors must be fully vaccinated.

View Tai’s bio and portfolio

A tribute to my Grandmother and Mother Silk Fish And silk Scroll Paintings. A small bell called a 풍경. “Pungkyung” – hangs under the eaves in a Korean Zen Buddhist temple. Under the bell is a fish-shaped ornament, seeing these as a child when I visited the Zen temple with my grandmother. It contains the Buddhist teachings to stay awake like the fish that never sleeps, eyes perpetually open. My grandmother, all of her life, she wore only traditional Korean garment, the Hanbok, Silk in winter, linen in summer, Cotton in spring and autumn. Growing up, grandmother’s hands ever present. I can smell grandmother’s silk skirt, its’ touch, and the sound of silk skirt as she moves. I am delighted by the memory.

I’ve been drawing ever since I was young. I started painting with oil with the help of mom ( my mother). From a young age, I loved making things with my hands. Sewing, I learned from grandmother who knew how to make her own garments. Freehand knitting and crocheting was taught to me by mother. Both of my mother and grandmother were women of excellent craftsmanship, there was nothing that they could not make with their hand-knitting rolls.

The Fish is made of silk, free hand-crocheted copper wire were used to make the skeletal structure of the Fish’s fins and Beads are threaded through the copper wire to complete the fin’s form. The fish is hung where it receives good light, beautiful fish swimming in the air. I hope that it will become a place to rest the eyes, refreshing the day, refreshing the heart. Way of making frame.

The custom of scroll painting is to put the painting first and then attach silk and outer paper to it. When I am painting silk scroll, I draw the Western painting technique directly on the paper, As if performing Happening. I was born in the East and moved to the West to live. I borrowed the familiar oriental frame method I saw as a child, it’s kind of a twist. I place the empty scrolls on the easel and drew on them in one breath, after good contemplation. Hope you all enjoy this “Dialog” series. My art has many different and wide arranging methods I also perform many different forms of art, however, the theme is the same. One heart at the centre is the root of culture. Taking care of roots leads to blooming many flowers. May all of them bloom with one’s own face, and faith