Laos Installation, Details, 2014

These images show the installation of the piece, Naga #2, at the Embassy of Laos in Vientiane, going down the wall from left to right. The textiles are all Lao from different regions of the country. They were gathered at markets and from mills on my visits there.

Many of the small pieces of woven cloth are often incorporated into clothing as borders on skirts or jackets. Some of the large tapestries are used as hangings.  The horizontal center blue & Tai Daeng weave tapestry is an antique.

The black “line” is velvet cording, weaving in and out of the spaces between the tapestries. In some places, examples of the silk thread used in weaving the tapestries were stretched out to intertwine with the materials laid out on the wall. I used two thousand brass nails to mount the cording as well as the tapestries. At one point in the middle of the installation, I believed that I was going to run out of nails. So I decided to use the velvet in broad strokes taking it straight across the materials on the wall instead of curving it over or around the tapestries. To some, this falsely appeared as though I was holding up the tapestries when, in fact, it was a pragmatic decision to save the number of nails that I had left. The straight “lines” complement the angularity of the Lao designs; the textile version of the Naga is an example.  

The title, Naga, is the name of the mythical dragon-like creature that protects the country. It lives in the Mekong River. Laos is not the only country which reveres the Naga.

These pictures are the only ones that were taken of the piece. I took them when I finished installing it. I take great risk in publishing them here.

 

Naga detail 1

Naga detail 2

Naga detail 3

Naga detail 4

Naga detail 5

Naga detail 6

Naga detail 7

Naga detail 8

 

Naga detail 9
This shows a wedding collar posed in a V-shape. For me, this positioning signified the marriage of the two cultures, that of Laos and the United States, with me as the filter for the latter.

 

Naga detail 10

Naga detail 11

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