The Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas is pleased to present a focused multi-year exhibition series dedicated to making visible the work of emerging and established Texas-based contemporary Asian women artists. The artists presented in this program focus on contemporary issues both in Texas and abroad, giving voice to complex, humanized stories of identity, place, tradition and modernity.
In her first major exhibition in Dallas, Austin-based artist Beili Liu has created two site-responsive installations, Lure/Dallas and Each and Every/Dallas, in two of the Museum’s galleries, that together touch on the theme of human connection. Through her practice, Liu subjects commonplace materials to unorthodox processes, extrapolating complex cultural narratives around the trauma associated with migration and diaspora.
This exhibition is the inaugural exhibition of the museum’s Texas Asian Women Artists Series.
The Lure Installation Series borrows from the ancient Chinese legend of The Red Thread, which tells that when children are born, invisible red threads connect them to their soul mates. Over the years of their lives they come closer and eventually find each other, overcoming great social divides or physical distances.
The installation makes use of thousands of hand-coiled disks of red thread, each pierced at the center by a single sewing needle, enabling its suspension from the ceiling. A disk may be connected to another, as a pair; and a pair of disks is made from a single thread. Subtle air currents set the red thread coils swaying and turning slowly as the loose strands of thread on the floor drift and become entangled.
Each composition of the series is designed to carefully respond to the given space and its architectural specificities. Unique compositions of the Lure Series have been previously shown in San Francisco; Los Angeles; Buffalo; Shanghai, China; Fiskars, Finland; Kaunas, Lithuania; Munich, Germany; London, UK; Como, Italy, and Kraków, Poland, among others.
Each and Every/Dallas
Each and Every/Dallas is a large-scale site-responsive installation and performance project consisting of hundreds of articles of children’s clothing that have been preserved and quieted by industrial cement. Organized to line the gallery floor, yet poised just inches above the ground, the work occupies a rectilinear space that is expansive and penetrates the building’s structure. Though the garments have been transformed by cement, they maintain the drapes, folds, and materiality familiar to fabric. Above the expanse of clothing, hundreds of lines of cement-dipped thread hang in an organic sequence, occupying the vertical space between the floor and ceiling, guiding the viewer’s eyes upwards, offering a sense of hope.
As an artist, mother, and immigrant, the installation and corresponding performance piece was conceptualized in response to the migrant children crisis and the separation of migrant children from their parents at the southern border of the United States. As the title and work suggest, Each and Every/Dallas calls attention back to the individual experiences of these children and their families, generating space for empathy and understanding.
Each and Every was originally commissioned by MadArt Studio, Seattle.
About the Artist:
Beili Liu is a visual artist who creates material and process-driven, site-responsive installations. Working with commonplace materials and elements such as thread, scissors, paper, stone, fire, and water, Liu manipulates their intrinsic qualities to extrapolate complex cultural narratives. Liu’s work has been exhibited in Asia, Europe, and across the United States. She has held solo exhibitions at venues such as the Ha Gamle Prestegard, Norwegian National Art and Culture Center; Hua Gallery, London, UK; and the Chinese Culture Foundation in San Francisco. Liu has been awarded the 2016 Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant, and named the 2018 Texas State Artist in 3D medium by the Texas State Legislature and the Texas Commission on the Arts. Liu’s work has received support from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Grant (Women and Their Work, 2013) and the National Endowment for the Arts (Museum of Southeast Texas, 2014).
Born in Jilin, China, Liu now lives and works in Austin, Texas. She received her MFA from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is currently a Professor of Art at The University of Texas at Austin.