Imagine walking into a silent room where a woman is mending. Now imagine that she’s sitting underneath 1,500 pairs of sharp Chinese scissors that are suspended from the ceiling, precariously pointed downwards. This was the idea behind The Mending Project by Beili Liu.
In this ambitious, large-scale installation that was shown this past spring at the Women and Their Work Gallery in Austin Texas, Liu created an atmosphere of beauty and danger. She immersed her viewers in an environment that suggested fear and looming violence. Amazingly, Liu herself sat beneath the sharp blades. As each visitor entered the space, they were asked to cut off a piece of white cloth which hung near the entrance, and offer it to her. The mended fabric grows in size throughout the duration of the performance, taking over the floor.