1500 Scissors Shockingly Suspended from the Ceiling By Beili Liu
The Mending Project by Beili Liu. is a threatening art installation that gives an everyday object like scissors a profound, historical meaning. Sat underneath 1,500 pointy, sharp scissors, the artist creates a dangerous environment to explore the tradition of sewing and cutting in matriarchal China.
This mesmerizing piece presents Liu seated in a quiet room, where she is sewing white pieces of cloth handed to her by viewers. She has the task of putting the fabric together while being placed in a precarious position under thousands of blades. The relationship between femininity and danger is also interesting in this project. The artist explains, “I grew up in China. These traditional scissors are used in each household. There is a warm familiarity about them…they are women’s tools, just like sewing is, traditionally, a woman’s task in domestic life.” The Mending Project by Beili Liu is dedicated to women and the power they have to mend things and bring families together, even if their rights and safety are at constant risk.
“Conceptually, I am interested in harnessing the threatening essence of these razor sharp scissors. They are not ‘polite’ like the ones we are used to. You can use them to cut or stab. Also, in Chinese culture, scissors should never be positioned pointing at anyone, for it will bring ill fortune. They can be sharpened when needed and last a lifetime. On the other hand, they are women’s tools, just like sewing is, traditionally, a woman’s task in domestic life. I am interested in investigating the power of the humble action of ‘mending,’ as a woman artist.”