Featured Tapestries

Kong Fu - our dream 1

This tapestry is a commission for Deakin University. Song Ling was an obvious choice of artist as his youthful, graphic style of work lends itself perfectly to the University environment. The artistwas born in Hangzhou, China in 1961, and he was part of the new wave of Chinese artists that started to blossom in China from the mid 1980’s. Hearrived in Australia in 1988 and has been a finalist for theBlake Prize for Religious Art and theArchibald Prize.

The artwork for this tapestry has a graphic style, and is inspired by Japanese animation and Manga comics.Song Ling manipulates his chosen imagery using a computer to deconstruct, exaggerate and intensify the elements or layers he is working with. He uses printouts of these manipulated images as his template, and then hand traces these onto his canvases. While from a distance his paintings look like computer generated prints, when the viewer moves closer, the hand of the artist is clearly visible on the canvas surface.

This tapestry is not quite as straightforward as it may appear. The challenge for the weavers was in getting as close as possible tonal match to the art work. The weavers used a silver Lurex thread for the silver grey towards the top of the image. Circles can be very difficult for the weavers to get perfect as steps are generated along the horizontal axis.

The artist was curious to see how his work would translate to the larger scale. During his visit to the Workshop he decided the yellow used in the samples for the background was too strong and came forward too much, dominating the other colours. After discussions, a lighter, greener yellow was chosen, to sit into the background. He also pointed out on his visit to the Workshop that the Chinese characters are not an exact translation of the English text. The Chinese text translates to “Come on...”, but Song Ling decided that “I’m ready!” was a stronger comparative translation.