Floating Object

Floating Object

Salad bowl, thread



Floating Object

YEAR: 2001-2008

MATERIAL: Salad bowl, thread

SIZE: 17.8×17.8×12.7cm

This work represents a space extended from flat shapes (thus embodying the spirit of wind). It connotes the Buddhist concept of “Samsara,” a continuum of continual transmigration and transfiguration. It suggests, by employing the different language of a moving object in space, the idea of working in empty space and resting on a solid surface. Reflecting that “motion” and “stillness,” in a certain sense, can only be felt objectively and relatively, it reveals a simple physical principle that when threads enter a new space from another, they encounter new tensions of push and pull and thus react.


A thread, when moving from a surface into empty space, can change its character entirely. On the surface of the bowl, it is part of the flat embroidery, but as it traverses the inner space of the bowl, it becomes part of a three-dimensional sculpture. By the same token, if the right conditions exist, an object can be transformed in a different space. But the object may revert to its initial state when it is returned to its original space, just as the thread once again becomes part of the two-dimensional embroidery when it reaches the other side of the bowl.


The Chinese saying “seemingly so but actually not” comes to mind. The ancient Chinese philosopher Zhuang Zi (Chuang Tzu) once dreamed he was a butterfly but wondered if he was a butterfly, dreaming of being a man. In the illusive world of dreams, he was a butterfly, but in his own extant world, he was still Zhuang Zi. The extant and the illusive, in my view, are but two sides of one realm. As in the dualistic “Yin and Yang” Chinese philosophy, Yin and Yang together form the greater Whole.