I just sent this piece out to be in a show in Massachusetts. Included with the piece is an invitation for the book to be handled and for the viewers to take a piece of it with them. As you might suspect, there’s a bit of a condition.
I’ve been making models of this folder of expandable boxes, known as Zhen Xian Bao, for quite some time. I’ve been so busy deciphering the structure and creating designs for the papers that I make them out of that I haven’t thought too much about what to put into these boxes, which. traditionally, were used to store thread.
Here’s the chronology of thought then. First structure, then embellishment, now content. Finally I’m ready to think about content, now that I am satisfied with some of the solutions to my first and second considerations.
Here’s what I’ve put in the boxes:
There’s about 64 paper tiles stored in the various boxes of this structure. Each tile is threaded with a loop. The back of each tile has words or phrases that I repeat to myself, the threads of thought that help me get through my days.
I had wondered if I would be able to come up with 64 things that I tell myself, so I asked my a couple of friends for some of their thought threads. I included some from Jocelyn, especially liked “Bring a book,” and Susan’s “Mend a thing.”
Funny thing, though, after I got started, it was easy to come up with scores of things I tell myself. So many thoughts woven into a day.
Now, here’s a box of blank tiles that I’ve sent along with my work. There’s three of these boxes. They are meant to sit alongside my Zhen Xian Bao. There is also a pencil in each box. I’ve sent word that I am inviting viewers to add one of their thoughts to one of my boxes. Then, after they’ve made their contribution, they are invited to take one of my thoughts with them.
I don’t know how this will work out. As there are tiles in each one of these 13 expandable boxes, I am hoping/anticipating that my Threads book will return with wear and tear showing. I will consider evidence of handling as the finishing touches.
Now it’s out of in the world, out of my hands!