ArtPrize 2010: Red Thread

"Lure/Forest" by Beili Liu

The streets of Grand Rapids were packed again yesterday and the city was buzzing with great energy. This is one of the many ArtPrize entries that captivated me on day four of the competition. It’s a large installation by Beili Liu featuring thousands of hand spiraled coils of red thread suspended from the ceiling.

In her statement, Liu writes: “Each disk is connected to another, as a ‘couple’, and each pair is made from a single thread. Every coil is pierced in the center by a sewing needle, which enables the suspension of the disks a few inches from the ground.”

This is Liu’s interpretation of the ancient Chinese legend of the red thread that states that when children are born, invisible red threads connect them to the ones whom they are fated to be with.

This large installation, which is part of the artist’s Red Thread Legend Series, is set up inside the UICA’s new location that is still under construction at 2 West Fulton and can be viewed only from the street through an expansive panel of windows on a corner of the building.

For a few fleeting moments the red thread connected all of us who stopped to gaze inside and snap pictures. So beautiful.

In the coming days I will be posting photos of the ArtPrize entries that captivate me in random order. ArtPrize is the international art competition held in Grand Rapids, Mich. More than 1,700 artists (myself included) have entered and attendees vote to decide who goes home with the $250,000 top prize.

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