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An Unusual Knot series


When working with metal, Julia Hung removes its common association to coldness and rigidness by applying methods inspired by her grandmother’s crocheting techniques. She treats metal material as silk threads, gently and finely weaving them into organic, semi-translucent copper wire sculptures, creating rather unique spatial sensations. Through her artworks, Hung raises questions towards the reality and possibility of free will, discussing and reflecting on subjective free will as well as thought processes that go into the creation of an artwork.

The exhibition title “An Unusual Knot” is borrowed from the mathematical term nontrivial knot, which refers to a knot that cannot be untied in a 3-dimensional space. Hung takes the concept of this idea and interprets various “unusual knots” – a series of 3-dimensional sculptures created by her practice of weaving and crisscrossing copper wires. She attempts at expressing how nature, nurture, and memories are all entangled in our thread of consciousness – influencing our decision-making at all moments, turning all shapes into “unusual knots,” and eventually we are left with the completed artwork – something with the appearance of “free will.”

However, how much of our “voluntary” decision-making is achieved “freely”? External and internal factors such as nature, nurture, and memories mold us while holding us down at the same time; we are torn between freedom and constraints like untouched threads undergoing weaving, mutually pulling in never-ending cycles, outlining endless loops that penetrate and perforate each other spatially, forming a tangible, webbing sculpture. Meanwhile, as an artist, Hung experiences intuitive creation where there is zero composition. With seemingly no pre-made plans, she weaves continuously until the artwork is “born,” almost as if already having a hidden blueprint in mind that guides her through every knot-choosing in the creative process. What looked like a linear process – the beginning, process, and end – brought her beyond the 3-dimensional to reflect on whether it is at all possible for non-linear time and free will to coexist. And yet, free will resembles unusual knots – wherein freedom and constraints are impossible to untie from each other.

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