windy chien: mutations

October 5 - december 1, 2018

Windy Chien makes art that activates space and crafts objects that elevate the daily rituals of life. She is best known for her 2016 work, The Year of Knots, in which she learned a new knot every day for a year. Her work ranges in size from a knot that can fit in the palm of a child's hand to majestic, room-sized installations. Following long careers at Apple and in the music industry, she launched her studio in 2015. Chien’s book about her creative pursuits and the Year of Knots will be published by Abrams in 2019.

In Mutations, Chien explores the potential of splices, among the most animal, fertile knots. To the artist, they are palpably alive, as if the ropes are biomorphic organisms dividing and growing, consuming themselves and others. Exploring the capabilities of the CNC router at Local Language, the exhibition also features a series of “spinal column” mobiles, themselves corporeal creatures given life via a single knot and an unbroken 200-foot line. Accompanying the exhibition is the debut of the Year of Knots fine art print, showcasing Chien’s breakthrough work of 2016, where she learned and made one new knot each day of the year.

I’m a Chinese-American woman who grew up a US Army “brat” and lived all over the country, including a decade in Hawaii. Due to my ethnicity, love of fringe culture such as punk rock, and uncommonly audacious attitude towards life, I’ve always felt like an outsider. Indeed, I’ve embraced outsider status as a means to self-define, rather than let the world tell me who to be.