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Open Studio Night, SAIC, 2019

The Rhythm Behind the City, 2019 


Mediums: woven fabric, woven video, installation


In Rhythm Behind the City (2019) Qianwen takes experiments from 20th century Modernism in animation, weaving, and architecture and reimagines them in the contemporary moving-image arena. Inspired by "Metabolism", a Japanese Architectural Movement, throughout 2019 Qianwen captured the "skin" of Chicago with photographs of the city's exterior. These images were woven into the fabric and reanimated with techniques inspired by 20th century Direct Animation works. Through the mutual decomposition and reconstruction of different mediums, and the journey back and forth between hand and digital, the source material is transformed and returned to the city's environment. The transition between these mediums adds motion and reveals a vibrant and vital rhythm behind the city.

At 'Ground Floor' Biennale Exhibition, Hyde Park Art Center, 2021

weaving: Watch

Open Studio Night, SAIC, 2019


‘Shinchintaisha (Metabolism)’ Movement


Kikutake's sketches

"Inspired by the word Metabolism, the group found a meaningful way to address urban problems in Japanese society, a key to base their architectural aspirations. From a biological point of view, the term explains chemical reactions occurring in a living body, how cells adapt and move to sustain life. Metabolism is the law of growing and living things. But also, the original Japanese version of the word, shinchintaisha (新陳代謝), overtones a spiritual perspective, closest to the Buddhist concept of impermanence, the meaning of renewal, replacement, and regeneration."

Reference: The promised Tokyo, Lucas Moreno, 

Chicago 'texture'

The brick on the wall opposite my window
cracks on the pavement
metal well stuff
wall paper on 2nd floor in Sharp building
spot on pavement

digital jacquard woven fabrics


Film/Direct Animation

Haptic Cinema


The skin of the film (2000), Laura U.Marks

Marks offers the concept of ‘haptic visuality’ in the book and used his theories to describe haptic cinema.

"Use our vision as a sense of touch"

"Film/video thought of as conductive, like skin"

"Film, video (audiovisual) represent non-audiovisual sense experience"

"Memory is embodied in the senses"

woven videos


woven fabrics become the filmstrip of these videos

What you see is what you touch, 2019, installation

In the 1960s in Japan, the ‘Shinchintaisha (Metabolism)’ movement emerged. The movement emphasized the importance of architecture growth, changes, and decline in architectural design. This work explored reconstruction and deconstruction of visual and tactile, haptic cinema, abstract film/ direct animation, and the early architecture movement. It encoded photographs of some patterns that are common in an urban environment into the woven fabric and then decoded the fabric into the woven video. Direct animation is an animation technique where all footage is produced by creating the images directly on film stripe and there are no breaks between frames, which is pretty much the same way I transferred the woven fabric into the woven video, so the woven fabric becomes the ‘filmstrip’ of the videos and the body of the video. According to concepts of ‘haptic cinema’, we use our vision as a sense of touch; film/video can be conductive like our skin. The woven video has both visual and tactile sensory. It also talks about the purest elements in film and weaving, which including motion, rhythm, harmony, and color. How could these elements of weaving and film mix with each other?

​Bring them back to the space

Relationship between weaving and video

thread by thread and frame by frame

Me, weaving

Me, shooting

Bring light into weaving

This is a light experiment with weaving. Wove fishing threads and some half transparent materials into the fabric and see what is  going to happen

light experiments test

An installation of woven videos, woven fabrics and light. Woven half transparent materials into the fabric and experiment with different light sources.

Earliest version of space tests

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