Aug 262010
 
Authors: Andrew Carrera

“Humble” might not be the first word that comes to mind when describing most internationally acclaimed textile artists, but Kinor Jiang, assistant professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, is said to break the stereotype.

Mary Gibbs, a junior apparel design major, felt that sentiment as she stood in the opening of the University Center of the Arts Annex Thursday evening while waves of stylishly dressed students filled the small room to hear Jiang lecture on his cutting-edge work.

“When I spoke with him, he was very humble, very passionate,” Gibbs said.“His work is something I’ve never seen before.”

Diane Sparks, a design and merchandising professor, said two years of planning went into the Thursday evening lecture exhibit occasion. Attendees ranged from students and community members to active and retired CSU staff.

The process of combining eastern culture and western wear with modern brushstrokes is at the forefront of Jiang’s mind.

“Modern art is combining materials and technologies,” he said. “The color, the shape, the texture. It’s all part of that.”

Described in his research team’s literature as a “wearable art collection embedded with multiple design elements,” examples of his textile work include clothing where certain areas appear as sea anemones and other life-like biological creatures.

Jiang’s signature expression is the use of corroded metallic textiles that look similar to ornate ancient Chinese robes.

Thumbing through books of his designs, cloth resembling graphite, gold, coffee and tea jump off the page and are accompanied with zen-like explanations of what textile artwork means. One of the photo captions read, “Cloth has never been fixed and unchanging in its shape. Its shape is molded by imagination.”

“I want to combine art and design in my work,” Jiang said.

Sparks met the artist while she was a visiting professor at his university.

“He has exhibited art textiles all over the world,” she said of the significance of hosting a distinguished international artist on campus. “… A number of places in Europe, Asia, the U.S., Canada. People know who he is. People know his work.”

The response to his exhibit from the university, she explains, has been nothing short of excitement.

“No one’s ever seen anything like it,” she said.

Jiang said the inspiration for his work comes from nature. For Jiang, Colorado serves as an ideal place for artistic musing.

“The trees, grass, mountains –– I like that,” he said.

But interacting with youth is where the artist placed heavy importance.

“I like young people. They’re innovative. I like the young ideas, the new ideas.

They want to wear special things … have a special image,” he said.

Sparks said CSU also wants to work with students in developing a new artistic collaboration, perhaps in the direction of Jiang’s textile genius.

Jiang’s exhibit is open to the public through Monday in room 136 of the UCA from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Staff writer Andrew Carrera can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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