September 8–November 13 , 2005
Silkworm Grind by Mei-ling Hom was created in collaboration with the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. The installation consists of three large-scale aluminum silkworms in spiral form which suspend from the ceiling. Each form is sheathed in colorful silk and finished with a transparent layer of sheer pastel fabric. A blend of five spices emits a pungent aroma as the forms slowly gyrate. From the tactile richness of the materials and the visual interest of the shifting pieces, to the olfactory effect of the spices and the quiet hum of the motor, Hom’s work is a true sensory experience. The work references the patient and detailed daily work of the silkworm, similar to that of women throughout much of Asia. Through the work, the viewer is transported to the artist’s cultural space as a first-generation Chinese-American woman as she and we search for a meaningful place in society.