Tradition and community is what inspired the creation of this unusual portrait of Zhang Yimou made from socks, bamboo sticks, and pins. The portrait was installed in an old residential area in the city of Shanghai, where bamboo sticks stretch across the alley providing a place for laundry to hang and dry. The materials were chosen based off their familiarity within the area, and even though they are presented in a different way, they remain honest to the environment. Although initially the portrait was going to be made out of shirts hanging on bamboo poles, socks were ultimately used because they could be manipulated easier and pinned together to create a diamond-shaped piece of skin. In the end 750 pairs of socks were used. According to the artist, the portrait became a community project, where people from the neighborhood came to help move things around and set everything up bringing the artwork full circle, where there was not only beauty in the completed work, but also beauty in the process seeing the community come together.
By: Kristin Hoover
Courtesy of Hong Yi