The loom, also known as Ji, can be traced back to the pre-Qin period in Chinese textiles history. In the collaboration between Cecilia Lai and Barnard Chan paired with Ken Chow, “Symphony of Weaves” brings the wisdom of Ancient China to life through two major elements: “mortise and tenon” and “wood construction”.
The mortise and tenon structure is a significant technique of the wisdom of the ancients who were able to assemble various types of furniture by treating the wood without the use of nails. To quote Cecilia Lai and Barnard Chan, “A loom is the epitome of a house”. The construction of a house is therefore subject to different external forces and even mechanics. The wooden structure of ancient buildings is also applicable to the loom with the concept of beams, columns, mortise and tenon joints.
With its rich color and moderate bending strength, American black walnut wood is suitable for crafting tools that involve friction and mechanical operation, such as looms. The wood is first cut and processed into the required size, then the tenon for each joint on the loom is made. Various components, such as pulleys or gears, are ready as interior space is reserved for the operation and finally assembled into a single unit. The work is inspired by the flexibility of the ancient wood structure and integrated with the mechanical principles of modern looms, breathing new life to this traditional craft.