Tsz Yan Ng exhibition “Factory Setting: the space of labor” opens August 10
Textile manufacturing is a complex global phenomenon. Our understanding of the very clothing that we put on each day, where it comes from, how it is made, who it is made by, is veiled within a network of contingencies. These contingencies, ranging from tariffs to labor market trends, dictate not only the final purchase price of each product, but inform a much larger economy of workers, socio-political forces, and even the landscape of contemporary cities. This project is a case study of textile manufacturing as both subject matter and process of making; it examines the trajectory of its industrialization and, by extension, other manufacturing industries such as the auto industry here in Michigan. It is a rumination on issues of labor, its inherent values, and the notion of workers, both as individuals and as a collective force.
Drawing upon first-hand experience of the textile industry dating back to childhood, and more recently as a professional in architectural production, “Factory Setting: the space of labor”, points to the space of production and those who inhabit it. It is a reminder of the value of labor in textile manufacturing, from the material crafting of a learned trade, to the manual labor necessary for clothing production. It attempts to present the invisible value that is part of any garment, but missing from the label or the price tag. It offers a glimpse into the spaces of the contemporary garment factory, foreign to most in this country, but having a parallel in the industrial past that shaped the cities and social conditions that still surround us.
Tsz Yan will be weaving in the gallery during regular opening hours and visitors are welcome to engage the artist and view the labor and processes required to create the final textile image. The weaving will end at 6pm on September 7th at the start of the closing reception.
Gallery: 2739 Edwin, Floor 2, Hamtramck, MI 48212 Regular Hours: 1pm – 5pm Saturdays. Exhibition Closing Reception: Saturday 7 September from 6 to 9pm