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TszYan Ng to Speak on Installation, “The Visibility of Labor”, on November 14

Monday, November 9, 2015

Tsz Ng to Speak on Installation “The Visibility of Labor” 

Assistant Professor Tsz Ng will speak at the closing reception for her installation, “The Visibility of Labor,” on November 14th, 2015. Addressing international labor and manufacturing, the installation will premiere at 9338 Campau in Hamtramck, MI.

From the storefront, a full-scaled figure emerges from the wall as if the plastered wall surface is elastic. Hands forward, the figure presents a black sheath dress. Inside the gallery, seventeen pairs of plaster hands similarly push out from the walls in a ghostly manner. A 20-minute film accompanies the installation featuring a garment manufacturing facility and its workers in Shantou, China. The factory belongs to Lafayette 148 New York, a New York-based fashion label. The cast hands in the gallery can be identified with some of the workers highlighted in the film. The gestures of each hand, contemplated and decided by the workers themselves, are expressions of their enacted labor.

This Visibility of Labor is an installation and film that deal with issues of labor in global textile manufacturing. More specifically it asks the question of how many pairs of hands go into the design and manufacture of a single garment. Collectively, the field of hands highlights the workers and their labor in the making of the dress, from design to R+D, and from production to shipping. Up close, the fidelity of the hands, with calluses, cuts, and wrinkles, bears evidence to one’s lifetime of work. The project attempts to make tangible the unseen labor by North American consumers who only know the finished product. The immediacy of the casting, as a one-to-one relationship, makes tangible their presence in the world where their labor is invisible.

Ng received an Honorable Mention for The Visibility of Labor by blog Hyperallergic, in a ranking of 2015's ten best exhibitions across the United States.

To learn more about the exhibition, visit: http://hamtramckfreeschool.org/2015/11/03/the-visibility-of-labor-artist-talk-and-tour-with-tsz-yan-ng/

See Hyperallergic's post here: http://hyperallergic.com/252420/the-17-pairs-of-hands-that-spun-a-little-black-dress-into-existence/