A. In 1997, I studied fashion design at the London College of Fashion. Later, back to Hong Kong worked as an accountant for seven years and the company for which I worked was planning to move to mainland China, I had to shred lots of confidential documents. At the time in 2003 I was studying for a part time degree at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). I always like knitting, so after seeing so much shredded paper, I thought about making something wearable from it.
Q. When and why you interested in Knitting?
A. I started my knitting projects in 2004 by making “magazine clothes”. I am interested in knitting which create a new language knitted out of the shredded pages of books was given from friends. The reconstructed paper pieces are transformed into meanings about daily life, it is reborn as a new work of art. The books are an accurate reflection of my friends’ loves, views, perspectives and culture. They contain the owner’s memories, story written by the author and also added with my travelling journey. Allows me to taste a never-never
ending dream world, connections between imagination and experience.
Q. What kind of problem you have as an artist in HK ?
A. In Hong Kong, for most artists it is always challenging to get funding. My recent exhibition KNITerature at ArtisTree, I am lucky to have the support from Swire Properties.
Q. Could you tell us about your last exhibition KNITerature ?
A. KNITerature, a solo exhibition currently on display at Hong Kong’s ArtisTree, showcases the body of work in my 10 years’ creative practice. The highlighted artworks of this exhibition include my new work “Body Container Comes to Life in Hong Kong”, a short film by James Vyner that documents the various reaction during my performance with a body container sculpture knitted with travel maps. Another project, the 15-meter long “Knitting Conversations” – the hero piece of the exhibition, is a two-years collaborative work involved 150
participants around the world. I invited family, friends, students and even strangers to give a book of special meaning or memory from their bookshelves. Through the knitting process with the participants, people join
together to knit books from their bookshelf. “To tie a knot between everyone” is the ultimate purpose of “KNITerature”, I am connecting the lives of different people and allowing them to communicate a cross national, cultural and personal relationships. I attempt to initiate non-verbal conversations and hence establish relationship with those whom I meet in a microcosm of communication.
A. After many years hard work knitting every day, now taking a break, relaxing…
My next project, I think I will continue the “travelling into your bookshelf” and the “KNITerature” ongoing projects in exhibiting in other cities.
Q. If you can choose a city ( apart from hk) to live and work where would you choose and why ?
A. As an artist, I think I may choose Seoul, Korea to live and work, I have been exhibited often there since 2007, like the living style, culture there.
Q. Would you like to collaborate more with fashion brands and why ?
A. No, I more enjoy knitting and travelling into more friends’s bookshelf around the world, to knitting a new relationship, to open up a two-way communications.
Q. Where do u get inspiration for your artworks ?
A. I get inspiration from everyday life, from friends’s bookshelf, weaving books
into my life.
Movana Chen is a Hong Kong-based artist who studied fashion design at the London College of Fashion and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University in Hong Kong. Her work is a multi-disciplinary fusion of media, fashion, performance, installation and sculpture which has been presented at different exhibitions, art festivals and events globally. She was invited to represent Hong Kong at the Seoul Fringe Festival in 2007. Her recent solo projects include at ArtisTree (Hong Kong), Chinart LaGalerie (Paris), Shin Hwa Gallery (Hong Kong) and Pekin Fine Arts (Beijing). She has also participated in group-exhibitions at CODA Museum (Apeldoorn- Netherland), Espace Louis Vuitton (Hong Kong and Singapore), MoA Museum of Art Seoul National University, Gyeonggi MoMA Korea and MoCA Shanghai Museum. Movana was one of the 30 finalists of the 2011 & 2012 Sovereign Asian Art Prize. Amongst the collectors of her art works, apart
from private collectors, are the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and Louis Vuitton.