Beili Liu is a multidisciplinary artist whose time and process based installations explores subjects of cultural specificity and overlaps, transient or persistent energy, and conflicting and confluent forces. Thread, paper, incense, wood, salt, water, these simple materials and compounds are the vehicles by which Beili Liu hand crafts microcosms of fragility and poignancy. By working on these everyday materials, Liu manipulates their intrinsic and bare qualities to extrapolate much more complex cultural narratives.
Her “Lure” installation series relate to the ancient Chinese legend of the red thread, which tells that when children are born, invisible red threads connect them to the ones whom they are fated to be with. Over the years of their lives they come closer and eventually find each other, overcoming the distance between, and cultural and social divides.
The installations make use of thousands of hand spiraled coils of red thread suspended from the ceiling. A disk may be connected to another, as a pair, and a pair of disks is made from a single thread. Every coil is pierced in the center by a sewing needle, which then threaded and enables the suspension of the disks. Subtle air currents set the red disks swaying and turning slowly as the loose strands of thread on the floor drift and become entangled.