On the breezy terrace pre-opening of the hottest rooftop in London in April, we chatted through Jia Xi's process and inspiration.
The Standard is a vivid and joyful place located in the heart of London. As a textile artist, my attention was immediately drawn to the different tactile qualities of the fibre textures used in the hotel's interior. When I first saw the rooftop, I was surprised and inspired by the unparalleled view of the London skyline. I want to continue the tactile quality of downstairs to the rooftop, so I decided to create a playful textile-based 3-dimensional sculpture on the top contrasting with the backdrop of the summer blue sky.
Why ducks as a motif? You’ve used them before in your work…
My work looks to materialise memory and time in a biographical format. Through this journey of materialisation, I discover the importance of objects. As a mortal existence, I inhabit and interact with space and time physically and spiritually. Brimming over with objects that allude to the deepest self, the domestic environment or the home environment encloses the traces of humanity, history, and relationships. While everything is a mirror reflecting the trace of others, an object is not an individual entity but a compound structure that stores a huge amount of information about the user. I sanctify and place reverence on the everyday and the neglected. The rubber duck is the visualisation of an important period of childhood memory. When I look at the duckies, it triggers the vivid summertime memory stored in my head.
"When I look at the duckies, it triggers the vivid summertime memory stored in my head."
I make sculptures, wall pieces, and installations with knitted fibre. Knitting is the main process of making in my art practice. From my perspective, knitting is a process of recording and waiting. From linear to the surface and 3-dimensional shapes, It's a never-ending process of making with simple but rhythmic gestures. I combine yarns with liquid-dissolving threads to change the nature of the textile from soft to solid. Solidification enables the knit structure to stand up.
My Pet Ducks, 2023
Size: multiple sizes, #1: 98 x 78 x 115 cm, #2: 35 x 30 x 38 cm, #3: 35 x 30 x 38
Material: Knitted textile, PLA filaments, fibreglass, resin, light components