The altar 1
2019 - on going series
Embroidery with found rayon yarns
7cm x 8cm
Thai Nguyen, Vietnam
Indigenous people in Northern Vietnam have been protecting Sacred Forest from human intervention for generations. In 2016, the Vietnamese government came to realize sacred forests as one type of land by law. Before that, so many sacred forests had been cut down for agricultural uses. These forests are not only spiritual places but also the source of natural knowledge and storage of biodiversity. H’mong people call these trees father and mother, others pray for the spirit of the trees.
The forest has been offering their lives for our sake, protecting us from evil spirits to gun bullets during the war, sheltering us through storms and rain, floods and wind. And there is no end to the harm human do to nature, and yet nature still gives more to us than we could understand, bending slightly to our will.
Rayon yarn - fashion wastes - a part of nature that humans took, modified, and then discarded - is used to build an altar to those forests that have died for the need of humans. It is my devotion to slowly embroidery each leaf, hoping to approach nature with compassion and gratitude. I also hope to hear nature's reply, as these ‘altar’ might become home to insects and moss.
This fragile altar is placed in a remaining spider web in the forest opening as a sign for visitors to slow down and behold. As textile master Shimura Fukumi has said: “If we still our heart enough for the lives of trees, and grasses to reach us, we will realize of our own accord how precious they are”
Nổ Cái Bùm - Đà Lạt - Việt Nam