The new installation by architect and artist Sophia Chang warps INVIVA Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts into a network of fabric tunnels that are pliable and provocative. Suspense, as the installation is called, takes hundreds of feet of stretchy material and molds them into immersive, mysterious tunnels. Lights are softened, silhouettes of other inhabitants are framed, and viewers are encouraged to contemplate the inner/outer perceptions of space as they move through the labyrinth of lycra.
The term “suspense,” here, applies to two aspects of the installation. The first is the clear feeling of mystery as the viewer travels through the tunnels—it’s hard to know what to expect when crawling through the piece. But the other aspect of Suspense is how the installation was constructed: the fabric was literally suspended between invisible frames on the outside of the tunnels.
Chang took the term poché, architectural jargon that refers to the black space of a blueprint representing walls, and translated the term for her own artistic means. “The term commonly refers to the space within walls,” she wrote in an artist statement. “Here poché receives a more ambiguous reinterpretation: what could be understood as a wall or reminiscent space from one vantage point, becomes an inhabitable room from another. The complexity of the curved forms precludes immediate understanding of the total piece and allows for the visitor’s perception of the space to shift as they continue to discover new places to sit, contemplate, walk, and watch within the gallery.”
Mind you, this is not the illustrator Sophia Chang, whom we so often favor over here at Complex. Rather, the Sophia Chang referred to above is a multimedia and architectural artist. She studied architecture at the University of Michigan before completing her Master of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Get more information on her website.
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