Soft Vessel is Tiantian’s most recent experiment probing the pliability and ephemeralness in everyday objects that are usually perceived as solid and long-lasting. Vessels are essential and ubiquitous — as intellectual and social objects, vessels reflect their chronology, culture, and ritual. From containing food for early sedentary communities to illustrating stories and demonstrating handicrafts throughout history, vessel, similar to architecture, is a subject that scales across the functional, aesthetic and cultural references.
Soft Vessel examines the art-historical category “vessel”; at the same time, reimagine the vessel as a pliable, modern object. The experiment revolves around the critique of the solidity of the vessel in our time: our contemporary nomadic life no longer has the capacity to host ceramic or glass vessels. The investigation is an extension of the thesis that more architectural conponents can be textiles. At the same time, the making process of Soft Vessel reflects the contemporary construction of architecture: panelization with customized patterns. Each vessel operates under a mono-print logic — a matrix with unique results.
On the other hand, beyond a design proposal, Soft Vessel is an artistic creation on its own. It involves color, shape, and geometric construction, forming a three-dimensional collaged painting. The making of Soft Vessel connects both the rigorous color studies and the surprising elements that inherently connect with a printmaking process. The vessels, while strategically painted, do not reveal themselves until each panel is sewn and propped up.