Fabric of Memory is a Liverpool Biennial project by artist LEE Mingwei presented at Tate Liverpool as part of International 06.
Fabric of Memory reveals how personal histories can be captured by objects. Lee invited local residents to lend handmade textiles, such as items of clothing, made by and received from a family member during childhood. Both maker and receiver were asked to provide a history of the item, what memories they had of giving or wearing it and what feelings it now evokes. The Tate Liverpool installation features eighteen items that have been submitted by Liverpool residents.
As a partner project to the gallery work, an online database has been developed at Tate Online to allow anybody, anywhere to submit details about their home-made items and the memories they evoke. This browseable database continued to grow throughout the duration of the Biennial.
An invitation from the artist:
Fabric of Memory focuses on clothing and other fabric items in your possession; items made for you in childhood by parents, grandparents, other relatives or persons close to you.
You are invited to search your homes for such items that have been treasured and kept, then write down all you remember about them – who made them, when, how they were used, and any other memories and associations they now evoke. You are also encouraged to contact the original makers of the items, if possible, and solicit their memories of making and giving them.
Your submissions to the Fabric of Memory database are happily anticipated.
Lee Mingwei, June 2006