carbon fiber 碳纤维
120 x 120 x 5 cm
Feng Chen’s current series, 7 Real Magic Books, 2016, employs contemporary technology in the characteristically light, but tensile carbon fiber. The properties of carbon fibers, such as high stiffness, high tensile strength, low weight, make them very popular in aerospace, civil engineering, military, and motorsports. Nevertheless, it is a material that still requires craftmanship and the process of turning it into an extremely rigid form can only be hand-made. ‘The Greek Magical Papyri’ referred to in the work title is originally a collection of magical spells and formulas, hymns and rituals from the Greco-Roman Egypt, dating from the second century B.C. to the fifth century A.D. Thanks to the climatic conditions and scribal practices of Greco-Roman Egypt, a number of handbooks from that region have reached us. These handbooks are precious witnesses to practices and processes of cultural transmission: i.e. the creation, communication, transformation, and preservation of knowledge (both in text and images) across history. Feng here refers to one of the mythical images portrayed in the Papyri and uses carbon fiber as a sculptural expression of an image taken from artifacts to introduce a discussion about an ancient type of technology and magic, both of which are heavily charged subjects.