Hanging, Rush Hour 2/Shanghai
Danish textile designer, Grethe Sorensen, is one of the pioneers of digital jacquard weaving. She considers herself a textile researcher, finding inspiration in the exploration of the artistic possibilities in weaving techniques, materials and colors.
Rush Hour 2 is part of a series "Traces of Light" – a collaboration with her filmmaker/director husband, Bo Hovgaard – that captures big cities at night. In this particular work Hovgaard’s video camera is unfocused as he captures the light in Shanghai from driving cars and advertising signs. Sorensen then selects individual images from the video and translates photographic pixels into threads, video recordings into weavings.
Sorensen gained her technical proficiency through years of weaving by hand. In 2000 she began to focus on digital technology and became inspired by the unparalleled control of computer-aided design and computer-aided machines. To her the challenge was to become so familiar with the new technology that she no longer felt hampered by a lack of technical skills, but felt free to avail herself to all the possibilities and explore the new landscapes to which digital tools give access.
After 2004 she began working with the idea that there is a similarity between pixelated images and the graphic expression for a weave construction. Calling it "random weave", Sorensen explains that "the technique translates each colored pixel in the digital motif into a visible thread in the motif of the woven fabric. As in four-color printing, where all the shades are created by mixing four colors on white paper, the shades in my woven motifs are created by mixing threads of the basic colors Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and White. This technique gives the possibility of making smooth color gradations and an almost photorealistic reproduction of the image."
In 2010 Sorensen wove a small sample of Rush Hour 2/Shanghai on her jacquard loom, and then produced this large work on a digital jacquard loom at the Textielmuseum in Tilburg. The Textielmuseum has state-of-the art textile machinery and regularly collaborates with international artists on public and private commissions.
Cooper-Hewitt's Textile department collected Interferens by Grethe Sorensen in 2010, an example of her commercial work for Kvadrat. This proposed acquisition reflects her more complex exploration in weave constructions, particularly using color, and represents the department’s ongoing interest in collecting contemporary works that use new technology in innovative ways.
It is credited
Museum purchase through gift of Wolf-Gordon, Maleyne M. Syracuse and Michael Trenner in memory of Richard M. Syracuse, and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.
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Its dimensions are
H x W: 162 x 283.2 cm (63 3/4 x 9 ft. 3 1/2 in.)
Cite this object as
Hanging, Rush Hour 2/Shanghai; Woven by Textile Museum ; Netherlands; cotton; H x W: 162 x 283.2 cm (63 3/4 x 9 ft. 3 1/2 in.); Museum purchase through gift of Wolf-Gordon, Maleyne M. Syracuse and Michael Trenner in memory of Richard M. Syracuse, and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2014-15-1