A Grain of Truth

Aram Han wearing her Grain of Truth dress (in the making). Aram Han wearing her Grain of Truth dress (in the making). Courtesy Aram Han.

'A Grain of Truth' is a textile installation by Aram Han Sifuentes, who was inspired by the traditional Asian mythology of the Rice Goddess or Rice Mother. There are many versions of the tale, but basically it tells how a mother is killed and the first rice grows from her body. Due to the sacrifice of her body, rice feeds over half of the total world population today.

The installation consists of a full length, white garment with long train, which was embroidered with applied grains of rice, small pearls, and couched white cord on a tulle ground, in order to create a lace-like structure.

According to Han, who is of South Korean origin, she witnessed her mother sacrificing her dreams and much of her happiness in order to provide for and feed her family. Han noted that she had mimicked: “mother’s Sisyphean labor as a seamstress and stitch[ed] grains of rice onto garments.” Han also noted that she had been inspired by writer Joseph Campbell's (1904-1987) suggestion to look to mythology to create metaphors to understand modern daily life and as such she had connected the life of an immigrant mother with that of the mythological Rice Mother.

In an email addressed to TRC Needles (9 October 2015), Aram Han noted about her dress: "My rice dress is in progress and will probably always be in progress. It is the piece that I go to when I need a break from everything else. I am initially embroidering the rice on the lace but my intention is to cover the entire dress in rice pearls. Ideally, I want the weight of the rice to become heavy and potentially even rip itself apart. Since it is such a time consuming project, I'm thinking that this is the piece that I work on for the rest of my life." 

Digital source (retrieved 30 March 2016).

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Last modified on Friday, 21 April 2017 11:39