Silk’s cultural history spans more than 5,000 years. Examples of sericulture appear in the Chinese archaeological record as early as the third millennium BCE, and silk fabrics excavated from sites have been dated to at least the Shang dynasty (1600–1046 BCE).
Beyond silk’s traditional use in textiles and as a valuable trade commodity, biomedical researchers are now experimenting with the material in novel forms of technology; since silk is compatible with human tissue, the immune system can accept silk on surfaces as sensitive as the human brain.
In the UMAG exhibition Silk Poems, visual artist and author Jen Bervin has merged the medium’s traditional applications with cutting edge research—engaging with silk’s cultural, scientific and linguistic complexities.
UMAG gratefully acknowledges Creative Capital and the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau for their generous support of Ms Bervin and the Silk Poems project.