The Mending Project was a 2011 installation and performance art piece by Austin-based artist Beili Liu. The work involved an ongoing process wherein visitors were invited to cut pieces of fabric from a giant cloth upon entering the space, the fragments of which Liu then stitched back together creating a giant patchwork that gradually encircled the artist. The concept seems harmless enough if it weren’t for the ominous array of downward-facing scissors suspended above her workspace.
The installation consists of hundreds of Chinese scissors suspended from the ceiling, pointing downwards. The hovering, massive cloud of scissors alludes to distant fear, looming violence and worrisome uncertainty. The performer sits beneath the countless sharp blades of the scissors, and performs an on-going simple task of mending. […] As each visitor enters the space, one is asked to cut off a piece of the white cloth hung near the entrance, and offer the cut section to the performer. She then continuously sews the cut pieces onto the previous ones. The mended fabric grows in size throughout the duration of the performance, and takes over the vast area of the floor beneath the scissors.