Review: To Quilt or Not to Quilt
Special to the Tribune
The first thing out of everyone’s mouth when they see one of Paula Chung’s tapestries is, “This isn’t really a quilt is it?” There is stitching in her work, but this is no ordinary quilting; it’s tapestry. The glowing silk tapestries are hand-dyed pieces of silk in unusual shapes, fitted together like so many puzzle pieces to form an image.
The next question most people ask is, “How do you do that?” To those who attended her presentation to the Tahoe Art League Wednesday night, she explained with a PowerPoint presentation the steps she takes to make her tapestries. She is the first person to come up with this particular method, and she doesn’t need to fear that too many people will follow her as it is very labor intensive, and who has an eye like hers?
What contributes to the unique qualities of her work is her artistic vision that these colors, in these shapes, would combine to form these images. She photographed the blue iris and red flowers in her garden. Then she analyzed the photographic image, enlarged it on her computer screen and saw how she could compose an image of the shapes and colors before her. One example of her work is a 6-foot-by-10-foot tapestry hung in the library at the Lake Tahoe Community College. This is not a typical piece for her; the colors are usually from a brighter, warmer palette, but it does show the complex layering of colors that her silk technique allows.
– Elie Monson is a local artist, set designer and interior designer.