Invisible life: Flip-Flops Journeys Perspectives
An Art-Sociology Investigation
Michael Tan in collaboration with Caroline Knowles
6 November 2009 - 21 March 2010
Michael Tan, Chinese worker at Flip-flop Factory in Fuzhou, China
Presenting the outcomes of a dialogue between artist, Michael Tan and sociologist, Caroline Knowles on the world's most popular and best selling foot ware – Flip-Flops, this exhibition presents an object biography of a single flip-flop as a vantage point in studying the landscapes, peoples and processes entangled with it. Made from plastic or rubber, flip-flops, commonly known as ‘slippers’, sandals, etc. are easily recognized by their signature Y-shape straps that are usually attached to the sole. Penetrating beyond everyday utilitarian facets of the flip-flop, Michael and Caroline navigate through China and Ethiopia to animate the life-worlds of a single pair of flip-flop that may otherwise become downplayed by the economics of matter. All the while, a larger question looms - what can we learn about the social world by studying its most taken-for-granted objects?