Tartan Cube
2012
Commissioned for Macalister Mansion, Room 7


The tartan is a symbol of Scotland’s history, culture and craft. It is characterized by intersecting vertical and horizontal bands that create repetitive squares and lines. For this site-specific commission, Tartan Cube looks to Sir Norman MacAlister’s Scottish heritage and the geometric patterns of the woven plaid. The wall-mounted artwork is a three-dimensional tartan constructed via weaving fine mercerized cotton yarns on a square solid surface frame. The plaid pattern is derived from ‘flattening’ a grid cube where its vertical and horizontal lines are captured. Subsequently, the pattern is tessellated to create a complex and repetitive design. Due to the three-dimensional weaving, Tartan Cube comes alive when viewed in motion. The optical illusion created by the two layers of plaid adds a dynamic dimension to the overall composition.

Distinguished by unique colour combination and plaid pattern, tartans are traditionally associated with families, clans and institutions. For Tartan Cube, various shades of red and green inspired by the MacAlister Clan Tartan are used as a homage to the history of Sir Norman MacAlister and his contribution to Penang.

 

Images courtesy of Ministry of Design