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Published: 02 March 2019

By Andy Ross

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Wanderer - how yoghurt travels

Across the world, people eat yoghurt and soured milk products. And there are some novel ways of carrying the starter cultures from place to place.

Xijing Xu's project took, as its starting point, the fascinating ways in which some people carry these cultures, by applying the wet liquid to textiles and dehydrating them. This not only preserves the bacteria but the textiles also carry the cultural identity of these groups. The artist created textiles patterned with shapes inspired by the bacterial elements involved in the fermentation of milk, then painted on the starter culture in liquid form. The squares were cut apart once the liquid had dried, and the pieces could then be posted out to be used again in new cultures. What a thoughtful and elegant idea!