© Cathy Hsiao

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Cathy Hsiao

Chicago, Illinois

Artist Statement

A self-taught diasporic sculptor, I call my practice an “ornamental ecology.” I explore how vernacular ecologies are deeply embedded within the decorative traditions of people of color, particularly my own East Asian diaspora, as well as its politics. I combine traditional indigo and other plant natural dye knowledge and techniques with mass-produced materials for architecture such as cement, gypsum, hydrostone and plaster to create flat and low-relief sculptural casts that evoke the look of ceramics and painting. The cement, hydrostone and plater materials are also cured with an unique UV resin and play with the scale of the domestic and the architectural.

© Cathy Hsiao

Cathy Hsiao's Portfolio

© Cathy Hsiao

Artist Biography

Cathy Hsiao is a multi-disciplinary artist born in New York City and growing up between the US, Taiwan and Hong Kong. She was raised by a Falun Dafa mother who taught her much of the indigo plant traditions she uses in her work. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a 2014-2017 New Artist Society Merit Fellow at the SAIC, a 2018-19 BOLT resident at the Chicago Artists Coalition, a 2019 Newcity Magazine Breakout Artist, a 2020 Graham Foundation Artist Grantee, and a 2022 Fountainhead Artist-in-Residence in Climate and Environmental Sustainability.



© Dominic Hawgood

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