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Forging a Way: Art & Growth with Artist Holly Wong

Holly Wong lives and works in San Francisco, California. She was educated at the San Francisco Art Institute where she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in New Genres. Holly creates installations and assemblages, integrating non-traditional approaches with more traditional sewing techniques associated with the history of women. She has been awarded visual arts grants from the Integrity: Arts and Culture Association, Barbara Deming Memorial fund, the George Sugarman Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, and a Gerbode Foundation purchase award. She has had over 70 group exhibitions and 10 solo exhibitions. She is represented by SLATE Contemporary Gallery in Oakland, California, ELLIO Fine Art Gallery in Houston, TX, and is a member of A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.

"My work reclaims the female body and bears witness to the spirit. I create fiber and drawing based installations, assemblages and works on paper to remember my mother whom I lost to alcoholism and domestic violence. These works range in size from intimate pieces to larger immersive works. I use a variety of fabric and flexible drawing surfaces as my medium, applying the skills passed down to me from my mother who was a talented seamstress. The sexual violence we both experienced in our lives led to a self-loathing of my body, cultivating the anorexia and mental illness I struggled with as a young woman. Now, I stitch and draw as a journey towards wholeness, both for myself and for my mother’s memory. I started to work with fiber installation in 2017. I became attracted to working with light, reflective, transparent fabrics because it reminds me of the permeable separation between the living and the dead. In my recent series “quilt suspensions,” I use a flat felled seam technique with transparent fabric. I combine these ephemeral materials with LED strip lighting and diffusion film as a proxy for my mother’s spirit. The layers of pieced fabric are suspended over this light-spirit as a shroud or mourning cloth. Inspired by Chinese funeral customs, the quilt layers become burial blankets that are offered by the children of the deceased and layered upon their loved ones. A major throughline in my work is the wound or scar and the power of taking back the night by healing the scar. Creating works of beauty in brokenness is my highest act of resistance."


Artist Shoutout: Ed Love @edloveart Al Wong @alwongart. Christina Massey @cmasseyart. Laura Sallade @laura.sallade. Bonny Leibowitz. @bonnyleibowitz. Etty Yaniv @etty.yaniv. William Powhida @williampowhida. Will Hutnick @willhutnick. Mia Pearlman @mia_pearlman. Kira Dominguez Hultgren. @kiradominguezhultgren. Jutta Haeckel @juttahaeckel. Natalie Ball @natalie_m_ball. Rachel Hayes @rachelbhayes. Stephanie Syjuco @ssyjuco

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