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Artists: Social Connectedness in Seed to Textile

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Breakthrough Art Studio

Cecilia Lai and Barnard Chan started working with the fibre arts and weaving from 2015. They co-founded Breakthrough Art Studio. Over the years, they have visited different villages in South East Asia to study various ancient weaving techniques. In addition to researching the weaving methods of various cultural and historical backgrounds, they have also rebuilt and explored different loom constructions and tools, including traditional backstrap loom, tablet loom, inkle loom, natural fibre weaving, frame loom and variations of the desktop and floor loom.

The two of them deliver their endeavours to the public in various ways. They are building a weaving tool collection and are conceiving comprehensive courses for the public to become acquainted with the art form. To promote the art and culture of weaving, they are often involved with the community by designing different activities such as performances, collective arts and exhibitions. At the same time, they enjoy responding to different social issues, including environmental protection, cultural preservation and community care.

Image courtesy: Breakthrough Art Studio

Eastman Cheng

Eastman Cheng is a soft sculptor based in Hong Kong. Through fabrics and embroidery, her sculptures are inspired by daily objects like banknotes, rat taxidermy, cinema light box and circular objects. Her recent public art projects have been included in Yim Tin Tsai Arts Festival (2021, Yim Tin Tsai), Jockey Club H.A.D. Walk Project Island District (2019, Tai O) and #ArtTravellers Exhibition Series I: Decoding Exotic Lands (2017) where she exhibited sculptures made of fabrics responding to local culture in temporary spaces. She received her Bachelor of Arts (2000) and Master of Fine Arts (2007) from the Department of Fine Arts, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Image courtesy: Eastman Cheng

Pop & Zebra

Pop & Zebra is an integrative design studio based in Hong Kong. It is a marriage of two diverse influences viz. Krupa’s childhood in Tanzania and Abhishek’s love for popular culture. Led by observation and research, Pop & Zebra’s work is conceptual with a strong emphasis on visual storytelling and playfulness. They love making things by hand and are constantly shapeshifting between art direction, print and product design, across analogue and digital realms. In between bouts of daydreaming about opulence, the design studio thinks of how to use ideas in breaking down barriers and create a world of honest conversations and active imaginations.

Image courtesy: Pop & Zebra

Ma Wing Man

Born in Hong Kong, Ma Wing Man attained her BA in Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2019 and underwent an exchange programme at Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland in 2018. Specialising in knitting, Ma is interested in creating space and experience to explore fluidity of her works with people, often involving the participation of audience. By collecting, dismantling and reconstructing found objects, her works attempt to transform the relationship between objects and people and strengthen interpersonal connection. In recent years, she explores immediate exchanges between body and material to express her artistic spirit through performance. 

Image courtesy: Ma Wing Man

Hao Lap Yan Benjamin

Born and based in Hong Kong, Hao Lap Yan Benjamin considers himself an interdisciplinary artist who splits his time between urban and rural settings. His practice examines the relationships between human beings, nature and society, prompting reflections and reimagination to allow for diverse narratives and understanding of the world. Hao received his BFA from RMIT and Hong Kong Art School in 2011 and gained his MFA in interdisciplinary art from University of Hartford in 2018. He currently works with different communities in rural villages on artistic, symbiotic and participatory projects.

Image courtesy: Hao Lap Yan Benjamin

Elizabeth Briel

Elizabeth Briel’s prints, paintings and installations begin with materials imbued with meaning – papers made of military uniforms or trees devastated by a typhoon, paints extracted from bone and lead – and frequently incorporate architectural elements. She received a BFA in Painting from the University of Minnesota and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from China Exploration and Research Society (Shangri-La), Universiti Sains Malaysia (Penang) and Grabart (Barcelona). Briel has lived, worked and travelled in Hong Kong since 2006, where she runs EBriel Studio in Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC).

Image courtesy: Elizabeth Briel

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