Exhibition Archive

Holly Wong: Prism and Mirror at Anagram Gallery | 10/21-11/25/23

Statement

“I make fiber and drawing-based installations and assemblages that range in size from five feet high to room size immersive environments, exploring grief, mourning and resilience. I share my larger works in non-profit or academic venues and show my smaller wall-based works in gallery and community settings. Initially working as a painter, I transitioned into creating richly drawn and patterned works with colored pencil and graphite on drafting film, connecting the modular sections of my installations together with my sewing machine. In time, I realized that the sewing line was another kind of drawing line and so I further branched out in my work to include fiber installations with intensive networks of thread. 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 “deconstructed quilt,” I use a flat felled seam technique with transparent fabric. I combine these ephemeral materials with LED strip lighting and diffusion film.

My
work is situated in the work of the Pattern and Decoration movement, second wave feminist artists, the California Light and Space movement, and the rich alternative history of quilt making, and craft. From a cultural perspective, though I am Caucasian, I have an adopted culture as my husband is Chinese American. Learning the Buddhist tradition from him, as well as adopting the beautiful Chinese burial customs which include cloth burial blankets, my work has become layered with this additional cultural meaning, as these traditions shape the way that I think about grieving, death and the afterlife.

In
my work, I am driven to memorialize my mother whom I lost to alcoholism and domestic violence, and to help provide a healing space for people who face violence without recourse. I draw and sew as a journey towards wholeness, both for myself and for my mother’s memory. My work seeks to reclaim the female body and bear witness to the spirit by emphasizing the vibrancy of pattern and flow, the softness of the fabric and the ever-present lightness of both natural and LED light. 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 form of resistance. It is my intention that my work serve as a sacred place for viewers in order to open a portal for grieving, renewal and rebirth.”