I am honestly in love with the work of artist Diem Chau. Diem somehow embroiders images (mostly figures) onto recycled ceramic dishes. I don’t know how she does it, but it’s just gorgeous. Besides, I don’t need to know how she does it, that might destroy the beauty of it for me.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your work.
I’m Chinese/Vietnamese–my family immigrated to the US in 1986. If I hadn’t become an artist, I would have probably become a botanist. I like to work with normal everyday objects and techniques.
2. Share some of your inspirations in your art and life.
I’m inspired by everything that I see. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a scrap of fabric with a cool pattern on it. I try not to be so preoccupied all the time. I find that the best ideas/projects come to me when I’m just playing around. When I overstress on a project is when it doesn’t work out.
3. Who are 3 of your favorite artists of all times?
Oh, that’s a hard one! I really like Tom Friedman’s work. I love his use of simple materials and meditative process. It’s the kind of work that just makes you pause for a moment. I also love Ellen Gallagher’s work. I’m drawn to her repetition and aesthetics. I also like how she deals with the subject of identity. I think she has very bold and beautiful imagery. Lastly, I would say Markus Raetz… I remember the first time I saw his work, just a few simple eucalyptus leaves that rendered a smiling person. Then, in the next picture the leaf that made the mouth was turned upside down and it made a frowning person. It was the simplicity that caught me. I also love seeing the progression of his work from 2D to 3D. He works a lot with optical illusions, it boggles my mind. For example. You’re seeing one of his sculpture in front of a mirror. Both the bunny and the man in the hat are the same.
4. What’s your creative process like?
There’s a lot of playing around. Most of the time I don’t really “do” anything. I stare into space, fiddle with my stuff… make a sandwich. I experiment with little bit of everything and once in a while something sticks.
5. What blogs and mags do you like to read?
At the moment I subscribe to Dwell & Wired. I used to read a lot more magazines, but after downsizing, a couple of times, I just don’t have the space to keep mags around. I tend to read a lot of stuff online. Although I have to give a shout out to Readymade & Make.
6. What do you LOVE about what you do?
I love that I can work from anywhere. I don’t need a lot of space or equipment for what I do. Most of my supplies can fit into a shoe box! I also love that I get to go thrifting for my plates and cups. Thrift stores are very interesting places.
7. What do you not some much love about what you do?
I don’t like having to sit in one place, which is what I have to do when I work. It’s hard on my eyes and back. I tend to hunch over to get closer to the work surface. I get headaches and backaches if I sit and work for too long. I usually try and take a break every 30-45 mins.
8. Share something silly about yourself.
I collect Blythe dolls. They have huge heads with eyes that change colors when you pull their string. It’s been a hobby of mine since 2002. I have around 20 of them. It’s a bad habit!
9. What’s new or in works?
I’m taking a small break at the moment. We just bought a fixer home and there’s a lot to do. I’m also planning on building a backyard studio. They’re personal projects, but they’ll take up a lot of my time over the next year or so. I’ve been working from my dinner table for almost 6 years now and I need a dedicated space.