Cathy Lu

@_cathycylu_ | website

My work manipulates traditional Chinese objects as a way to deconstruct the assumptions we have about Asian American identity and cultural authenticity.  By creating ceramic sculptures and installations, I explore what it means to be both Asian and American, while not being entirely accepted as either.  Unpacking how experiences of immigration, cultural hybridity and assimilation become part of the larger American identity is central to my work.

I have made work comparing the cultural authenticity of vases in the Asian Art Museum SF with their replicas in Chinatown.  I cast fruits from Chinese neighborhood markets as a way to talk about the struggle for immigrant communities to belong in the U.S.  More recently, I have been reimagining garden creation myths like the Garden of Eden and the Immortal Peach Garden as a way to explore the U.S. as both a utopian and dystopian space for historically excluded communities struggling to belong.

Ceramics as a material is a contradiction in itself – of being both hard and fragile.  I’m interested in my work embodying the contradictions of being Asian American, of being both invisible and hypervisible, at times attractive and repulsive, foreign, and familiar.

  • Untitled (2021)
    Double Gourd Vase with Peach Pits l 15″ x w 9″ x h 20″ porcelain, waste clay, Richmond, CA clay