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Grant Recipient

Hana Foo

Windgate-Lamar Fellowship


Artist Statement

As a first-gen Chinese American with Taiwanese, Thai, and Malaysian heritage, my work reflects the Chinese Diaspora’s deep history. Inspired by ancient Chinese art and folklore, I explore themes of assimilation and alienation within my American upbringing, focusing on personal symbols like my Chinese zodiac sign, the goat. My aim is to create contemporary pieces using ancient multicultural techniques, preserving and educating about the past while challenging cultural narratives. I blend traditional stories with contemporary fashion, particularly drawing from celebrations like Chinese New Year. Some of my pieces explore the idea of reversing cultural appropriation by creating pieces that fuse Asian aesthetics with American symbols, sparking conversations about identity and cultural dynamics. I find inspiration in how materials can inform stories. Different interpretations towards similar materials and forms influence how I approach design. For instance, paracord as protection in Chinese lucky knots vs. outdoor bracelets. By deconstructing and reconstructing traditional forms, I offer contemporary perspectives that honor my heritage and engage viewers in dialogue about belonging and stigma.

When I was 16 and COVID began, the xenophobia, fetishization, and hatred surrounding me escalated from being a nuisance to a serious danger. My asian-ness had never felt like such a physical experience before, and I felt a need to protect it. The surge of anti-asian hate crimes has undoubtedly been instrumental in finding my body of work, as it propelled me to protect and embrace my identity. By thinking with my hands, I create a space in-between worlds.

Bio of the Artist

Organization Background

Hana Foo is a Jeweler and Ceramicist born and raised in East Los Angeles, a cultural melting pot. Furthermore, her consistent travels to see family in Taiwan and Malaysia largely shaped both her upbringing and artistic body of work. While growing up with a single, animator father she was inspired by the attention to character design and media. Overtime, the interest led her to Costume Design, sparking her fascination with artwork in relation to the body. Hana’s BA in Applied Design (Emphasis in Jewelry and Metalsmithing) from SDSU cultivated the appreciation and knowledge necessary to accomplish her goals. Her work’s intention to protect and comfort stem from the passions developed from a young age, found in life’s simple pleasures — a good night’s sleep, cats, meaningful relationships, and movies.


Los Angeles, CA





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