Shawna Wu (b. Singapore) is a New York based Taiwanese artist who works sensuously with garments and textiles. "A dressing is for a wound..." - Her work explores the ways in which material culture addreses our understandings of (and gaps in) intimacy, empathy and cultural nuance.

Her pieces are elevated through traditional, meticulous handweaving, knitwear and textile making craftsmanship, reiterating the idea of a deliberate, thoughtful material consciousness. Fully fashioning, natural dyeing and ethical sourcing are all techniques that she employs within a loving and sustainable vision.

Parsons Fashion Design, graduated with honors and awards from Hugo Boss + KERING. Featured at New York Textile Month, and published in New York Times Style Singapore, PAPER Magazine, METAL Magazine, Sukeban, FEMALE Singapore, DEW Magazine.

" I didn't think it would turn out like this... is the secret epitaph of intimacy."- Lauren Berlant in Intimacy: A Special Issue

"What is erotic? the ability to oscillate between near and far is erotic... the ability to move between control and relinquishing, between being giver and receiver. this the ability to have your sense of self, your self-control, taken away and restored..." - Laura Marks in Touch" Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media

Erotics are the driving force for life and what keeps us in love. In that slippery way, textile making and all forms of material work constantly engage and teach us precious and fundamental practices for accepting and approaching an unwieldy life. Textile making humbly opes up a broader conversation of negotiating, gaining and relinquishing control. Something so seemingly literal, physical and immediate can present us with opportunities for patience, sensitivity and love that float us above the specifics of day to day living that sometimes keep us trapped in selfish, enclosed plasms. In textile making the creator is the dictatorial subject manipulating materials. But in this open dialogue with the things we touch and wrestle with, we are also at times rendered the object - when the material tells us where it does and doesn’t want to go. An ongoing balancing and sharing of power - or an empathetic conversation - the kind of dynamic that happens with all relationships that we hold or build with other things, people, places... Textile making grows us in so many ways- in the worlds that we create for ourselves, and in the world that we share with everyone and everything else. A space for me, a space for you, a space for me + you


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© Shawna Wu, All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Mika Orotea

Photo by Mika Orotea