Dec 6

December 6

fiber artist

Han Cao is a self-taught fiber artist who embellishes with hand embroidery on found paper (usually old, abandoned photographs). She currently lives in Dallas, TX and her work brings a textured layer of embroidered story: often funny, whimsical, and sometimes heart-wrenching, to long-forgotten images of people and places.

My artwork aims to create modern narratives for found photos – connecting the people of the past with those of the present. I love the unexpected texture created from needle and thread, how it makes people become more intimate with the work…. This sudden intimacy invites viewers to create their own dialogue with these distant strangers, as they engage the artwork up close. The varied stories captured in my work reflect personal views on gender, relationships, and societal roles, explorations in connection [and] disconnection, and also my sense
of humor.”
–Han Cao

Young asian woman with long black hair and blue and black patterned short-sleeved top stands in front of 3 framed artwork pieces on a white wall
Artist Han Cao stands in front of a wall of her works. Photo from Paradigm website.

Links for Further Exploration

Invitation to Creativity

Find some photographs (old or new) that you have copies of, or don’t mind permanently altering. Images could be of people in your family, or of strangers. Play around with your oil pastels or with embroidery or collage and alter the images to bring a layer of story and/or emotion that you see (or want to embody and make others see) in the image.

You could also find a picture of yourself and manifest your Creative Self by altering the photo with various mixed media. Who is the Creative You that alters, transforms, and Makes?

Dark sepia toned photograph with a line of 9 standing men in suits and ties with 5 women in short-sleeved black dresses sitting in front of them with a man seated on each side. The women's faces have been covered with giant colorful embroidered pansies and their dresses are covered in little green embroidered leaves with long strands coming off their bodies and hanging off the photograph like long roots
Roots, 2019 by Han Cao