Liyen Chong
Malaysian, born 1979

Of Chinese heritage, Malaysian upbringing, and extensive international travels, Liyen Chong produces artwork in a variety of media, informed by her first-hand exploration of personal identity and displacement. In her best known body of work, Chong embroiders white cotton with black strands of her own hair, literally sewing her memories, DNA, and cultural heritage into the work (in a tradition learned from her grandmother that traces back to her Chinese ancestry.) Although appearing to be drawings from afar, these tiny figurative embroideries require a closer, intimate viewing in order to see the hair, which at times is sourced from others to extend its intertwining of identities and cultures. Currently residing in New Zealand and having attended school for both painting and graphic design, Chong also creates work that combines painting, performance, and photography, and is similarly …

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