Jessica So Ren Tang is a first-generation Chinese American artist from San Fransisco. Before graduating at Mills College in Oakland, she studied in Seoul, South Korea, where she witnessed a student crochet herself into a cocoon. Inspired, she started experimenting with fiber and continues regularly working with thread and fabric. Her work has been exhibited throughout the Bay Area, participating in exhibitions at SOMArts in San Francisco and the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, among other venues. She currently lives and maintains a studio in South San Francisco.
“Embroidery is versatile in mimicking the original object in shape and design but still distinct enough to be recognized as something else. The stitches are soft but substantial, more tangible. With embroidery, I explore my Asian-American identity; the dualism of being too Asian to be American, and too American to be Asian. In my “girl” series, I replace the facial identity of suggestively posed Asian women with Asian textile patterns. The patterned skin creates a broader spectrum of Asian identity; it becomes more ambiguous and fluid as identity moves between the two.”