THE ARMORY SHOW
“Peripheral Visions (2022) ... is a monument to emotional release. Massive mono-lidded and almond-shaped eyes – their glazed surfaces dimpling and wavering in the light – protrude from the walls and surround the viewer in a seemingly all-consuming gaze. Their pink inner corners droop flaccidly into plastic tubes that expel what Lu dubs ‘yellow tears’ (water dyed with onion skins), which spatters into a hodgepodge of found vessels that resemble a Chinese American grandmother’s kitchenware. These ‘tears’ are then fed back up to the top to be wept again. It’s an all-Asian-American ‘cry-in’: each eye was inspired by those of notable Asian American women, including artists Ruth Asawa and Patty Chang, architect Maya Lin, activist Yuri Kochiyama, author Cathy Park Hong, figure skater Michelle Kwan, actor Thuy Trang and journalist Julie Chen. This raucous torrent of collective pain eventually settles into a meditative swell of sound, offering catharsis rather than pessimism. Our fears feel washed away; the ceaseless cycles of hope and disappointment no longer seem like a nihilistic inevitability, but the promise of possibility.”
— Vivienne Liu, “Cathy Lu’s All-Asian-American Cry-In,” Frieze, Issue 230
Cathy Lu (b. Miami, FL; lives and works in Richmond, CA) creates ceramic sculptures and installations that manipulate traditional Chinese imagery and presentation as a way to deconstruct assumptions about Chinese diasporic identity and cultural authenticity. Unpacking how experiences of immigration, cultural hybridity, and cultural assimilation become part of American identity is central to her work.
Lu received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and BA & BFA from Tufts University. She has participated in artist in residence programs at Root Division, Bemis Center for the Arts, Recology SF, and the Archie Bray Foundation. Her work has been exhibited at Chinese Culture Center (San Francisco), Jessica Silverman Gallery (San Francisco), and A-B Projects (Los Angeles). She was a 2019 Asian Cultural Council/ Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation Fellow, and is a 2022 SFMOMA SECA Award winner.