Graduate Alumni Work > Advanced Fiber Studio (Highlights)

Sarah Whyte (Fall 2017)
Sarah Whyte (Fall 2017)
"Maggots in the Rice"
Performance, sewing grains of rice
2019

There is a strong possibility I was abandoned because I was born a girl in China. My work is informed by my Chinese past and my American upbringing. I focus on identity, micro-aggressions dealing with sexism, beauty and racism, Chinese foot binding, the one child policy, adoption and orphanages in China.

I produce a lot of drawing, painting and fibers work but I also experiment with things like video, photography and ceramics. I use processes that require endurance, like hand sewing thousands of grains of rice onto a cheongsam with a couching stitch, or making and embroidering a Chinese foot bound shoe with silk, cotton, embroidery floss, cardboard and glue. I use a broad range of materials from more conventional things like oil paint and embroidery floss to unconventional materials like rice and tea.
I write poetry in combination with my work. For example, I made a text based twelve yard long banner that is inspired by my poem “The Way They See You”. The poem consists of things people have said to me, such as

“You’d make a great Asian stripper,”
“You should go out with me because you never know someone may never love you as much as I do ever again,” and
“You know I heard Chinese women have cash registers for souls.”

For the banner I wrote the phrases from the poem onto the cotton with India ink and embroidery, while abstracting the words through staining, dripping and burning. I enjoy thinking about how my process and materials relate to my work conceptually, as I work through my thoughts and internal struggles in my art.