Above: Yi Hsuan Sung & her work
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Above: Yi Hsuan Sung & her work
Yi Hsuan Sung was selected as one of the designers taking part in the Hudson Yards NYC Emerging Designer Residency. A textile designer who recently received an MFA in Textiles from the Parsons School of Design, Yi Hsuan Sung is inspired by the botanical world and likes to create biodegradable pieces.
Yi Hsuan is one of four recent graduates participating in the NYCxDESIGN and ARTS THREAD residency program at Hudson Yards. For 13 weeks, Sung will work on her portfolio and showcase her projects at Hudson Yards.
ARTS THREAD asked Yi Hsuan some questions to learn more about her work and what she'll be doing during her residency at Hudson Yards.
ARTS THREAD: Please tell us your background? Where & what did you study?
Yi Hsuan Sung: I am a textile designer who recently earned a MFA in Textiles from Parsons School of Design in 2020. I have a BA in Fashion Design from Taipei Shih Chien University and have worked in fashion industry for 3 years.
I am a curious maker who loves to integrate handcrafts and technology to create biodegradable textiles, and who enjoys discovering the littlest surprises from the natural world. I have been knitting, weaving, braiding, cooking and gardening a glorious world of flowers from agar and food waste. My inspiration derives from a respect to natural materials and the love of organic colours and textures. My goal is to bring nature’s beauty into interior spaces with a more sustainable material and fabrication process.
ARTS THREAD: What are you working on for the Hudson Yards residency?
Yi Hsuan Sung: I focus on making floral pendent lamps with agar. I create textile lamp shades by knitting with handmade agar yarn, and decorating the knitted bases with agar flowers cast from the 3D printed molds I’ve designed.
ARTS THREAD: What have been the challenges of working in a public space?
Yi Hsuan Sung: I always feel very excited when I see people stopping to watch me working. However, I sometimes worry my “performance” is not intriguing enough, because every single step takes so long. Only a small part of the process can be shown in, let’s say, 10 minutes.
Another thing is, due to the space limitation. I can not “perform” the most interesting part of my craft practice, which is—-cooking on the stove and cast petals with molds! This is when I the magic happens.
ARTS THREAD: What has been the highlights so far?
Yi Hsuan Sung: The highlight of my daily studio life is looking up from the table and seeing people give me a thumbs up! The amount of feedback and encouragement I get from working in this public space is something very precious and beyond what I expected. I have also completed a new lamp with my current favourite colour tone-tawny brown with a touch of peach pink and grass green. This lamp uses more than 600 pieces of handmade agar yarn and 25 unique agar flowers.
ARTS THREAD: How do you hope this residency will advance your career?
Yi Hsuan Sung: This residency has already helped me a lot by giving me a chance and reason to continue making and creating. I have been so productive and continue advancing my skills! I hope more people can discover this world I’m creating and think of me when, maybe some day, they need floral decorations made from natural and sustainable materials!
ARTS THREAD: What are your future plans?
Yi Hsuan Sung: I would like to keep developing and advancing this craft system of flower making with natural materials, agar and food waste. I wish to explore opportunities in working with hospitality, culinary, interior, and fashion industries by sustainably bringing nature’s beauty close to us.
Learn more about the Emerging Designer Residency Program at Hudson Yards here.