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Alice Wu Portrait photo by Andria Lo
Alice Wu A Safety Net

Photo by Andria Lo

Alice Wu, A Safety Net, 2022


A Safety Net, a hanging textile artwork made with black wool suiting and quilt batting, is part of an ongoing series utilizing historical source imagery to explore Alice Wu’s interest in self presentation. The artwork depicts two figures, translated from a historical image*, with outstretched arms forming an open, lattice-like shape that represents a safety net. Among her other modifications to the image, Alice exchanges the original European faces with her own, an act of reclamation that seeks to respond to and transform old narratives into contemporary moments reflecting the losses and gains in her personal experiences and connections found in collective diverse histories.

About Alice Wu

Alice Wu is an artist, designer, and arts worker who lives and works in Oakland, CA. She has shown her work locally at Southern Exposure, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley Art Center, and Your Mood Projects. Alice has also exhibited at Exit Art, The Bronx Museum, High Desert Test Sites, and Hanna Gallery. Alice earned an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University. From 2002-2015, Alice was a fashion designer, and co-founder of Feral Childe, an experimental clothing line that showed in galleries and museums, and also retailed worldwide. Alice has also worked for various Bay Area arts organizations such as Kala Art Institute and NIAD Art Center, and guest curated exhibitions for Chinese Culture Center and Legion Projects. She also teaches sculpture workshops, and serves as a creative business coach for artists and small businesses.   


Alice creates sculpture, fashion, and performances to investigate the everyday presentation of the self, how individuals shapeshift as they navigate social roles, and the visual cues chosen to signal identity and belonging. She was born in the U.S. to parents who immigrated to the United States from Taiwan and Japan. Alice and her family lived in several States before moving to Taiwan, where her family remains today. These formative experiences -- a multilingual upbringing, moving overseas, and the culture shock upon returning to the United States — are some of the influences on her art practice. Alice often repurpose fabric from her fashion designer days, and combines these materials with wood, paper, wire, and other salvaged elements that are slashed, stitched, stuffed, and slathered with paint. The results are meant to be touched, held, worn, and rearranged.


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