Photo of Shelby TseInstagram: @shelbyartss

Raised in Hong Kong, Shelby Tse moved to Canada at the age of 15 by herself. Currently, she is completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo, majoring in Fine Arts and Sociology. Shelby has developed her interest in mixed-media art, specifically combining digital art with textiles. She loves exploring ideas, understanding people and society. Her practice has developed into investigating the political chaos and identity crisis in her hometown. Along with the memories of her hometown and someone who lives between cultures, she wants to offer some care and hope. Similar to how yarn intertwines, people are connected to one another.

Artist Statement

I weave yarns and make knots between the spaces of each cord. Slowly, the spaces become filled and intertwined into different forms of patterns. Weaving is traditionally seen as a home craft for women and mothers. As a transnational woman who is living between cultures after moving from Hong Kong to Canada, it is challenging to define what is “here” and “there”, and the notion of “home” between Hong Kong and Canada. The clash between two cultures has become a barrier for me, as I question my self-identity and belonging. I began to find metaphors and similarities in weaving through my transnational experiences because of the way yarn intertwines and unites to fill in spaces. It closes the gaps and distance, creating the feeling of intimacy, comfort and calmness.

Distance Intimacy is an installation that presents my attempts of intimacy and belongings in both countries. The geographical distance, in addition to the political shifts and progression that occurred in Hong Kong, involuntarily detaches people from their sense of belonging and forces them to leave only with the cultural values and memories prior to the shift. Weaving the nature of Canada’s landscape acts as a means for me to feel connected with Canada and the memories I have gained. The long process of weaving and high attention to detail presented the endeavour of closeness and intimacy of my journey to Canada. In this work, I would also like to acknowledge and express my deepest respect and gratitude for all Indigenous people, for their enduring care and protection of the lands and waterways, and for healing and preserving this place. My experience in Canada cannot be more meaningful without the lives and work of all Indigenous people.