a tree in front of a tall building

iris yirei hu, "Lessons from Wise Woman, Grandmother Oak Tree, and Hands," 2020; installation view, permanent mural commission at California State University, Dominguez Hills; 47 ft.; photo: Elon Schoenholz

iris yirei hu

Artist in Residence, 2022

portrait of iris hu

Artist Statement

I am a journey-based artist and educator who uses my hands to see, sing, and sense the sacred. I paint, weave, dye, write, seed, plant, and compost my lived reality into installations, public artworks, and intercultural collaborations. Central to my work are the building of relationships with people and places through slow and critical reflection, and the uplifting of feeling and sensuality. I often work in community with friends, artists, poets, scientists, lawyers, historians, keepers of traditions, and organizers to limn possibilities of kinship. I am interested in how art can help us to deepen our relationship to what we experience, with whom we connect, and how we live. What if we understood the present as generations of people cultivating love and optimism through deep relation, instead of a sequence of violent events?

While at Headlands

I make colorful, haptic, and large assemblages, which are a culmination of networks that reverberate through time and space in both tangible and cosmic ways. At Headlands, I plan to continue working on a body of work for a large-scale, multi-year public art project in Los Angeles. The project uplifts the roles of feeling, wonder, and delight, and involves my continued study of the Indigenous landscape and plant relatives that exist in California. Sunbathing, hiking, fishing, going on adventures, and doing fieldwork enable my embodied research and practice of being delicious. Meanwhile, I am working on a multidisciplinary collaborative series with dancers, experimental composers, and costume designers based in the Bay Area. Being in the region for an extended period of time will allow me to focus on developing imagery and textiles for the series, which speak to the earth’s fault lines and the Asian diaspora.