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Meet Cindy Hsu Zell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cindy Hsu Zell.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Cindy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am based in Los Angeles, CA. I grew up in San Gabriel near the mountains and studied sculpture and animation at USC. My approach to art stems from this love of nature and movement as well as a deep curiosity about form, texture, and minimalism.

I started creating large-scale wall sculptures out of sustainably-sourced natural fibers, wood, and metal in 2014. My work is material-driven and explores the influence of gravity on composition. Individual pieces serve as studies on gesture, curves, drape, and weight.

Has it been a smooth road?
I have no intention of scaling, outsourcing production, or creating more than I can make myself. I want to be mindful of the quantity and quality of materials I put out into the world. I take a lot of pride in my process and value the organic result that comes from having a touch of hand in everything. As a result, however, I have struggled with feeling like there’s not enough hours in a day while making sure to prioritize my happiness and health so that I can continue to do this for a very long time. I have had to rethink society’s views on ambition, laziness, and hustle. I work hard, but I won’t sacrifice my body or mind for my art. I have big goals, but I don’t need an empire. I think it’s okay to keep things small and slow down – after all I’ll never be less busy than I am now and it’s a conscious choice we can make to enjoy the journey.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I developed my technique for spinning and dyeing rope five years ago – It’s a process that begins with stringing thread hundreds of times for every length of finished rope. It’s a slow and sometimes tedious process, but that work results in a piece that I hope highlights and shares my love of details in shapes and materials. That’s why I encourage people to reach out and touch the tassels, I even include a brush with every purchase. There’s usually a prohibition against touch in museums to preserve the artwork, but my pieces are so focused on exploring material and texture that I’d like for people to experience them with all the senses.

I truly enjoy the connections that I’ve made because of my business. From the talented artists I’ve collaborated with to clients and designers who teach me new things about my work and self every day, I am lucky I get to meet the most amazing people in this line of work. I understand that there’s limited wall space in a home, so it’s truly an honor when someone chooses my work to fill them.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is where I grew up and where I’ll stay. I love that you can find anything within a two hour drive, from mountains and oceans to forests and rivers, to desert landscapes. There’s so much inspiration for someone who loves nature, food, and sunshine.

My advice is to know that it takes some work to find the things you’re looking for, but that they are there! Los Angeles feels like it’s made up of many different cities that are so unique but spread out. It also requires work to maintain friendships, you just have to find people you’re willing to drive through traffic for.

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Image Credit:
Cindy Hsu Zell

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1 Comment

  1. Cindy

    September 3, 2019 at 23:42

    Thank you so much for sharing and for this opportunity!

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