Vancouver artist and fashion designer Cindy Wu has long had an interest in sustainability.
So when she was asked to present a painting to this year’s LunarFest Vancouver celebration, it's no suprise that she decided to focus on an environmental theme.
Wu’s painting, Coexistence, incorporates the imagery of two hands being clasped together, which is a way to greet people in Chinese culture. But she included a twist: one of the hands actually represents the natural world.
“It symbolizes that we are tightly bonded with nature,” Wu tells the Straight by phone. “And during my creative process, I tested out different gestures with my own hands.”
The painting will be available on the LunarFest Vancouver website, according to one of the festival organizers.
“I wish to use my artwork to let people know there will be balance of bio-integration of humans and the environment—and to coexist in harmony is important,” she adds.
Last year, Wu was crowned Miss Chinese Vancouver 2021 in a competition broadcast on Fairchild Television.
Growing up in the large southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, Wu learned her love of art from her father, a Chinese film director. She was inspired by seeing how actors could change their looks with the help of fashion, makeup, and different camera angles.
She obtained her bachelor’s degree in fashion design and photography from the New York Parsons School of Design before graduating with a master’s degree in interior design at the Royal College of Art.
Wu spent three years as a part-time designer for one of China’s largest swimwear brands before striking out on her own.
She enjoys creating garments that help women appear both strong and cool.
“In my fashion, I like to use hybrid elements as well,” Wu says. “I incorporate Chinese paintings with western-style geometric shapes into cutting and sewing.”