About The Artist

Fnu Aodan • Jamesville, NY

Thread Wrapping Flower (aka Chanhua缠花) I make is a traditional Chinese craft art of wrapping silk threads onto paper cuts; it originated in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and thrived during Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912), combining multiple art forms including sculpture, embroidery, and paper cutting. Chanhua has been designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of China. Chanhua is a breathtakingly exquisite art yet almost a dead art just like Latin as a “dead language”. Like all the other crafty arts, it seems that it is left out by the art community, being considered nothing more than an usable object, so it has been rejected by the modern art community. It is too crafty for modern art, too feminine for men, too unfamiliar to foreigners, too “Chinese” to the Westerns, and too time consuming for mass production. Yet still I treasure it by carrying on perfecting it as it is a precious memory passed down to us with the remaining temperature from fingertips.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

Thread Wrapping Flower (aka Chanhua缠花) I make is a traditional Chinese craft art of wrapping silk threads onto paper cuts. First we cut out the proper shape for petals and leaves on paper, then pick the right thread and wrapped around the papercuts, and finally assemble all the wrapped pieces.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

As a soul "trapped in old times", I'm always devastate to see the beauty from the ancient times losing its color, so I'm naturally drown to preserve traditional craft arts with my trivial efforts. Also because Chanhua is a technique that usually passed down a family line from mother to daughter, it is a symbol of feminine connections and power even back in times when women had no access to a proper art education. I hope their efforts and struggles could be seen as women today have more chances and presence in art world.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

As an artist creating thread-wrapped flowers in a Western-centric society, the fusion of Eastern art forms (like Chanhua) with Western aesthetics adds a distinctive and unexpected cultural blend. The transformation of ordinary flowers through the meticulous process of thread wrapping is unexpected and captivating. Turning natural elements into enduring, intricate art pieces also highlights the transformative power of craftsmanship. With the meditative process, each thread-wrapped flower carries a story. Whether it's through the choice of colors, patterns, or the specific flowers used, there's a narrative woven into each creation.