Cat Chiu Phillips creates installation work in public spaces often using traditional handicraft methods including crochet, weaving, and embroidery. She often uses discarded materials including plastic and electronic waste to create large-scale installation and public art projects. Phillips has received many national and international public art commissions and has been an educator in the public schools for over 20 years.
Kites V is made from discarded plastic bags and pellets and creates a dialogue on the handmade, sustainability, recycling, post-consumer presence, and conservation.
Kites V, 2021
Plastic Bags, HDPE Pellets, & Welded Steel
I have an interest in refuse and its post-consumer existence. Through my explorations, I have learned to encourage its use as a sustainable product through innovative design and to use it as a public artwork material. While advocating eco-friendly design, it promotes recycling, upcycling, and sustainable efforts. I hope to focus on the material’s post-consumer existence inspiring others to use it as a new product while using innovation and creativity.
Growing up in Manila, I experienced and witnessed the overwhelming amount of pollution, poverty, over population, and constant battle against natural disasters. I have always explored these ideas in my work because of my admiration for the population’s ability to rise against constant tragedy. Though I use various found materials in my work, discarded items became an interest to me because of its contextual value. This narrative richness inevitably intensifies the visual arts product.
I am a Filipino-Chinese American, public artist, public school teacher, mother, and a wife of a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. My various perspectives allow me to experience the world from different points of view. As a site-specific installation artist, I believe that research is essential in understanding the community, its citizens and culture. In working with public art projects, I partner and build relationships with various local organizations to ensure an authentic and genuine connection.