Cross stitch project in textile exhibition

The first part of the cross stitch project with my mum Doris Tsui is now showing in a textile exhibition at Corban Estate Arts Centre in Auckland, curated by Cora Allan Wickliffe.

This project features the tartan pattern found on mass produced Hong Kong Shopper or Ahmah bags. It represents over 22,000 cross stitches and over 200 hours of stitching.

The exhibition runs from 26th July until 15th September.

Cross stitch translation

My Mum Doris Tsui is an avid cross stitcher so I asked her to translate the tartan pattern from the common ‘Hong Kong Shopper’ into a cross stitch. We are currently stitching the different colour variations of these mass produced bags which is a time intensive process.

Although cross stitch is known as a hobby craft stitch, it is also thought to be the oldest form of hand embroidery and can be found throughout the world, similarly these affordable bags can be seen around the world in airport, market places and laundromats.

Commonly known as Ahmah (domestic servant) bags in Hong Kong. This cross stitch project with my Mum has a somewhat biographical link. As a family we lived in Hong Kong from 1978 to 1982. My Father is originally from Hong Kong and my Mum is second generation New Zealand born Chinese.

Kathryn and Doris Tsui, Ahmah bags (2018)

Overlapping – Tea paintings

This new series of watercolours began while researching dyes made with natural materials and kitchen waste.

These works on paper are painted with layers of Ceylon, fruit and herbal teas.

The first tea plant was thought to be taken to Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) in 1824 while a Crown Colony by the British from China. It was planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradenyia, Kandy.