2019 EDGE: Cindy Hsu Zell


For this Southern California-born and raised artist, it’s all about texture.

Cindy Hsu Zell is an artist whose work is a study on the influence of gravity in composition. She studied animation and sculpture at the University of Southern California and creates large scale fiber wall art made from sustainably-sourced natural fibers, wood, and metal. Known for textural sculptures that are both minimal and textural, she developed her own technique for spinning and dyeing rope, which begins with her stringing each thread from one end of the studio to the other, sometimes hundreds or thousands of times. When her pieces go to their forever homes, she imagines people brushing their sculptures and she derives such enjoyment from the tactile connection that she shares with her collectors. She also runs a much-adored jewelry line for sensitive ears called WKNDLA.

LA Design Festival sat down with Cindy Hsu Zell to learn more about her practice and process.

what have been your biggest successes?

I’m really honored every time someone places my work in their home! Wall space is a limited resource and it means the world.

what are you most excited about right now?

I am learning wood carving and turning techniques now. I’ve been woodworking for a decade and there’s still so much to explore!

what do you want to do next?

I have a lot of pride in my process and love the organic result that comes from having a touch of hand in everything I make. I want to continue to learn new skills and share my love of materials through my art.

who is your favorite artist or designer?

I admire too many artists to count. Some of my long-time favorites are Isamu Noguchi, Ruth Asawa, Sheila Hicks, Yayoi Kusama, Alexander Calder, and Agnes Martin.

what’s your daily ritual like?

My brain is quite chaotic so my day always starts with my calendar and to do list. Planning and organizing my schedule allows me the time and flexibility to just play in the studio sometimes while getting all my work done!

Haily Zaki