Sheena Liam’s gorgeous embroidered portraits with lifelike, flowing hair

The concept of embroidery might bring to mind an image of a grandma sitting on a comfy chair, carefully creating crocheted blankets and twee cushion covers. But this traditional craft has come a long way in recent years, with a growing number of contemporary artists bringing the age-old practice into a modern space.

One artist taking embroidery to the next level is Sheena Liam, whose original and refreshing take on the technique has cultivated an impressive online following which continues to gain momentum.

Based on photographs of herself, Sheena creates minimalist compositions in her signature dark green thread, which she uses to imitate flowing hair that spills out of the frame. The combination of secure and loose fibres create an almost sculptural aesthetic, as her static figures contrast the dynamic movement of each strand of hair.

A Malaysian born artist and model, Sheena is known for winning Asia´s Next Top Model. As a child, she learnt the basics of embroidery from her mother and found herself revisiting the technique between travelling and modelling.

She is drawn to figurative art and models for many of her own pieces. "In a strange way, modelling parallels my art in the sense I often have to use body language as a means of expressing a certain sort of mood. It's no different from my embroideries."

You can discover more of Sheena's work on Instagram, and her debut solo exhibition, Times New Romance, is on display at Item Gallery, Paris until 27 October.


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