Author Profile
Cathy Lu

Cathy Lu is a ceramic artist who manipulates traditional Chinese art imagery and presentation as a way to deconstruct the assumptions we have about cultural authenticity. By creating ceramic sculptures and large-scale installations, she explores what it means to be both Asian and American, while not being entirely accepted as either. Unpacking how experiences of immigration, cultural hybridity, and cultural assimilation become part of American identity is central to her work. 

Lu received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and her BA and BFA from Tufts University in Massachusetts. She has participated in artist-in-residence programs at Root Division, Vermont Studio Center, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and Recology San Francisco. Her work has been exhibited at Johansson Projects, Somarts, Aggregate Space, Berkeley Arts Center, and A-B Projects. She was a 2019 Asian Cultural Council/ Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation Fellow and 2020 NCECA Emerging Artist. Lu currently teaches ceramics at California College of the Arts and Mills College.


To talk about cultural appropriation alone means putting cultures in categories distinct and separate from one another. Each culture as an island, never influenced by another – reality just doesn’t support that.