Annika Cheng

My artwork explores issues faced by the sino-diaspora through the recreation and recontextualization of traditional garments, objects, and practices in the fiber medium. The soft nature of the material allows these objects to be pliable, representing the ways that culture can shift and change. This pliability questions the ways that Chinese culture has been manipulated, colonized, appropriated, and fetishized by a Western gaze. This pliability also points to the ways that diaspora members can change traditions to fit their modern contexts, and fight against the orientalizing ways that Chinese cultures have been depicted as stagnant and primitive. I hope that my work is able to empower members of the diaspora to define what culture means to them, and releases them from the need to perform “Chinese-ness” for an American gaze.


About the artist:

Annika Cheng is an interdisciplinary artist and activist from Queens, NYC. She is currently studying at the Maryland Institute College of Art as a fiber major with minors in art history, illustration, and experimental fashion. Her work explores different aspects of the sino-diaspora through the recontextualization of traditional garments, objects, and practices. In addition to her art practice, Annika Cheng also maintains a strong activist practice. As a member of NYCAASC, she works to promote awareness around AAPI issues through the organization of informative and interactive workshops. She is also currently working on creating an accessible resource for the Asian American adoptee community.


变脸 Face Changing


Acrylic yarn

26 inches x 11 inches x 0.5 inches


福 Good Luck


Cotton thread

8 inches x 8 inches x 0.5-inches


麻將牌 Mahjong Tiles


Acrylic yarn, fabric scraps

22 inches x 9 inches x 4 inches


新年快乐 Lunar New Year


Acrylic yarn

10 inches x 12 inches x 4 inches


美国旗袍 Beautiful American Cheong Sam


Found fabrics

16 inches x 28 inches



Back to the exhibition