2015-2016 Exnihilo Jr Artists-In-Residence


Kai Sia

(languages: Cantonese, English)

Age 21, born in Virginia, Kai spent her younger years living with her grandparents and family in the Hong Kong countryside. It is through this strong sense of family and her Chinese heritage that nurtured an appreciation of nature that developed the notions that inform Kai as an emerging artist today. She now lives in the DC area. Her main focus for her residency was Lost Wax Casting.


I chose the chrysanthemum as an icon because it is an introduction to my heritage and to me as an individual. I think it is the most delicate and difficult flower to sculpt. I carved each petal by hand so each is unique, as in nature. Like the bees, I do not shy away from challenges or hard work. I do not mind exhausting myself when I know the efforts are worth it.  I gave the chrysanthemums both grim and optimistic titles to show the seriousness of the situation, as well as the possibility for change.

The choice of the flower really doesn’t matter for the message that I wish to convey. What is happening to the bees is not only tied to all plants. It is tied to all of us and the world’s condition because bees sustain the food supply. One third of everything we eat depends on pollination. The reduction of the number of bees is alarming. We need to acknowledge the problem so we can address it. And there are things we can do.

About Kai’s Residency at SilverWorks

Metalsmithing Component:

  1. Lost Wax Casting

  2. Fabrication

  3. Classes Kai attended:

    Chasing & Repoussé

    Lost Wax Casting



    Cold Connection

Studio Component:

  1. Studio maintenance

  2. Open studio duty

  3. Exhibition installation

Environmental Component:

• Immersive experience at a local apiary


Kai holding a bee covered panel from a hive.

“Desire”, Pendant, Sterling Silver

Jr Artists-In-Residence: