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EXPLORE: Aram Han Sifuentes

Note to Teachers: 
Content that may be challenging or too mature for younger viewers is marked with an asterisk (*). Please scan all material to determine whether it is appropriate for your students. 

"Much of my communal work revolves around sharing skills as a point of connection. We share sewing techniques, to create multiethnic and intergenerational sewing circles, which become a place for empowerment, subversion, and protest."
Aram Han Sifuentes Protest Banner Lending Library.png
Sewing was part of family life  for Aram Han Sifuentes as her immigrant family left professional careers in South Korea to be drycleaners in the US.  Han Sifuentes uses fibers, and collaborative projects to highlight immigrant experiences. Collective making projects include US Citizenship Sampler workshops using sampler style embroidery to practice test questions and produce an artwork that can be sold to help pay for citizenship applications fees, and the Protest Banner Lending Library where participants make a banner and leave it for others to read and use.  Her latest project is the Official Unofficial Voting Station: Voting for All who Legally Can’t, is an interactive project, and website with  downloadable resources. 

Artist Website

Social Media


Selected Videos of Projects

Protest Banner Lending Library 
Aram Han Sifuentes uses simple fabric processes  to make protest banners. Participants can learn and apply basic sewing skills to make personal or political statements . The banners are housed in the lending library for those who do not feel safe protesting publicly or being part of other forms of social activism. She has Protest Banner Lending Libraries around the US. 

Aram Han Sifuentes
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posted by Mackenzie Farrel 

Facebook Artist in Residence: Aram Han Sifuentes (subtitled)
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Posted by June Zandona 

Official Unofficial Voting Station: Voting for  All who Legally Can’t.
This project was inspired by Han Sifuentes experience of not being able to vote in 2016 because she was not yet a citizen. The project includes information \ about who can vote and who can’t.  Kids can be involved in the project by answering whether they should be able to vote. The website includes curriculum to be used at a teachers’ discretion. Downloadable posters are available in multiple languages. Videos are in Spanish and Spanish and English

Exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
Includes an audio artists talk and curatorial talk

 Art in a Flash with Miranda Lash: On Aram Han Sifuentes' Work

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Interviews and Artists Talk

Contemporary Voices: Aram Han Sifuentes
This video from the George Washington Museum and Textile Museum is an artist talk and in-depth overview of Han Sifuente’s body of work. She tells of sewing collaborations with embroidery artists in Chiapas, Mexico; for example, the fiber piece A Mend: A Collection of Scraps from seamstresses and tailors in Chicago, and the US Citizenship Test Sampler. The first sampler she sold to pay for her own citizenship application and then organized workshops for others to make samplers to study and pay for their own applications.  

Topics for Further Inquiry

Immigration , Motherhood and Art 

Sifuentes, A.  (2019) A mother’s work: A mother/daughter, seamstress/fibre artist’s merging practice and politics about Younghye Han in Marchevska, E., & Walkerdine, V. (Eds.). The Maternal in Creative Work: Intergenerational Discussions on Motherhood and Art (1st ed.). pp. 111-120 Routledge. 
Aram Han Sifuentes tells her family's immigrant story and how her mother after many years of working in the dry cleaning  business returned to artmaking after the birth of her granddaughter. 

Immigration in the US

American Immigration Council
This site has information about immigration categories and processes in the US. 


Other lenses/themes to discuss the work:

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