All is changing, passing through us, flowing inside of us, enduring, traveling somewhere; phenomena that we cannot stop sweeps continuously on, like a musical lace work, gathering and dispersing again endlessly as it goes, as water does in a stream.î
Sha Sha Higby is known internationally for her evocative and haunting performances, using the exquisite and ephemeral body sculpture she creates and moves within. It is a metaphorically rich and intimate journey in elaborate multi-layered costume of textures she makes by one out of wood, silk, paper, urushi, ceramic, and gold leaf. The unfolding spectacle creates a path in which movement and stillness meet. Shreds of memory lace into a drama of a thousand intricate pieces, slowly moving, stirring our memory toward a sense of patience and timelessness. Elements of Asian and Western traditions influence Higby's unique work.
After studying, performing, & teaching extensively for almost two decades throughout the United States, Asia, Australia, and Europe, Sha Sha Higby offers workshops, exhibition of her costumes, plus a longer residency in movement, and sound, mask and sculpture construction, puppets, costume, textiles. and object theater. The audience often makes and plays instruments to shake, clack, and rattle during her performances.
Sha Sha Higby started out making dolls and pursued the art of puppetry and sculpture in her early years.She had a great opportunity for one year in Japan in 1971, observing the art of Noh Mask and theater and then received a Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship to study dance and shadow puppet making and performance arts in villages in Indonesia for five years at the Academy of Music, Central Java, Indonesia. In addition to traveling throughout Southeast Asia to Thailand and Myanmar (Burma), she received an Indo-American Fellowship to study the textile arts of India, and a Pilot Travel Grants Fund from Arts International to study in Bhutan, the National Endowment for the Arts in Solo Theater Fellowship, , U.S. Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions, Theater Bay Area CASH, the California Arts Council.. She has also recently studied an additional year lacquer (urushi) arts in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan through the auspices of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission.
“Exoskeletons,” they appear to be more intricate than lace, or more fragile than a thread of a spiders silk in sunlight, whimsical as the ornaments in music boxes and fancy clocks: Bolinas artist Sha Sha Higby sculptures are complex and layered, informed by her experiences in Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and India. Yet more than mere visual delights, these sculptures are made to move with her living body as the driving force. Meticulously crafted over the course of years, her sculptural costumes use paper, wood, leaves, silk, lacquer, ceramics, and gold leaf to make creatures somewhere between the natural and the divine. In a Paper Wing, Higby combines visual art with puppetry, and dance to present and ephemeral but the experience timeless, Watch to see patience rewarded.” Irene Hsiao of Sf. Weekly.
B. FACEBOOK: facebook.com/sha.higby