copyright 2024 Sha Sha Higby
2018 June 10 Throckmorton Theatre,, CA Mill Valley
2018 May 25-27 Fort Mason Fire House, SFIAF
2018 September 1-9 Siem Reap,Ankhor Wat,, Cambodia
2018 thru Nov. 4 Bowling Green University ,Ohio exhibit ,perf.
2018 January 1 Candi Sukuh,Central Java, Indonesia performance
2017 December 29,Jan 1 Rumah Banjarsari,Solo,Java, Indonesia Performance
2017 Bolinas Museum Hardly Strickly Mini Show til Dec. 25th
2017 July-Dec Ishikawa International Urushi Exhibition in Japan
2017 September 1-10, Asian Lacquer Craft Exchange, Myanmar Exhibit
2017July-January Arrowmont,Gatlinburg,TN Exhibit
Review of Sha Sha Higby in performance
2018 November 23,24,25 West Marin Open Studios

BG Independent News

Sha Sha Higby's art is a continual work in progress.

The performance artist blends sculpture, puppetry, costuming, drawing, lights, and music, all influenced by ancient traditions from Japan, Indonesia, and other Southeast Asian traditions.

When Higby presents her one-person show "Paperwings III" at Bowling Green State University Wednesday, she will bring together two pieces. This is not their culmination though. The puppeteer-sculptor will surely make more alterations.

Higby's performance will be the opening event for the New Music Festival, which continues on campus through Saturday with a full schedule of concerts and presentations.

"Paperwings III" will be staged Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. The performance is free.

When people arrive, they will find a sculpture on stage. That sculpture that the audience sees will come alive.

"I'm using my body as a motor," Higby said in a recent telephone interview.

The work then unfolds as she uses her limbs to bring masks to life. Her drawings are projected onto the wings of her costume, and the whole scene is bathed in dramatic lighting, designed with the assistance of her husband Albert Hollander, also assists with the music.

That soundtrack washes over the scene. Some of it is original music, but mostly it's snippets of sound picked up from her travels. It may be birds, electronics or a gamelan orchestra. (Higby performed years ago at BGSU with the university's gamelan.) Some audience members will be given small bells so they can contribute to the sound.

"It's like a piece of poetry. You have to use your imagination to link the parts," Higby said. "It's a visual dessert of images that are flowing."

In addition to the performance a retrospective exhibit of her work will be on display at the Bryan Gallery in the Fine Arts Center through Nov. 4.

"The costumes and sculptures are elaborate, lyrical and meticulously hand-crafted," gallery director Jacqueline Nathan stated. The show will include a video of some of her earlier performances.

The exhibit was a challenge to set up because it is shipped in pieces and requires assembly.

In fact, Higby said, the amount of work would cover a football field of arms, legs, wings, masks, and more.

"I'll fluff it when I come," she said.

Higby, who was born in Michigan and grew up in California, started sewing and making doll clothes as a child. Her stepfather made shirts, and her brother also took up the craft and continues to make sails.

Higby created dolls, clothes for them, and dollhouses. When she attended art school she was told that dolls weren't art. So she focused on drawing. "It's the most direct medium," she said. "Drawings are the window to the soul."

In 1971, early in her college career, she traveled to Japan and became entranced with Noh Theater. Later she studied dance, shadow puppet making and performance arts in Indonesia. Then 25 years later she returned to Japan to study the intricate craft of lacquering the masks, which require 50 layers of lacquer that is made from the sap of a particular tree.

The lacquer, Higby said, is, like yogurt, living … fitting for her work.

In creating her work, Higby does not draw out her designs or make detailed plans. "It evolves as I make the objects."

She may start with an idea for a head, and then creates a framework. "It grows ahead of you."

That growth doesn't stop once she starts performing a piece. "How it happens on the stage at the time will change." She may adjust the choreography, or decide she needs another sculptural element.

Then Higby can spend months realizing that vision.
Click to article
2019 Feb.15-June 9 ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena
2019 2018 Fuzhou International Lacquer Art Biennial' in China
2019 May 25 SFIAF Performance,San Francisco "Clouds of Crows"
2019 June 2 Performance Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley"Clouds of Crows"
2019 March 14 performance at GARB,Pasadena "Paper Wings"
Interview with Sha Sha
2019 May 3 performance at Bats Improv,San Francisco
2019 article in Marin Arts and Culture Magazine
2019 Link to 4 Part Live Interview
2019 July 22 Workshop, Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley
2019 August 2- Sept 9, Sebastopol Center for the Arts
2019 Oct 26-Oct 20,2020, Art in the Forest,Hanoi ,Vietnam
2019 Nov.29,30,31, Thanksgiving open Studios Bolinas.
2019 Oct 31-Nov 4, Asian Lacquer Research,Shanghai University of Fine Arts
2020 April 21 Bead Society lecture/work/perf 7pm Albany,CA
2020 March 18,Workshop in Bolinas
2020 July 31 BOX Show Point Reyes
2020 October Ishikawa International Lacquer Exhibition/Japan
2020 Video in Viet Nam
Video of Dream box at night
Video of Dream box in daytime
Link to all the boxes
2020 October 24, 3 pm performance SFIAF" "Clouds of Crows"
2020 October 10, 5:45 performance Marsh Solo Festival"Clouds of Crows"
Paypal link
(portion of proceeds go to Non-profit causes)
Paypal link
(portion of proceeds go to Non-profit causes)
2020 Nov 9-Dec 8, Georgia Southern Center for Art and Theatre
2020 Video at SFIAF
2020 Dec 8,11 am pst Enamelist Society,Zoom member lecture
2021 Eckert Art Gallery at Millersville University,exhibition
2021 August,Exhibition Tours,Throckmorton Theatre (click video)
2021 July-September Point Reyes Box Show (click video)
2021 October 23, 2 pm performance SFIAF
2022 March 12,15,22,29 Kyoto Residency Workshops and Performance
2021 Video at SFIAF
2022 Weekly Spotlight Franklin Furnace,Sha Sha Higby FF Alumni
2022 September 17,Throckmorton Theatre,Mill valley"Paper Wings II"
2022 September 24-Oct 4 Tokyo University of Art "Paper Wings" II"
2022 Oct 16-22 Tokyo Metropolitan Museum (Japan Enameling Artist Ass)
2022 March 24 10, performance Marsh Solo Festival "Paper Wings II"
2023 June 9 &11 Brava Theater,San Francisco, SFIAF23 "Powdered Sea"
2023 Group Exhibition in Hubei Museum of Art,China
Donate to Sha Sha Higby project at SFIAF
Donate to Sha Sha Higby project at SFIAF
2022 Enchanted Garden video
2020 Video at SFIAF
2022 Exhibition at Throckmorten Theatre
2023 June 24th Throckmorton Theatre performance""Powdered Sea"
2023 Exhibition of a piece a the Bolinas Museum NOW
Article on Sha Sha Higby
Powdered Sea Video
2024 March 16,Performance Workshop in Tsuwano,Japan"
2023 November 24,25,26 Bolinas Open Studios
2023 December Ishikawa International Lacquer Exhibition/Japan
2023 October 28 Commonweal New School Full Moon Labyrinth Performance
2024 May 12 SFIAF Studio 210, Deborah Slater Theater,San Francisco
2024 May 4 SFIAF STUDIO 210 Deborah Slater Theater,San Francisco
2024 March 26,27,Performance Workshop in Asaba ART Square,Japan"
2024 March 24,Performance Workshop in Tokyo,Japan"
Outdoor Performance
Outdoor Performance