Knitter Esther : biography

Celebrated as Hong Kong’s hottest yarn bomber, Knitter Esther is a knitting addict.

Not a day has gone by in the last 30 years without hundreds of meters of woolen threads passing through her expert hands to satisfy her passion. The challenge drives her, the search for technical solutions explodes in her, and she is not afraid to work for several months with students that she continuously trains in yarn bombing to cover an entire bridge.

It was after a meeting in 2012 with Madga Sayeg, who brought this art to the United States, that Knitter Esther took the plunge and began to exhibit her creations on the street.

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She remembers her first work very well: a fence in the tourist district of Hong Kong where she lives. Her hands trembled so much at the thought of being caught by the police that she couldn’t manage to sew her hook on! But it was also on that day that she realized that her creations had their place in the public eye.

The many expressions of support, interest and questions asked by curious visitors have convinced her of the benefits of her colorful works.

Since then, this relentless knitter has continued to learn and train herself, with the help of Japanese books, without understanding the texts, but by tirelessly repeating the loops and new techniques.

Her expertise and the mix of these techniques allow her today to cover anything  whatever the shape.

Knitter Esther therefore applies her creations on many different supports in the street, from garbage cans to fences, bicycle parks and other street lamps, as well as trees and urban benches.

Convinced that yarn bombing plays as much a part as spray, stencil or other urban art techniques in the embellishment of the daily life of city dwellers, she does not hesitate to brave the prohibitions of the city of Hong Kong to “invade” the furniture with her colorful decorations, which sometimes take several months to complete and which only last a few weeks or even a few days in the street.

Holding no grudge, Knitter Esther is a philosopher and argues that this allows her to start all over again.

And as nothing can stop her, she is aiming to cover the deck of the Tsin Ma Bridge, one of the largest suspension bridges in the world, no less !

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How do you define yourself? Why so ?

I’m Hong Kong’s first yarn bomber

What’s your story? What brought you to painting ?

I am a freelance personal trainer. I started crochet/knitting over 30 years ago,

We used to joke about being the wealthiest employees before 1997. But nowadays, it seems that it’s more difficult to make a living. . People seem to be increasingly worried about their jobs. They are constantly thinking about how to survive, rather than live. They are less connected with their neighbors and friends than in the past.

When I was crochet/knitting on the streets, many pedestrians would come over and chat with me, and ultimately, I wanted to “form a community through knitting”.

Read the interview
What inspires you ?

I was inspired by Magda and is now considered to be Hong Kong’s first yarn bomber. She has been putting colorful displays of knitted yarn on road signs, railings, fences and trees since 2012, when she invited me to take part in an exhibition in the city. That was ‘I Knit MK’ in HK.

What is your favorite playground ?


What equipment and techniques do you use ?

Mainly is acrylic because this is a wonderfully versatile, synthetic material. It has so many uses and possibilities. acrylic is a type of plastic.

Acrylic yarns are great for kids because they can be easily washed, they are great for charity items that you don’t know how they will be washed or treated, toys, and they can make nice afghans if they are soft enough.

Which project has marked you the most? Why did you do it ?

Thank you, Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, who invited me to participate in the promotion of arts activities a few years ago, which gave me time to plan the patterns for Lek Yuen Bridge in Sha Tin. I worked with students from more than 20 schools as well.
Sha Tin Park is a good place to promote my street art, so that my works are not concentrated on Hong Kong side, but are also across the territory.

Who are the main artists who inspired you at the beginning ?

The yarn bombing technique was said to be founded by American textile artist Magda Sayeg.
Sayeg first started with wrapping the door handle of her boutique shop for decoration and later took the art to the streets, transforming different kinds of roadside structures. The movement began in her hometown Texas and eventually went global.

Which artists are you excited about today ?

The yarn bombing experience with Magda pushed me to think out of the box. Il search online also find others doing the same everywhere, all these crochet/knitting sisters and brothers are also made me vibrate until now.

From your prospective, do you think that urban Art impact people’s life ?

Crochet/Knitting nowadays are not only about making scarf or clothes for ourselves. It is about bringing people together, want to spread happiness through my work, as I observed that Hongkongers were less happy in general than 30 years ago when the economy was booming before the 1997 handover.

Do you think that your work questions society? In which way ?

When I was knitting on the streets, many pedestrians would come over and chat with me, and ultimately, I wanted to “form a community through knitting” Yarn Bombing is a friendly street artwork as it never harm the materials and we MUST remove the yarn after a few weeks.

Drip’in concept is to bring urban Art to homes. Our iconic object is a white train, which we freely leave into artists’ hands. Why did you choose to collaborate to this « Cover It Project »?

I like to use many different techniques to create a newborn artwork in different kind of projects. Drip’in concept is a great challenge for my patience and using some special amazing techniques to complete.

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