Chores is an ongoing, collaborative body of work in Joy Mao’s textile art practice, featuring her hand-embroidered interventions on vintage garments.

Each piece bears a unique pattern of embroidery originally inspired by the unintentional yet beautiful splatters left on an old painting smock — embracing the rhythm of repair and rebirth, and celebrating the stains and scars left as evidence of hard work and deep care.

Collection 1 (No. 1-18) - sold out

Collection 2 ᐧ Season 1 (No. 19-28) - sold out


Chores ᐧ Collection 2

Collection 2  ᐧ  Season 1 (2023, No. 19-28)

Made in collaboration with architect and poet Shaina Yang
and patternmaker Lorraine Lum

Season 1 of Collection 2 contained ten embroidered vintage chore coats with reconstructed linings, patchworked from antique indigo-dyed fabric scraps.

Each coat was embroidered in tandem with a corresponding poem written from a memory of the seaside — the seaside providing a consistent backdrop across shifting eras and emotions. Together, they recollect the ways in which our surroundings can witness, support, or even force changes happening on the inside.


Chores ᐧ Collection 1

Collection 1  ᐧ  Seasons 1-3 (2021-2022, No. 1-18)

Made in collaboration with architect and poet Shaina Yang

Collection 1 was composed of eighteen hand-embroidered vintage coats. Six coats are released at a time at the closing harvest of three different seasons of labor — summer, fall, and winter.

The coats are also each paired with an original poem written by Joy’s childhood friend, Shaina Yang. Created in the same room across a series of joint working sessions, the shared energy of this tandem process allowed coat to inspire poem to inspire coat once again. Each poem is a meditation on shared themes of care, ritual, and remnant — but also a product of love and collaboration between two old friends.

03 The Drink - Words by Shaina Yang