When Movana Chen was tasked with shredding a pile of confidential accounting documents, she had no idea it would lead her to a new vocation — being an artist. As an office secretary at the time, she started wondering about what else she could use the paper for and since she had been knitting since a child, she had a bizarre idea: Why not knit paper?
Chen gave it a go and the result was a beautiful sleeveless dress made from shredded magazine. "Knitting paper is very different from knitting wool yarn," Chen says. "You just need one string when knitting wool, but you need several strings when knitting paper. So it takes a lot of time." But Chen is patient and she perseved. That was in 2003. Later, she knitted body suit from shredded travel maps that she wore in Hong Kong as part of a piece of performance art. The idea was to explore people's relationships with one other.
Another one of her pieces, Knitting Conversations, is still ongoing and it includes the work of 150 knitters across the globe who have all contributed to it by shredding personal books and then knitting them.
Check out this video of her technique. (If you ask us, we're feeling inspired to pick up our knitting needles and try it ourselves.)