What happens when a dozen international ceramics artists meet to eat, work and play with more than a half ton of clay for four weeks?
Inspiration, permutation, exhilaration and a celebration known as East-West Ceramics Collaboration V—an exhibition of contemporary new works in clay ranging from graceful porcelain and traditional vessels to bold abstract sculptural forms and humorous flights of fancy.
The exhibition opens with a program October 23 in the Art Auditorium on the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus and continues through December 9.
As much a process as a show, East-West Ceramics Collaboration V presents works created by Pacific Rim artists who shared studio space in the UH Mānoa Art Building during summer 2011. The artists shared cultures, ideas and views about art as they worked side by side.
“The workshop was truly exciting. There was a lot of exchange and collaboration, hard work, long hours, camaraderie and fun,” says Mānoa Professor of Art Suzanne Wolfe, who organized the workshop and curated the exhibition with Assistant Professor of Art Brad Evan Taylor.
An internationally exhibited artist known for her mold-making and image transfer, Wolfe has taught ceramics and art history at UH for more than 40 years and organized seven ceramics workshops since 1995. She will reflect on her experiences with the ceramics collaborations in a talk at 2 p.m. Sunday, October 23, followed by the opening reception beginning at 3 p.m.
As the exhibition continues, gallery tours will be offered by Taylor or Wolfe at 2 p.m. on Nov. 6, 13 and 20 and Dec. 4, 2011. Many of the works will be available for purchase.
“The exhibition presents an excellent opportunity for everyone to see the tremendous potential and variety that clay offers as a medium,” says Taylor, who previously taught in Korea and thinks about geology, landscape and the environment while creating large-scale works that test the limits of clay.
“We hope that the visiting artists return home and develop similar workshops to continue this kind of exchange,” says Wolfe. “The collaboration was a great experience for the art students who assisted with the workshop and worked with the professionals,” she adds. A related exhibition features new work by those students at the art department’s Commons Gallery, October 23–28.
Video: Participating artists talk about the collaboration
Mālamalama watched and talked with the artists during their four-week summer residency. Some discuss their sources of inspiration and the benefits of sharing of ideas, techniques and cultural influences in this video. Continue reading for a complete list of the participating artists.
Meet the artists from around the Pacific Rim
- NamSook Chang of Korea, who studied ceramics in New Zealand and returned to Korea to open Contemporary Living Art gallery; she explores intimate psychological states in large-scale sculptural forms and creates clay coat hangers that carry memories from the past. Read her profile.
- Ching-Yuan Chang, professor at Tainan National University of the Arts in Taiwan; he changes traditional forms to create a new vessel aesthetic and pairs of seemingly disparate works that reveals intricate relationships. View an interview.
- Rosario Guillermo, of Mexico, who has written about the history of ceramic sculpture in Mexico and often works with wood and clay to create large-scale forms that are both sensual and erotic. Visit her website.
- Sin-ying Ho, of Hong Kong, who has studied in China and the United States and teaches at Queens College of the City University of New York; she uses image transfer techniques to reflect the influence of western consumerism on contemporary Chinese culture. Visit her website.
- Garth Johnson, of the United States, an artist and blogger who creates hip-hop-infused luxury vessels; his unconventional tools include a paintball gun and computer directed Egg-Bot. Visit his website.
- Ian Johnston, a Canadian architect turned ceramic sculptor who experiments unusual techniques such as vacuum-forming and block-printing on clay to create multiple pieces for large-scale installations. Visit his online studio.
- Lee In-chin, professor at Hongik University, Korea, who produces robust forms that reinterpret traditional Korean vessels. Read his biography.
- Ayumi Shigematsu, professor at Kyoto University of the Arts in Japan, known for using coils of clay to build interconnected tubes that create abstract sculptural forms referencing body parts.
- Vipoo Srivilasa, a Thai-born Australian studio artist who combines Eastern and Western influences in quirky dinnerware. “Most of my work at the workshop is about collaboration, intentional or unintentional,” he says, including ideas generated by a serendipitous kiln incident that fused separate figures. View his website.
- Zhang Jingjing, professor and associate dean at the Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute, People’s Republic of China, who paints on traditional ceramic forms, uses thrown porcelain elements and creates undulating ribbons and graceful, elegant arcs. See examples of her work at the website of a previous exhibition.
The workshop and exhibition are sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities and Mānoa Arts and Minds and supported by grants from the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts and institutions of the visiting artists.