Plates by artist Diane KW are for sale in the CFile Shop. The artist created a series of seven 10 1/2 inch porcelain plates with an onglaze decal. Currently five are still available for the cost of $150 each.
The plates feature ceramic transfers of documents from a Dutch ship, the Geldermalsen, which carried Chinese export goods. Diane KW applied these documents to modern Chinese export plates. The texts are from the Dutch East India inventory sheets of 1750 and survivor accounts from the 1752 shipwreck of the Geldermalsen. Approximately 250,000 pieces of Chinese export ceramics sank with the ship, but 150,000 were recovered and sold at auction in 1986. Juxtaposing past China Trade with present Chinese export, the plates are a timeline of merchant history and porcelain history. The use of old Dutch calligraphy as a decorative element highlights the past attention given to handwriting in history, reminding us that unlike china, penmanship is lost forever.
Diane KW drew on the storied wreck for her 2014 At World’s End exhibition at the Groninger Museum and the Honolulu Museum of Art, which CFile covered here and here. She applied digital ceramic transfers of historic texts to shards from the wreck. KW stated of the exhibition:
“Most of us try to stay near the ocean’s surface where water, air, and light meet, but there are the brave ones who would dive deep to discover hidden secrets below. There are so many secrets at the bottom – strange-looking sea creatures, shipwrecks, sunken treasure.
“I am a ceramic artist, and for me the sunken treasure is not gold or jewels, but rather ancient ceramics salvaged from the ocean’s depths. These vessels have become shards, their asymmetric individualities hinting at their histories. I help ceramic shards tell their stories, stories about the history of man, his accomplishments and his failures.”
Diane KW is a Hawaii-based ceramic artist and a graduate student in the Master of Fine Arts ceramics program at the University of Hawaii. She holds an M.D. from New York University and a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology from Columbia University. From carved vessels to collaged ceramics to contemporary historical installations, her work ranges from the decorative to the conceptual. Diane’s work may be seen on her site or in the permanent collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, Hawaii USA, the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA, the Nanchong University Ceramic Museum, Nanchong, China and the Groninger Museum, Groningen, Netherlands.
Above image: Diane KW, “Moving Forward Looking Back #1,” 2014, porcelain plate with onglaze decal, 10 1/2 inches
Any thoughts about this post? Share yours in the comment box below.