Welcome back to Spotted, our list of top favorites right now from the world of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics. In this edition we kick off our list with Sebastian Neeb’s humorous gilded trophies and Gailan Ngan’s sculptural investigations between process and form.
Vancouver-based artist Gailan Ngan‘s large sculptural forms are physical manifestations of her investigations into clay unrestrained by tradition. Bulges and cracks, dripping pools and gloopy glazes, her work explores, embodies and even exaggerates her material’s connection between its body and the kinesthetic actions which give it form.
See more work by Ngan from her recent exhibition Chronicles at the Art Gallery at Evergreen in Coquitlam, British Columbia.
We love Sebastian Neeb‘s gilded trophies from the Berlin-based artist’s “Trophies for Outstanding Performance Over Decades“ series. Herein these conspicuous awards lies their irony, and as Artfridge writes, Neeb’s works survey how meaningless values and markers of progress are employed as tools of influence and control thus perpetuating dependence on such external validations.
In his idea, the awarding of trophies and titles is rather a matter of manipulation, a loose promise of a value that only exists in people’s head without having an actual materialistic counter-value. Following this concept, a new kind of character head is courting for leadership within his series “New Leader”, while “Trophies for Outstanding Performance Over Decades” awards rather nonsensical achievements like the finding of an already emptied jug of wisdom.
Read Artfridge‘s 2016 interview with Neeb.
We love Tokyo-based designer Kosuke Araki‘s new tableware collection. Not only because of its dark, sleek design, but because it’s made of recycled food waste, making it an environmentally friendly choice. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), one-third of food produced in the world for human consumption—approximately 1.3 billion tons—gets lost or wasted every year.
Dezeen writes Araki’s Anima collection was designed to demonstrate alternatives to such food waste.
“Every day, food waste is produced at a huge industrial scale, as well as a small domestic scale. Although some of it is processed into something useful, most is disposed of in landfills contributing to environmental problems.” ––Araki
To make the collection, Araki collected and recorded the amount of waste––rinds, peels, shells and bones––produced in his house for two years. The total amount weighed nearly 700 lbs. Araki then formed the collection by combining the black carbonized vegetable waste, glue made from animal bones and gelatinous parts, and Urushi, a Japanese lacquer, for stability.
According to Araki’s project statement, Anima is a sequel to Food Waste Ware (2013), a project documenting food waste produced from which tableware was made. .
Read more here.
French artist Samy Rio combines our two loves ceramics and glass in this limited edition Vases Composés collection, which according to Rio’s artist statement, stemmed from a year-long residency at the Cirva in Marseille and at Sevres cité de la céramique from 2015 to 2016.
“I have choose to associate glass, ceramic, and thus materials with skills, to form through these 2 entities a communality of interests, intentions and work. On the level of the objects, this association is translated by a sophisticated research on aggregation between materials and forms.” ––Rio
Comprising cheap industrial elements like o-ring or nylon ropes in a precise method, the collection, Rio adds, is an homage towards the craftsmanship of two institutions in the form of a tribal brain-teaser, locked with two wooden keys.
Ireland-based artist Eleanor Swan‘s installation Ode To A Not Too Distant Past from her collection Sigh of the Times! features two titan sized ceramic busts looking over a village of ceramic homes.
From her artist statement:
The economic downturn…..the housing crisis….the burden of mortgages…..ghost estates…..unemployment…..we have all had to deal with uncertain times! Seven years have passed since the crash and there is a sense that we are, like the phoenix, rising from the ashes. It has been a long and difﬁcult journey but we, as a nation, are getting there.
Swan’s Ode has been accepted in Artprize Grande Rapids Michigan at Grand Rapids Public Museum with an exhibition running from September 19 – October 7, 2018.
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