Welcome back to Spotted, your weekly resource for exciting finds in the worlds of contemporary ceramic and contemporary ceramic art. We’re deep in art fair season, and this week we bring to you highlights from two art fairs in China. Gallery Weekend Beijing (March 7 – 19, 2017) wrapped up last week just in time for the upcoming fifth edition of Art Basel Hong Kong (March 23 – 25, 2017), which features more than 200 galleries from 34 countries and territories, half of which are based in Asia and the Asia Pacific region. Let’s dive right in with a preview of our favorites ceramic (and ceramic inspired) works from Hong Kong.
Above image: Song Yang,Mixed media, 34 3/5 × 27 3/5 × 50 4/5 inches. Offered by Gallery Yang
Art Basel Hong Kong
Art Basel stages the world’s premier modern and contemporary art fairs each year in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. Art Basel is a driving force in supporting the role galleries play in nurturing the careers of their artists, frequently expanding its platforms to include the latest developments in the visual arts.
Through his work, Thomas Schütte explores the human condition, offering a critical perspective on social, cultural and political issues and visually eloquent commentary on memory, loss and the difficulty of memorializing the past, according to his Artsy bio.
We’ve highlighted Jessica Stoller’s graphic work before, and Cfile recently applauded her name being among Artsy’s list of top ceramists forging the field. Stoller’s snake charming disconnected peach cheeks work challenges viewers to question how society has commodified women’s bodies.
Stoller told Mold:
“On a basic level women’s bodies provide food and have been depicted in clay as powerful fertility figures for millennia,” Stoller says. “Porcelain has a long history of being coveted and exoticized in Imperial Europe, prized for its beauty and used to signify class and taste. As patriarchy derailed women’s primordial power, women’s bodies have also been highly fetishised and simplified for mass consumption. Not to mention being physically compared to porcelain, an unrealistic standard of perfection, homogeneity and whiteness.”
See more of Cfile’s coverage of Chinese artist Yang Qiong.
Multidisciplinary conceptual artist Adam Pendleton’s work centers on an engagement with language in reimagining history through the creation of new vocabulary (and perspective), according to his artist bio.
Language in both the figurative and literal senses, and the re-contextualization of history through appropriated imagery to establish alternative interpretations of the present and, as the artist has explained, “a future dynamic where new historical narratives and meanings can exist.”
[Caro] exhibited large abstract sculptures brightly painted and standing directly on the ground so that they engage the spectator on a one-to-one basis. This was a radical departure from the way sculpture had hitherto been seen and paved the way for future developments in three-dimensional art…He questioned assumptions about form, material and subject matter in sculpture, and his work inspired a whole younger generation
Gallery Weekend Beijing
While the art world gears up for Art Basel Hong Kong, several galleries in the capital city of Beijing participated in the inaugural Gallery Weekend Beijing (March 17 – 19, 2017).
Pace Gallery writes Song Yang’s new exhibition Askr Yggdrasils (March 17 – April 23, 2017) draws upon the concept of eternity having been created over the past three years.
For Yang Song, inflexibility is not that which gives him the sense of eternity; on the contrary, it is fragility, in so far as fragility’s transience is the eternity that he senses. In his previous work “Die,” Yang Song used clay to sculpt and water to destroy. Ultimately, clay returned to clay—within this cycle of constructing and deconstructing, he explored the meaning of what sculpture can sustain. Through the works in this exhibition, the artist will present a world that lies beneath the ground.
The work of the sculptor has been simplified into the grasping and pinching of the hands. These most basic acts of the body allude to the substantive relationship between the creator and the material. With its unique submissiveness and softness, this clay pressed by the hand stands as the most faithful record of the artist’s body. In the undulating surface of the clay, the artist’s hand becomes an absolute, undeniable presence. As he affirms his own identity, the artist also bestows the clay with a completely new name—through the interaction with the artist’s body, this soft material, which has long been overlooked as a mere carrier throughout the history of sculpture, has for the first time become a portrait of itself…
For the most recent sculpture works presented at this exhibition, the artist used high definition 3D scanning and printing technology to capture and restore the contours of his hands on the surface of the artwork. The artist’s application of this new technology in his creations is the result of a breakthrough, realized in 2015, in experimentation that dates back to 2008. This breakthrough overcame the technical limitations in magnifying the original clay studies, and now bring an unprecedented level of detail to the surface contours of the sculpture. This breakthrough in precision is more than just technical. It draws closer to the artist’s aesthetic ideal—artworks generated through technology that record the properties and results of forces applied to a material with the precision of scientific experiments, approaching the objective revelation of the corporeal nature of sculpture.
Do you love or loathe these Spotted selections of contemporary ceramics and contemporary ceramic art? Let us know in the comments.