Art and Design

Samuel Chungs Lecture was held July 15, 2016 in Pottery Northwest. It is interesting to know that the artist was named the 2016 Jean Griffith Fellowship Artist. The author really inspires through creative processes related to ceramics. Chung likes to sculpt dishes and teapots in the form of various animals. His style is really unique and exciting. His work impressed me with its complex lines. I was amazed by the wonderful glaze and bright colors. The form of this sculpture is so unusual that you first need to look at it closely to understand what the work means. I think this pitcher may be a vase and a kettle. The author shows a contradiction in his creations. It is a struggle between functionality and form. I think that the author specifically has used this technique to draw attention to the work and cause thoughts of diversity of forms which people encounter in life. The artist intends to communicate that unusual combination of these shapes provides new artworks. His works are pleasant to look at since these uplift the mood. The author is inspired with ergonomics, utility, context and historical features. Chungs masterpieces broadcast animation, thirst for life, and a variety of colors of the environment. The audience gladly attends lectures and exhibitions of this author as it is an opportunity to learn something new and understand an original philosophy of daily life in-depth. It seems to me that the smoothness of forms used by this author symbolizes the cyclical nature of life. The audience immediately recalls infinity signs, yin and yang, dark and light. As for me, these masterpieces cause the wish to consider the work with clay from different angles and perspectives (Artist Talk: Samuel Chung, n.d.).

 

I would like to tell about Isaac Howards exhibition show 8/8-9/2 held in the Pottery Northwest that enabled me to gain new impressions and insights about sculpture. The author displays his own worldview by using a variety of materials, including clay. An interesting piece of art is a jug made by the author. This pitcher has the shape of the female body. Bending of the handle resembles a hand that a girl, with a back arched like that of a cat, has laid on the buttocks. It is a great work of art that causes pleasure for visual and tactile sensations. Smooth lines of mouth and the handle create an association with beautiful flowers, such as a water lily. Despite the interesting shape of the pitcher, it can be fully functional. Moreover, it reminds that even simple things can transmit the beauty, harmony, and elegance. The author uses a dark color, reminiscent of brown soil of Africa.

The artist applies an interesting method when the foundation of his pitchers is uneven; nevertheless, they stay consistently on the surface. This philosophy expresses the idea that everything is relative in the world. For example, people with flexible nature are more successful in life and reach a more sustainable success. The author also uses a similar form to his pitchers, but each of them is unique, and together they create an interesting visual group. Just as every person is an individual, but together people create the society.

Isaac Howard notes that utilitarian pottery can transmit information from the creator to the user and develop a form of communication. To implement his ideas into practice, the author refers to an atmospheric firing technique in order to create infinite variations in his work. The artist also used special types of furnaces for the production of works made of clay and glaze (Isaac Howard, n.d.).

The National Palace Museum in Taipei is a center of the Chinese culture. It should be noted that works of art, which are represented in this museum, were taken from the Forbidden City of Taiwan in 1948. I have chosen this museum and exhibitions as time when these masterpieces were created ranges from the Neolithic period to the present time. Notably, this collection is the worlds largest collection of the ancient Chinese artifacts. The collection was gathered by the Chien-lung emperor in the late 18th century. After viewing the exhibition, the spectator begins to better understand the Chinese philosophy of life and attitude to the universe. Peace, harmony, and prudence are the foundation of these works. Respect for human wisdom and nature are combined within the works of art.

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I especially liked the exhibit the Jadeite Cabbage (Qing dynasty, 18th-19th century) because it is a good example of the philosophy of life of the region. This masterpiece is made of white and green jade. At first glance, it shows a simple thing, such as a cabbage on which insects sit, but how gracefully and skillfully this work is performed! The author created a unique thing and showed the combination of beauty sculpted from clay and embodies the unique skills of the original thinker and philosopher. In my opinion, the author would like to stress that nature is the most beautiful creation. Simple things that surround us every day can inspire and become masterpieces that will live through the centuries. This work constantly receives positive feedback from the audience. It is interesting to note that the museums employees are not very happy that people pay great attention to this work. They find that the museum has many unique pieces each of which deserves praise. Nevertheless, the Jadeite Cabbage is called a popular masterpiece and is shown at exhibitions throughout the world (England, n.d.). I was happy that I had an opportunity to observe this simplistic but really unique beauty at the exhibition.

Kirkland Arts Center presents an interesting exhibition titled Clay? VI Biennial Ceramics Exhibit. This event is unique because it offers an opportunity to observe and reflect on the works of unknown authors. The exhibition reveals the versatility of clay as a material with which craftsmen recreate emotions, feelings and thoughts. These works, in my opinion, reflect the history of ceramic art, modern vision of the artists, and the future of this area.

I was struck by the work that shows a child whose eyes are directed at the sky. This masterpiece is made of clay; however, it seems that this is actual human flesh. The author used an interesting approach for creation of this image: specifically, the arms, legs and neck are twisted to the other side. Nonetheless, the audience, including me, did not initially pay attention to this point. When a few girls nearby me discovered this specific feature, they were shocked at first, but after spending several minutes on looking at the sculpture attentively, they tended to agree with me that the most impressive overall emotion is transmitted through the look and posture of the child. This sculpture initiated memories about children with cancer. Their lives have also been changed; they are often sad, and wait for help from the Lord and society. The turned heels show the childs vulnerability. This work triggers a sense of compassion and thoughts about the unfairness of life. In my opinion, not all viewers will respond positively to this work. Nevertheless, this work deserves attention because it raises strong emotions and entices to reconsider the values of life (Kirkland Arts Center, n.d.).

I would like to reflect on July at Gallery4Culture and Andrew Hoeppners artworks. As I discovered during the exhibition, the artist calls himself the Monkey God. This author explores the relationship between a man and nature and tries to understand human identity. His works are vivid and illustrative ceramic objects. His handiworks reflect incompleteness and willingness to quickly convey emotions. Sculptural solution is of particular charm due to the glaze and expression. I particularly liked the work of Andrew Hoeppner called Coyote with Rabbit. The sculpture is a wolf, which holds a rabbit in its teeth, and transmits such emotions as confidence, caution and balance to the audience. This work is the reflection of the cyclical life, the relationship of all living beings in nature, short duration of life and its continuation simultaneously. Furthermore, this work metaphorically explains the concept of strength and weakness. Everyone in this life is forced to fight for survival: either wins or run away from the problems and satisfies needs which differ for distinct species. Just as the work evokes a feeling of incompleteness, life is also not perfect. However, I think that the coyote would have looked more impressive if it was depicted in motion. The title of the work is simple, but the author tries to show the simplicity and grandeur of nature at the same time. I believe that every person looking at this work will have certain associations and those will be thought-provoking. Perhaps, this work for some people will be a symbol of wildlife conservation, while for the others a symbol of authority and firmness.

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The authors work shows the balance between the instinct and intention. His works expose the internal struggle of a man or a creature. Impressionistic painting, folk art and abstract expressionism are collected in his collection. He emphasizes that his work is a symbolic perception of the evolution of life and this trend is more than evident (Monkey God by Andrew Hoeppner, n.d.).

The exhibition National Ceramics Invitational 2016 is held at the Traver Gallery. The even I visited was the second part of the series of exhibitions, consisting of three parts, which is named Ceramics Invitational: National Clay. This exhibition emphasizes the possibility of using clay for fine arts in modern conditions. The authors of the exhibition try to show that this material is still relevant and can be used to create a true masterpiece. The gallery has invited 15 artists from the United States who present their current work. The exhibition shows large-scale sculptures, wall panels of known artists, and various statues and totems.

Among the authors who impressed me much was Alessandro Gallo. This author uses interesting techniques; he showed peoples tendency to bind certain human traits to habits and actions of animals. In his new project, the artist decided to combine the human body with an animal head that turned to be an interesting and unexpected combination. Each separate figure conveys the inner feelings of a person and emotions, such as happiness, joy, indifference, alienation, fatigue, and tolerance (National Ceramics Invitational 2016, n.d.).

In particular, I was impressed by the figure of a pregnant woman with the head of a rabbit. As for me, rabbit is associated with children, procreation, and a mother who takes care of the descendants. The author depicted the woman in a sports suit and a pink shirt. She supports her round belly with both hands showing it to the world. This figure expresses concern and peace at the same time. Viewers, looking at this work, understand that pregnant women need protection, comfort, and confidence. On the other hand, this work aroused in me the thought of protecting the environment and animals. People have to understand that nature needs our support and protection of distribution of animal habitats in order to enable them to preserve life of their species. Furthermore, it is so important to protect animals during periods when they are hatching their young offspring. It is interesting that other viewers also variously interpreted the work of the author (National Ceramics Invitational 2016, n.d.).

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