From painting to ceramics, from silence to tumult, from a closed world to nature, from intellectual work to physical labor, from the focus on thinking to the focus on life...these are the changes that happened to me after I started my ceramic practice.
About the Gāo Shān Zhuì Shí Series
“The horizontal stroke is as thousand miles of clouds, while the dot stroke as stone falling from the mountain”, this is how Madame Wei, the calligraphic enlightenment teacher of Wang Xizhi, depicted the metaphorical objects of horizontal and dot strokes in calligraphy. She compared the most fundamental dot stroke in Chinese characters as a stone falling from the peak, which gives people an impression of heaviness and momentum. With the softest part of calligraphy brush yet accumulating all strengths to write, this is the so-called “penetrating power.” Once I saw such simile, the teacup that I’ve been recently making came into my mind right away. I thought there are some kinds of connections between the dot stroke and the little teacup, probably due to its weight or position, small but fascinating.
The teacup is quite small. Started from a little piece of mud, I imagined its distinction, utilizing the white kaolin and unsophisticated clay, kneading and molding. Just like kneading Wowoto (a kind of hollow steamed cornbread), it turns from solid to hollow, to a utensil capable for holding things. The process itself is like transforming the unrefined stone into a new state of matter and opening up yourself.
During producing, I felt the hardness and thickness of mud little by little and adjusted its shape. Kept the original state of soil, so the rim of cup is more likely to be shaped in irregularity, with different heights. Sometimes, I associate it with the undulating hills, big or small, high or low, with no fixed standard, leaving more artlessness and temperament in it.
The thing that matches the soil from nature can only be from nature, either. In consequence, the shells, straws, ores and so on, were tend to be added into the glaze, attempting to look for colors that exist but not approachable.
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As for Wu Lou from “Cong Tao Kai Shi” studio, the ceramic is a medium. During the process of technical advancing to its peak, Wu Lou carries out the understanding, testing and practicing of the advancement to both techniques and culture. Here, utensil (“Qi”) is both a concrete symbol of artistry and an abstract carrier of culture.
“It is not a simple work to describe a utensil accurately if you have to. A utensil itself is ordinary, just like its smell evaporating from earth every day and night, as there is nothing happening.” The “ordinary” said by Wu Lou is his reassessment to the value of “daily”, the new examination and measurement to what is “familiar to” and “accustomed for” him in his daily life.
The Forking Paths
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