While working at punk music venues as a teenager in Copenhagen, Rose Eken developed a fascination with concert detritus. The objects she was made to clean up after an event (cigarette butts, drug paraphernalia, beer cans, discarded clothing, and lost cell phones) became emblems of punk rock culture, which she now reproduces in the form of hand-painted ceramic miniatures.
Sculpting objects found in concert halls, kitchens, studios and similarly ubiquitous locations, Eken methodically replicates detritus often placing them very systematic in a grid, suggestive of scientific categorization. Her arrangements and sheer amount of production assume an anthropological quality, documenting and preserving the relics of a culture and celebrating a history in process.
Rachel Kneebone’s intricate works address and question the human condition: renewal, transformation, life cycles and the experience of inhabiting the body. Kneebone’s sculptures operate in a near-subliminal space, oscillating and blurring the boundaries between the conscious and the subconscious, the real and the imagined, everything and nothing.
Working in porcelain, the material properties of her work further heighten and convey an awareness of opposing states, appearing to be not only heavy, solid and strong but also light, fragmentary and soft. This fluid movement between states is reflective of the wide range of art historical and literary sources that inform the artist’s practice.
Takuro Kuwata is a young artist who works in ceramics. He has developed his own style originally starting from traditional techniques. His focus is to push the potential of his materials, while referencing traditional forms and making functional objects.
He is known for a number of experimental procedures, including adding stones to his clay mix so that when fired, they burst or puncture the clay structure, or using needles to catch the glaze of a vessel so that it creates a bumpy texture when fired. He thus leaves the final form of the work to chance, but is careful to ensure that each piece is still functional.
Dan McCarthy works quickly by rinsing and blotting thin layers of washed out pastel tones, allowing the paint to drip down the canvas. It’s a process based largely on intuition and working within the moment. He is stripping it all down to the essential basics, trying to let the sunshine in.
He recently started to work on ceramic sculptures that he calls Facepots. Wanting to express emotion, attitude and humour in his work, he chose faces as an obvious starting point. As Dan Mccarthy once remarked: “I’d like to include in my work something of the living spirit, something positive that can be taken away and built upon by a viewer. Certainly more a feeling than an attitude or ideology”.
The intuitive process in McCarthy’s ceramics is evident within the finished work. Wrestling with massive slabs of wet earthen clay, his rapid technique and composition becomes the work’s subject. Both painted and glazed with gold leaf and low fire lustre, the large facepots radiate a dynamic range of material possibilities, physical existence and emotional depth.
Cristina Tufiño is a Puerto Rican artist best known for the installations and photography she creates inspired by a social debris. Tufiño gets her inspiration from the social surroundings. Cristina’s expression comes in a form of certain rearranging of cultural products as if they were her very own artistic material.
Lee Yun Hee creates narrative ceramic pieces inspired by literature and story telling. She uses both Western and Eastern influences, creating a style of her own that is striking, unique and undoubtably contemporary. Her work is fragile and flawless, almost creating an aura of effortlessness. She uses her work to reflect upon stories of everyday people; their struggles, fears, hopes, and anxieties.
Hee’s work is mystical and fantastic. Though balancing modern, classic, Eastern, and Western styles, she has creating an epic body of art that is honest, profound, and truly unique. Her work acts as windows into her own version of a fairy tale; she is able to re-create morality stories within her own framework.
Hong-Kong based artist Johnson Tsang focuses on ceramics, stainless steel sculptures and public art project. He creates strange and unexpected anthropomorphic sculptures where human forms seem to splash effortlessly through functional objects like bowls, plates, and cups. Tsang’s works mostly employ realist sculptural techniques accompanied by surrealist imagination.
Japanese painter, Ishii Nobuo captures the heart, mind, spirit and inner child in his simple, yet extraordinary paintings. Also a master of ceramics, Nobuo brings his art to practical use in cups, bowls and wonderfully eccentric abstract sculptures.
Crystal Morey imagines ceramic sculptures strange and fascinating. Based on different representations of humans with elements from the animal world, these creations resembling totems plunge us into a world apart.
“In my most recent work I am using clay to build figurative sculptures of humans encased in animals. I use delicate and emotive gesture, rich texture, and subdued, sepia tones to create telling, intimate objects that capture current psychological, environmental, and cultural feelings. The figures are contemplative and inward thinking, seeing a future outcome that is uncertain. The animals I use are either extinct or have become endangered due to human impact in this era of “great acceleration” since the Industrial Revolution.”