“Ceramicship” is a highpoint of an ongoing conversation between five ceramic artists, using clay as the medium of their exchange.
The protagonists are Ahadiat Joedawinata (Indonesia), Alvin Tan Teck Heng (Singapore), Bathma Kaew-Ngok (Thailand), Jon Lorenzo Pettyjohn (Philippines) and Peter Low Hwee Min (Malaysia), all from the diverse region of Southeast Asia. Their communication has been as friends and provocateurs; also as craftsmen and ideologists, continuing and picking up as good friends do over the course of time and change.
This exhibition brings their dialogue to another meeting point, that is, the current and recent workings of each artist. Their last exhibition together was at a much larger gathering of ceramic artists – “Ring of Fire – the First Southeast Asian Ceramics Festival” at Ayala Museum, Manila in 2009. The gathering of friends at that time birthed the idea for a next show, this time of just the five clay artists, each from a different ASEAN nation. The exhibition is now being realized with the support of Veronica Howe, Chief Art Consultant of One East Asia, whose intention is “to demonstrate how the ceramic works of these five artists transcend national and historical boundaries, thereby reflecting their indigenous interests.”
Each artist brings his recent wares to the table, the culmination of which is an exchange of both formal and esoteric aspects of the processes that take place in their individual studios. The exhibition reveals a deepening of craft and design from each potter, as well as some organic relationships which come from bantering in the studio with each other.
“Ceramicship” was titled as a play on the idea of friendships and the identities of each producer in this exhibition being tied in with ceramics making. In the process of production of works, there has been much potent self-examination for each ceramic artist. Such self-awareness and introspection of his own materials and production methods in the face of being shown alongside his fellow producers from the region has moved each ceramic artist into new areas of development. Whether consciously or not, the gathering of ceramic artists based on Southeast Asian nationality has raised the discussion to factor in histories and cultures, traditions and techniques pertinent to each one’s home country. The approach has been two-pronged: the one being incorporation of traditional workings and its formal aspects into the created object by Pettyjohn and Tan; and the second being a modernist approach to re-creating form and meaning by Ahadiat, Bathma and Low.
The exhibition then forms its own discourse on each ceramic artist’s definition of studio ceramic that is highly individualized, highly motivated. The same challenge, set at various time intervals, will each time bear new results for the five, which also pushes the boundaries of studio ceramics in the region onward. It would be interesting for this discourse to become examined in the light of similar exhibitions of Southeast Asian studio ceramics, using the works created for “Ceramicship” as points from which to move forward.
Opening Night: Tuesday, 1July 2014, 6.30pm – 9.30pm, Art Walkthrough: 6pm;
Art Talk by Dr Ahadiat Joedawinata “Creative process behind my works”
Venue: NTU ADM Library, 2 July 2014, 2 – 4pm, Free Admission
RSVP required to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dates: 1 July – 8 August 2014
Venue: One East ArtSpace, 15 Scotts Road #05-08/09, Thong Teck Building