A response to Chun Liao at Marsden Woo Article by Matthew Kangas Featured in Ceramics Art and Perception Issue 92, 2013
The quantity of small cylinders in Chun Liao’s installation at Marsden is impressive. The grouping of ceramic objects elevates what could be perceived as insignificant cylinders to a whole new level. Together the viewer is presented with a landcape, cityscape, or even a gathering of people. Some of the groupings even look like little family units. On closer inspection the viewer is rewarded with little glaze details, melted staples and coins on the surface of the vessels. With this installation Liao has successfully taken small units of space to create a greater and larger whole.
This project starts with a paper template cut out in the shape of the desired finished coil pot. Coils are then rolled out, slip and scored, and attached to a base slab. After fully formed the piece is covered in terra sigillata and burnished. This piece was pit fired with oxides.
From Left to Right: The Final Cut, Abundance, and Memory Garden
I was most satisfied this semester with the Still Life Work. The vase with real flowers in it symbolizes to me life, death, and the process of aging. This process is begun with the scissors which hang prominently in the middle of the piece. The middle display of fast food signs talks about what I perceive to be abundance in American culture. Many of us have a lot of things, access to a lot of things, or want for a lot of things. I drew parallels between the abundance of dead animals in Dutch still lifes and super sizing in the fast food industry. The third piece Virtual Reality Memory Garden is an attempt to depict the difference between a look alike and the real thing. I find a disturbing difference between holding a real book in your hand and holding a tablet or reading device. Just as I get much joy from holding and reading a book I also enjoy growing and displaying flowers and the thought that this may cease to exist is disturbing to me. All these pieces are merely thought bubbles, or starting points for conversation on topics that I have an interest in and feel others should too.