Sunday, February 03, 2013

Ancient and Contemporary Mediums

This is Jackson Li (Li Jiansheng) director of the Sanbao Ceramic Institute and Museum (Jingdezhen, Jiangxi, China) discussing characteristics of Minyao pottery traditions of present day China. Here he connects the personality of this pot to the work of ceramic artist Marie Woo, from whose collection it comes. Last weekend's Chinese Folk Pottery Symposium at the University of Michigan Museum of Art was the culmination of decades of Marie's research into the traditions of Chinese folk pottery. She has followed this quest deep into China numerous times to uncover the surviving practitioners of ancient ceramic vessel-building and firing techniques. For various reasons, industrialization is bringing about the end of these centuries-old traditions, creating an imperative to act quickly in regards to their study and documentation.

My mom is Marie Woo. Her ceramic art and research (in tandem with my father's architectural work) is the ground upon which my own art practice stands. I am humbled by the social and cultural history of clay as a material as I extend my reach in the studio with the contemporary digital tools of moving image art.

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