Artist : Recheng Tsang

Recheng Tsang's work defies categorization. Are they installations, sculpture, ceramics? You could say they evoke textiles even though they're made of porcelain.
ovalsglazed and unglazed porcelain, aluminum wire and panel, 53" x 93", 2012
by Recheng Tsang. Image by Muffy Kibbey.
Whatever you want to call them, they're beautiful. Hundreds of painstakingly handmade porcelain tiles, delicately assembled to form stunning wall installations.

Ovals (detail)glazed and unglazed porcelain, aluminum wire and panel, 53" x 93", 2012
by Recheng Tsang. Image by Muffy Kibbey.
And then there's the detail. A single hint of color, just quietly slipped in, but making such a bold statement. It completely changes the meaning of the entire piece.

frayed : white, unglazed porcelain and acrylic on plexiglass, 6" x 6" each panel, 2011
by Recheng Tsang.  Image by Muffy Kibbey.

I first learned of ReCheng's work via Handful of Salt, back when I was a reader and not a writer for the site yet. I loved Regina's profile on Recheng. I felt as though I knew her already. She likes Richard Tuttle, she sews and she procrastinates by cleaning her house. Hmmm, boy does that sound familiar. I admire her honesty.

Circles and Variations, glazed porcelain on plexiglass panel, 24" dia, 2012
by Recheng Tsang. 
 Image by Muffy Kibbey.
A few years down the road and I still remembered reading the article but now my friend Myrna Tatar mentioned her name to me every time we met. "You must connect with Recheng. You're both working with ceramics and I know you'd love her work." Myrna was right.

Study for Ovals, glazed and unglazed porcelain on aluminum panel, 10" x 10", 2012
by Recheng Tsang. 
 Image by Muffy Kibbey.
The best bit, Recheng lives just over the Bay Bridge from me. In a couple of weeks, I'll have the chance to visit her studio and meet her in person. I can't tell you how excited I am. Maybe she'll let me snap a few photos I can share with you soon.

circles and variations : white, porcelain and lithium on wall, 15" x 63", 2010
by Recheng Tsang.  Image by Muffy Kibbey.
Until then, see all of Recheng's work on her website and read the Handful of Salt profile here.


Studio Pepe Heykoop at Handful of Salt

I've got another article over at Handful of Salt. It touches on Dutch designer, Pepe Heykoop's creative leather pieces.

Matka Vases by Studio Pepe Heykoop. Image courtesy of Annemarijne Bax
There's something about those Dutch. I would love to know how they are taught because some of the most creative design in the world is coming out of that country. Hmmm, a trip next year perhaps? Head on over to Handful of Salt for the article.


Brazil : Land Grab Series

I'm on a roll again with the Land Grab Series. I have new pottery to add to the installations which gives the pieces a more three dimensional twist. The new camera has arrived and the studio has essentially been emptied to work on these so here they come! This week I  feature Brazil. Soy is the key crop here.

Brazil, 2012 by Kathryn Clark. 6' x 7'
Approaching this work feels so much different than my other work. I can't seems to visualize these pieces ahead of time like the Foreclosure series or some of my earlier paintings. There's a lot of doubt going into each piece but after each one is completed (it feels like doing a jigsaw puzzle), I have much more elation about them than I have after finishing other work. Perhaps my heart is more invested in this series or perhaps I still have my doubts dabbling in ceramics.

Brazil (detail), 2012 by Kathryn Clark. 6' x 7'
Nevertheless, I have no choice in making these. It's my calling at the moment and I'm enjoying it. Now, onto the facts. I'm still pondering how to present the statistics along with the pieces. I even wondered about an interactive website that would drill down to more and more detail about the land investments (likely angering numerous corporations and governments).

Brazil, 2012 by Kathryn Clark. 6' x 7'
I can tell you a little bit about Brazil's land situation. There have been at least twenty-three major land deals with foreign investors just over the past two years. 2,936,854 hectares (see note) of land have been leased or sold to overseas companies. Many diverse crops are being grown or raised but soy remains one of the leaders. The issues with soy in Brazil are many. The largest being the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

Brazil (detail), 2012 by Kathryn Clark. 6' x 7'
The land is cheaper in the Amazon. The soil is fertile and the water plentiful for growing. Soy is most often grown here as a monoculture. The result is tremendously large scale farms that become dependent on pesticides and bio-engineering in order to thrive. This affects the rivers as well as the nearby local farmers who find their land and food polluted. Here's a link to a great interview with Dr, Sergio Sauer (National Rapporteur for Human Rights in Land, Territory and Food, Brazil). He goes into detail about the issues affecting soy farming in Brazil.

Brazil (detail), 2012 by Kathryn Clark. 6' x 7'
There are many countries investing in developing land here. The United States has plenty as does China, France, Germany and even Argentina. There is a lot more research to be poured through and understood but the gist is, there is serious environmental damage happening in Brazil through large scale food production.

Notes: The information on hectare development is from Grain: Land Grab Deals February 2012.


Willing to play?

So the past few months I've been fretting. I haven't had much to show of my own work on this blog. It's because I've been busy ... playing. Developing new ideas can be incredibly challenging and frustrating. For me, it's a time issue. I hate thinking I wasted precious time not doing everything in my power to develop new work. We hunker down. We get serious. Who has time to play? This is where our problems begin. We need to allow ourselves playtime so that we're open to innovative and creative solutions.

Brazil landgrab map in progress this week.
Everyone's technique is different. I loved hearing Robert Ryman talk about what he does between his series ... nothing. He understands his creative process well enough to know that he shouldn't get in the way of it. And for him, that's to ignore it. Another artist who knows how to play is Hela Jongerius. But it looks like her play ends up as her final work.

Non Temporary by Hela Jongerius, 2005.
Over the past eight years, I've been able to really hone in on what makes my creativity work. I love challenges, but I like to approach them slowly. I know I needed to learn a new medium for this next series. I stopped fighting the voice in my head that said 'It will take too long to learn' and just got on with it. And what I made isn't great but it's a start. It's all about quantity at this point and thinking with my hands to understand a new medium. I'll talk more about that below.

My very first six highly irregular and very bland pinch pot tea cups.
The more I make, the better they'll be. At least, I hope so!
I gave myself the time to explore clay. I had no idea where I was going with this. My first ideas for my new series finally popped into my head last week but I'm not implementing them until January. I'm having fun just exploring.

This is where I dared myself to use something other than Randall White glaze.
Yes, that's hard for me!
If you have kids, watch them at play. This weekend we went to a friend's wedding. They rented a photo booth with props for photos for their guest book. Brilliant! The booth was unused for the first half hour until the kids figured out what it was. They weren't shy! The adults knew what it was but it was set up in plain sight of everyone! It was only after they had a few drinks did they start to loosen up and head over. That's my daughter on the left. Oh, and I made her dress last Tuesday. That was my play for that day.

Remember how I mentioned quantity and thinking with your hands? There's a great video on the importance of these points in play by designer Tim Brown. I love how the audience is forced to play, what better way to remember how to do it than to actually practice it. Watch it and feel yourself loosen up.

Give yourself some time each day to play. If you've had any revelations about your artwork while playing, I'd love to hear them!


Sketchbook Project is on tour

The Sketchbook Project is on the road again, this time in a tour called A Landmark and a Mission curated by Christopher Jobson at Colossal. My sketchbook from 2011 will be along for the ride so if you're in or neaPittsburgh, Ann Arbor and Cleveland, be sure to check it out.

And if you're not, view it digitally here right now.


Related Posts with Thumbnails