Included in this post are select images and archives of a show that I co-curated as well as links to shows in which I participated with the artist collective, Culture Laboratory Collective. As stated on it's website, "the Culture Laboratory Collective (est. 2009) comprises a diverse group of artists working loosely around the question of social cohesion within the context of aesthetic fragmentation. While focusing collectively on a synthetically established social identity the work presented paradoxically strives to break free of group-think aesthetics in favor of the individual voice, the point of dissonance opposing the attempt at collaborative cohesion. Retaining a focus on craft and the object, Culture Laboratory Collective operates as an ongoing investigation in media interchangeability and aesthetic fluidity."
I have always been honored to be included with such an amazing group of talented artists, thinkers and makers. Participating in each exhibition has always provided opportunities and conversations that have ultimately led to new concepts, ideas and works that I would have otherwise not created. Below are archives of select exhibitions and resulting artworks.
The exhibit challenges conceptual and cultural translation while pinpointing identity through the objects we propose for creation by another culture.
Culture Laboratory commissioned Chinese painter, Xiao Ma, to use the traditional “Qing Hua” painting, or blue & white painting process, to translate images onto porcelain tiles. Xiao Ma worked closely with me to capture the essence all the images supplied by its 12 members. These works were made in Jingdezhen, Jiang Xi province, China, the most famous city of Chinese ceramic/porcelain art and production. Qing Hua is one of the well-known art styles of Jingdezhen porcelain. Using Cobalt for blue coloration the style applies the mineral on the raw ceramic ware in varying densities of washes. Once the painting is finished, the tile is sprayed with a transparent glaze. Finally, the tiles are fired to approximately 1315 °C, making the image on the tile permanent.
The exhibition entangles intention, translation, and the potential for communication into a series of finely crafted objects. These objects are a testament of a commodity driven blending of cultures between China the United States. However, this venture is disconnected to the traditional relationship of mass-produced objects made in China and brought to the U.S.A. Culture Lab is making one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted objects in an effort to counter the effects of the global corporate language of supply and demand, and instead emphasize communication between individuals. With me living and working in Jingdezhen, there was a practical and sincere communication that resulted in unique and dynamic products. For the majority of the Culture Lab group, this was the first time the individuals used another artist to execute the manifestation and creation of the concepts presented. This is yet another manufactured conceptual disconnect that allows for greater diversity in the exhibit, and the element of surprise at the outcome. The exhibit was first shown in China and later exhibited in the US.
Jingdezhen Painter: Xiao Ma 小马
Project Coordinator / Translator: Yu Jia Jia (Maggie)
Curator: Dryden Wells
Co-Curator: Ian F. Thomas