Porcelainia: East Meets West
Steven Young Lee, Sin-ying Ho, Paul Scott & Walter McConnell
Opening Reception Thursday, November 10th, 6-8pm
Artists’ Talk Sunday, November 13th, 3-5pm
On view through December 8th
Cross MacKenzie Gallery is pleased to present “Porcelainia,” in collaboration Leslie Ferrin of Ferrin Contemporary, featuring works by Steven young Lee, Sin-ying Ho, Paul Scott and Walter McConnell. This exhibition considers tradition and identity in contemporary porcelain by four western artists who have worked in China. Inspired by the “Chinamania” show at the Freer Sackler Museum currently on view, featuring Walter McConnell’s iconic stupa-like sculptures, this show explores Eastern ceramic traditions while reflecting on consumerism, mass production, globalism and the changing landscape of exchange.
During the 1870s, interest in porcelain grew from being an exclusive collectors’ hobby pursued by connoisseurs to becoming a truly mass-cultural phenomenon. The initial, perceived ‘artistic refinement’ of what the aesthetes called Old Blue China gave rise to a widespread enthusiasm for blue and white décor that transcended social class distinctions and the porcelain itself. A series of caricatures in the satirical magazine Punch coined the concept of Chinamania, however, it was no longer restricted to antique Chinese wares: English porcelain, Delftware and blue and white transferware also became objects for Chinamania. The Willow pattern, with its explicit pictorial language, became a key symbol of the ‘porcelain cult’, effectively becoming the popular variety of the aesthetes’ Old Blue.
-Peder Vale (Horizon, Transferware and Contemporary Ceramics