My work plays with the material’s responsiveness: its ability to be built and to break, to respond to gravity, to succumb to heat. Form is built by stacking material like bricks, like layers of sediment, which are later suspended on stilts and fired. Tools of the process become the artifact; objects are shifted through different material lenses.
Blown up, splattered and squashed. Kiln loads full of crazing. Exploded bits stuck to other pieces. Heartbreak and tears. Failure is not desirable. We are told to aim for a singular destination, to get everything right the first time. We are discouraged when we don’t.
I have found instead that the residues of failure, produced during the process, can be the central axis of the work. By paying attention to the shards, the leftovers, the underlying structures, the approach of making has become more fluid and malleable. Clay allows us to have the opportunity to fail.
The ceramic process also acts as a metaphor for and a reminder of my position as a young immigrant. Driven by anxieties of failure, I often find my American experience far more complex than what I thought it would be, stuck and lost in between two different cultural realities. Within my work, I allow the process to rearticulate and explore this space of being “in between”, to embrace its potential.
The process of clay is a process of migration, where every step is a unique way of moving forward, where to be lost is never to be wrong, but simply more.