Sunday, 26 April 2015

Report: 'Ahead of the Curve: New china from China symposium'

From Claire Blakey, Arts Curator, Potteries Museum & Art Gallery:

On 17th April 2015 the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, hosted the Ahead of the Curve: New china from China symposium.
The symposium focused on contemporary Chinese ceramics and glass and was organised in conjunction with the exhibition of the same title currently on display at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery until the 31st May.

The aim of both the exhibition and the symposium was to showcase exciting developments over the last decade in Chinese studio glass and ceramics. Studio glass making departments have only emerged in Chinese universities since 2000, whilst in the field of contemporary ceramics, a wave of new graduates are challenging the boundaries of their field. 

Funding for the project, which has been over four years in the making, has been supplied by Arts Council England through Grants for the Arts, with grants for research visits to China from The British Council and The Art Fund.

We were able to bring together an exciting group of speakers, including three who had come to the UK to speak at the symposium. Glass artist Shelly Xue and potter Wan Liya both have work on display in Ahead of the Curve.
Shelly Xue, Angel is Waiting 9, 2014, glass © the artist
Wan Liya, Birds Twitter and Fragrance Flowers, 2010, porcelain © the artist
Both spoke about their work and careers at the symposium and Shelly Xue also gave an insight into the glass departments in Chinese universities. The keynote speaker was Shannon Guo, co-curator of the exhibition, curator of twocities gallery in Shanghai (the partner gallery for the exhibition) and Associate Professor of the Fine Arts College of Shanghai University, who gave an insight into the world of contemporary Chinese craft.
Visiting the Dudson Museum with Wan Liya and Shannon Guo.
The symposium also featured talks from:

Helen Brown, co-curator of the exhibition, on shared concerns between British and Chinese artists
Ying Tan, curator at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester, on the works of Liu Jianhua.

Rachel Marsden, specialist in transcultural curating and Chinese/Asian contemporary culture, Coordinator (Research Assistant) at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CCVA) and Lecturer in MA Contemporary Curatorial Practice at the University of Lincoln, on China's new museums - an architecture of design.

Andrew Brewerton, Principal, Plymouth College of Art, Honorary Professor of Fine Art, Shanghai University, former Subject Leader in Glass, University of Wolverhampton, on contemporary Chinese glass art.

An introduction to the exhibition by Claire Blakey (co-curator and Arts Curator, The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery), Kate Newnham (co-curator and Senior Curator, Visual Arts, Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives) and Project Assistant Alexandra Nachescu.
Panel discussion © Rachel Marsden
For a full description of the day, please click HERE>