Adam Chau

Artist Statement

The production of objects has moved from using analog tools powered exclusively using the hands, to computer-generated output where automated machines perform functions void of the human. In terms of contemporary object making, computer aided technology has dominated how we think and make decisions. I explore how we can introduce the human hand in computer-controlled environments; in my current body of work this takes form by putting handmade brushes in a CNC machine to make spontaneous and gestural surfaces in ceramics. My primarily process is to take photographs, create digital toolpaths, and then generate code to enter into the CNC machine to brush cobalt. This methodology hybridizes craft, design, and art, where I can blend and utilize strengths of all industries.

My work utilizes blue-and-white porcelain aesthetics, historically used in Chinese pottery. As an Asian American I hope to continue the tradition of blue-and-white, however put a digital spin on such a respected medium. I find it imperative to find innovative ways to create ceramics as to not let the tradition and knowledge die; it is with both understanding of old techniques as well as a willingness to innovate that lets culture thrive. The content of my work incorporates queer culture in digital spaces; as the use of the selfie on social media and dating apps are ripe for commenting on our newest form of self-portraiture.-- Adam Chau


Adam Chau is an artist living in New York. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, his research looks into hybridizing digital manufacturing with traditional studio techniques. In 2018 he received the NCECA Emerging Artist Award and in 2019 became a member of the International Academy of Ceramics. Solo exhibitions include Harvard Ceramics, Manchester Craftsman’s Guild, and The Clay Studio. He has worked on projects internationally, including The Netherlands, Italy, Taiwan, and China.