Audrey An

Artist Statement

I am a Third Culture Kid. Having spent a significant part of my developmental years moving between South Korea and the United States, I developed a sense of relationship to both. Growing up in two distinct cultures, forced me into socio-psychological liminality. I make work that examines this in-betweenness seeking the positive.

Through shifting the scale, pattern, and repetition of ceramic modules, I create sculptures that evoke emotional curiosity, awaken a memory, and console me. Modules represent the pieces from my youth and contain secrets that define my coming of age. These parts, when compiled, are a harmonious collision giving physicality to the fragments of my cultural upbringing. Completed sculptures present stages of understanding, some are universal, some require familiarity, and some remain concealed. I aspire to create reflections of my identity to speak about my experience from the boundaries of cultural convergence.

I navigate the spectrum between my "past and present" and my "here and there" to claim my space and locate my sense of belonging. I interpret and hybridize my understanding of architecture and topography, as location and dwelling are essential to human existence. Examining my personal history and identity, I pay homage to the historical precedent of the fabricated and natural landscapes created with clay. The history of ceramics abounds with examples of cross-cultural exchange of ideas and aesthetics including the use of terra cotta brick, the movement of blue and white ware, the influence of Tang Dynasty glaze on Iznik ceramics and so forth. Therefore, clay brings historical context for me to speak about my blended cultural persona. Pulling from universal architectural motifs offers a mixture of organic and mechanized tension. I create a visual mapping of places I once inhabited by cutting up, collaging, and sculpting architectural forms and motifs found across human history.

I see the integration of digital technology with the analog handling of clay as a metaphor for my transcultural experience. My work develops through transitioning between these two methods of creation. This trans-processing style of making objects is reminiscent of the transcultural making of me.

-- Audrey An


Audrey An received her BFA and Art History Minor from Alfred University. Upon completing her degree in 2017, she received the Windgate-Lamar Fellowship from Center for Craft to fund her two-year post-baccalaureate at Colorado State University and to travel around historic and contemporary centers of ceramic innovation, including Icheon, South Korea and Jingdezhen, China. Audrey currently lives in State College, PA where she is an MFA graduate student at Penn State University. She is also a founding member of the B.Well Collective - now the Welby Collective in Denver, CO.

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