Liquid landslides of juicy color travel over landscapes of softer subtle hues, interrupted by crunchy raw slip built up over the course of multiple firings. I take objects that are historically presented as minimal and humble and lovingly dress them in vibrant geometric patterns or seductively hazy gradients, with meticulously hand-crafted actions that mimic digital effects. I’m focused on using the vessel as a conduit between tradition and personal experience —a symbol that evokes the long history of ceramic craft, while serving as a stand-in for a body. Utilizing the vessel to suggest figures, I alter their surfaces with layers of ornamentation as a strategy to investigate ideas about memory and self-identity. The different surface manipulation and physical alteration of each form signifies my struggle of connecting to and reconciling with my past self. When I recall memories of myself before becoming sober, I struggle to clearly remember and feel connected to an older version of me. Every time I revisit these memories, they become slightly altered, blending together unreliably. This abstraction finds it’s way formally into my work, as recognizable wares become warped, flattened and distorted.
Working within a craft that is often approached from a traditionalist point of view, I acknowledge the past as foundational while smiling towards the future, incorporating newer techniques of 3D printing, and contemporary approaches like applying laser printed decals to slipcased or hand-built objects. Clay helps me foster a feeling of glee and acceptance, creating space to connect with these complex and difficult memories in a positive light and move forward. Through my work, I am slowly realizing that the truth and endurance of my memories are less valuable to me than the ability to freely and frequently engage with whatever version of them currently persists. These techniques, when applied to vessels, actualize a process of renewal and reinvention on familiar bodies and forms. In this way, my practice gives me the space to remake and reconsider past histories of craft traditions and past versions of myself.
-- Jolie Ngo
Jolie Ngo (b.1996) is a Vietnamese American artist who was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. Working primarily in clay, she uses the vessel as a conduit between tradition and personal experience, she alters their surfaces with layers of ornamentation as a strategy to investigate ideas about memory and self-identity. She recently received her BFA in ceramics from Rhode Island School of Design and currently is a MFA candidate in Ceramic Art at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Her works have been exhibited at the Design Miami, Miami; Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles; Fisher Parrish Gallery, Brooklyn; The Clay Studio; Philadelphia, Franconia Sculpture Park, Minnesota; SIP Gallery, Boston and La Galerie Lefebvre & Fils; Paris, France.