Shiyuan Xu

Artist Statement

“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have the eyes to see them.” -John Ruskin

“Thus the minuscule, a narrow gate, opens up an entire world ... Miniature is one of the refuges of greatness." - Gaston Bachelard

I draw my inspirations from nature, which has created an inexhaustible wealth of wondrous forms, particularly at the microscopic level. Viewing through the lens fascinates me. It is an unusual experience to observe the diversity of the spectacular hidden world. These microorganisms are too small to be seen by the naked eye, but they have their distinctive existence and beauty.

I am attempting to reinterpret the scientific facts into art forms. Primarily, working with porcelain, I hand build structures with slabs and coils from inside out. I am trying to build vastness with a minimal structure to create the intricacy of the form. The chaotic lines create the harmonious volume within a single form generating the unified whole. Experimenting with various glazes, I try to form and freeze the growing motion.

The reversed drawings of my ceramic sculptures become another avenue with which to explore the tiny world. They reveal the focused and obscure, the visible and invisible.

The more closely we look at the world around us, the more we can understand our own place in the complex web of life, and the more we appreciate the whole universe.

-- Shiyuan Xu


Shiyuan Xu was born in Hangzhou, P.R China. Shiyuan received her BA from China Academy of Art in 2012, and an MFA from Arizona State University in 2016. At present, Shiyuan is the summer resident at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana. Shiyuan has great interest in nature, and extremely curious about the micro world.

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