Ying-Yueh Chuang

Artist Statement

Of all the materials I have encountered, clay has proven to be the most forgiving and accessible material, allowing me to explore ideas through the making of objects. Certain ideas I learned while growing up in Taiwan have stayed with me, while others have been abandoned. In this same way, I am selective about how I adapt to Western philosophies and ways of living, leading me to live a hybrid existence with elements from both these cultures. This way of thinking has in turn influenced my interest in hybridization, leading me to take elements from plants or sea anemones in order to combine and create forms that are symmetrical and asymmetrical.

From hybrid forms inspired by organic material and imagined objects, my work comes together through a hands-on process and evolves into forms completely different from the initial object. Vegetables, fruits and bones are just a few of the forms that inspire my work and for me, trips to the grocery store become inspirational as I see how colour, texture, and shape play off one another in an environment where they are displayed to best exemplify these qualities. As a collector of things, it is the small elements that most people overlook that inspire me most, the pieces that are thrown out or read as undesirable. Take for example the seeds from a pepper. While always thrown out immediately in order to deal with the pepper itself, I find myself captivated by the seeds, the structure and texture they create.

It is by close observation of plant life that I have noticed how within each structure and environment patterns are created and repeated. In some cases, the specific organizational element of each structure makes the forms and patterns as a whole look integrated and balanced. In other instances, the density of texture increases as the size decreases, while colour enhances the structure making it more complete. It is how individual elements, while independent, can also be used like building blocks to create larger units of pattern, which in turn can create even larger patterns exponentially.

-- Ying-Yueh Chuang