During my studies in Jingdezhen I have visited ancient kiln sites to understand the history and society surrounding Chinese ceramics. From the rubble I have seen remnants of ceramics in mid-production: shards of bisqueware reveal themselves and tell a story of a different time. From these broken works I have been able to see the interiors of these vessels, something you would not normally see if it was intact. Hidden patterns emerge from the inside because of complex mold/slipcasting design. From these intricate patterns I have derived my inspiration; I exploit the slipcasting process to create aestheticized surfaces to talk about interior and exterior space. Using this frame of reference also lets me learn about Jingdezhen through a contemporary art practice.
My other body of work also investigates Chinese culture and heritage from a ceramic perspective. I use an ancient surfacing technique called Wucai (a Kanxi technique in Qing dynasty), which predates China Paint (present-day enamel painting). With the help of digital technology I utilize Wucai to create contemporary imagery. My background is in Ceramic Chemical Engineering and I find it fascinating to marry materials that are in danger of being forgotten with cutting-edge methods of making.
— Ming Zhan