Ying-Yueh Chuang

P1050715 Clay artist Ying-Yueh Chuang was our guest at last Wednesday’s meeting of TriCity Potters. She gave us a power point presentation that showed us her progress as a student and now professional artist. The photos covered her early experiments with assembling and glazing press-moulded forms and where these ideas have taken her in almost two decades since.

Pieces that can stand any way you please.

Pieces that can stand any way you please.

 

 

Ying-Yueh came to BC from Taiwan as an International Student when she had completed three years of Arts-orientated High School. Her intention was to become a painter. But her instructor at Langara College, Don Hutchinson, somehow inspired her to switch to working with clay! After two years there Ying-Yueh transferred to Emily Carr University for another two years and completed her BFA, specializing in Ceramics. Straightaway she enrolled in NSCAD, in Halifax, to study for her MFA. Since then her passion for working with porcelain and colour has taken her to residencies at Toronto’s Harbourfront for three hungry years, and to Medalta and Jingdezhen amongst other prestigious institutions.

Top and bottom of an early Chuang plate.

Top and bottom of an early Chuang plate.

 

In 2012 she and fellow clay artist Eliza Au collaborated in a huge show of their work, both utilizing multiple parts for each section of their displays. Here is a link to a blog I posted, along with a short Picasa album of photos showing their work, after I saw the show in Coquitlam’s Evergreen Cultural Centre. The show travelled to several other cities.

http://www.gillianmcmillan.com/blog/2012/05/22/variations-on-symmetry/

 

In her talk here Ying-Yueh explained what I had seen, that her four major pieces had represented the four seasons. Spring was a vast installation at floor level, with each brightly coloured piece set stop an acrylic post to form a wildly intricate pattern. Summer was shown as green and summer-dried brown grass growing sideways from acrylic wall-mounted boxes. Fall had elegant, non-specific shapes hanging from fine nylon string and for Winter a gallery visitor could walk through suspended white ‘snow’, again on nylon string. Impressive!

Spring

Spring

 

I must remember that it’s never a good idea to try to photograph projected images. I tried and am posting some here but they aren’t good enough.

Summer

Summer

 

 

 

Ying-Yueh had also brought some finished pieces to show us. We saw a couple of her early assembled shapes which stack to become something else. She was thrilled with the white, beautiful-without-glaze, almost-impossible-to-work-with porcelain clay that is only available in Jingdezhen and showed us two pieces made there with said clay. To bring them back to Canada she had some beautiful boxes made specially for them.

Porcelain Chrysanthemum

Porcelain Chrysanthemum

Porcelain flower form in its fine box.

Porcelain flower form in its fine box.

In fact she is so enamoured with the bright flower-printed fabric she found there, and the discovery that the patterns form a regular square design, that she has been using it as background for some of her distinctive and now signature pieces. She even had some glorious pants made for herself (see the photo of YY in front of her work)!

Ying-Yueh Chuang and her work (and pants!)

Ying-Yueh Chuang and her work (and pants!)

Now Ying-Yueh is excited to be returning to China in May to make more of her press-moulded pieces and who know what else? Meanwhile she has spent the recent academic year as permanent, full-time ceramics instructor at Kwantlen College, Surrey. As she left Port Moody she mentioned that Thursday was her possession date for a new home in Surrey so we’ll see lots more of her in the years to come.

 

I didn’t have time to take a good look at a smart catalogue that was written by Amy Gogarty. So sorry we ran out of time.

YYC pieces and the catalogue

YYC pieces and the catalogue

 

 

Thank-you Ying-Yueh for your clear and enthusiastic presentation. We did enjoy hearing about your studies and experiments and the explanation of what it is you’re wanting to portray. Good luck with your future endeavours.

Fall

Fall

YY and the work she made while at Medalta using their 1950s factory crockery forms.

YY and the work she made while at Medalta using their 1950s factory crockery forms.

 

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