Culture Blending In Ceramic Arts: Contemporary Ceramic Artwork

When 5 Feb 2011 - 31 Mar 2011
Where Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard
Flushing, NY 11354
United States
Enquiry 718.463.7700 ext. 222

Event flyer. Courtesy of the curator and Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts

February 5 –  March 31, 2011

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 5, 2011, 5 – 7 pm

Gallery Talk with Curator and Exhibiting Artists: Sunday, February 20, 2011, 2 – 4 pm

Press Release:

- East meets West in a group show of 10 American ceramists
inspired by the artisanal techniques and traditions of China, the birthplace of a porcelain;
a co-presentation of Queens College and Flushing Town Hall –

Featured Artists: Harris Deller, Barbara Diduk, David Furman, Garth Johnson, Richard Notkin, Matt Nolen, Philip Read, Nancy Selvage, Bobby Silverman, and Suzanne Wolfe

Curator: Sin-ying Ho

Since clay was first fired in ancient China, ceramic objects have been traded and refined throughout the world. Culture Blending in Ceramic Arts: Contemporary Ceramic Artwork, on display at the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, brings the global conversation into the 21st century. Curated by ceramist Sin-ying Ho, an art professor at Queens College, Culture Blending showcases 10 U.S. artists who are heavily influenced by Chinese ceramics. The exhibition is being presented in conjunction with Queens College’s Year of China (—the first in an annual series of events dedicated to the art, history, and contributions of a single country.

Porcelain, for example, is so closely linked to China that the nation’s name, lower-cased, is a synonym for dishes and other tableware. Outstanding examples of these items have been coveted in every era. Sixth-century merchants carried ceramic pieces by camel across the Silk Road, linking Central and Eastern Asia. Ceramic objects found in shipwrecks and museum collections attest to the lively 18th-century trade between China and Europe. Today, computer technology, advanced communications, and modern transportation enable artists to incorporate the rich history of Chinese ceramics into their works.

The participants in Culture Blending embrace the cross-fertilization in ceramic arts; all of the artists in this show explore new ways to express ideas from their diverse backgrounds, social and political viewpoints, aesthetics, and technical research.


Harris Deller has been creating porcelain vessels for more than 35 years; during his residency at Jingdezhen, China, in 2006, he had the opportunity to collaborate with Chinese artisans.

Barbara Diduk examines the elusive space between the familiar vessel and pure sculpture. “The Vase Project: Made in China – Landscape in Blue” comments on global transformations, changing iconographies and artistic interpretation.

David Furman mixes two cultures to continue his exploration into human emotions through the “lifeless” art mannequin, while embracing and acknowledging the profound history of ceramics in China and the important cultural evolution to which it gave rise.

Garth Johnson creates hip-hop-infused luxury vessels that combine commercial containers with handles and spouts taken from silver coffee and teapots. The series he made in Jingdezhen, China, filters traditional Chinese symbols and decorations through his Western worldview.

Matt Nolen was inspired, after a trip to to China in 2005, by the Buddhist garden tradition: He created garden seats that provide a place and point of reflection on self-image, man’s impact on the environment and remaining mentally present to enjoy the moment.

Richard Notkin considers himself a sculptor with a strong commitment to social commentary. His Yixing Series of teapots closely imitates the scale, formats, colors, and textures of the unglazed Yixing teapots in China.

Philip Read develops his painting style by fusing Eastern and Western techniques, drawing on his early study of the 19th-century Lingnan painting of Southern China and longtime investigation of ceramics material.

Nancy Selvage tries to see more intensely, coalesce moments of clarity, and discover new means of expression. Her “Global Porcelain” platters are constructed from juxtaposed porcelain (and imitation porcelain) shards from around the world.

Robert Silverman is fascinated with the idiosyncratic nature of the ceramic medium. Formerly a potter, he redirected his career in 2001 after seeing the large-format tiles made in the imperial porcelain center of Jingdezhen, China.

Suzanne Wolfe utilizes both vessel and sculptural forms in her ceramics; the surfaces often pair text and image to reference social or historical issues and events. She has a passionate interest in China, which she has visited 10 times since 1996.

Both a Queens College’s Year of China and part of the annual Lunar New Year Celebration held by the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, this exhibition is also supported by Global Education at Queens College, the Art Department of Queens College, Flushing Town Hall, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Dominick and Rose Ciampa Family Foundation, and Tai Pan Bakery Inc. For more information about the Year of China, please visit

For more info, please visit