the beautiful ceramics of Ya Wen Chou
Ya Wen Chou‘s art and design objects are like precious jewels – unique, intriguing, often dazzling. They speak to both her family’s cultural heritage and to the present and have process at the heart.
“I was inspired by the cracked glazed ceramics and the science behind it,” says the Taiwan-born UK-based artist. While the the first thing that stands out in her work is the patterning, the oozing, flowing colours, sparkles and flecks of gold, the marbling effects and the crystal-like appearance, the absolute intensity of colours, it is in fact the science behind these things that Ya was drawn to first, and which the magic of a final product relies on. “The patterns which appear later are celebrated as a decorative feature of the object,” she says.
The use of her cultural and family heritage in the pieces of course make the collection precious on yet another, perhaps even more meaningful, level. Surrounded by artifacts as a child, her grandparents’ great collectors, when it came to experimenting with mixed media at the RCA – where she received an MA from in 2012, Ya returned to them as a source of inspiration. It’s now her own “family heirlooms” she creates, blending modern science and materials – like perspex, resin, glass and latex, with those native to Taiwan – hemp, stone, bamboo, bone and wood.
In her Landscape of Oxidation range of candle and tea-light holders, vases and vessels, Ya’s usage of Jesmonite, a kind of acrylic resin, creates a marbled effect referencing the stone in architecture. The colours of the products are all orginated from the metal particle castes in the resin. The concept of the landscape as architecture and the pursuit of raw materials are the inspiration behind the collection that inspired Ya and her collaborative partner for this collection, Ya Yen Chang.
Apart from Ya’s work being aesthetically beautiful, it is also a re-discovery of culture, and out of that glorious combination come everyday objects that are equally contemporary, historical, beautiful, part art, part design, and a true celebration of science, nature, culture.
Credits: Ya Wen Chou