Wilma Stone

Joe’s lecture about our project at the Pottery Workshop, Jingdezhen on Friday 7.30 pm

Joe’s lecture about our project at the Pottery Workshop, Jingdezhen on Friday 7.30 pm

SHECHINA on show

China trip film

GHOSTS IN THE MACHINE

Short film shot by Chen Yong in Jingdezhen, edited by The Stones

SheChina

Press Release


SheChina - A Collaborative Project by Wilma Stone & Chen Yong


This project was generated in response to a pile of discarded rubber glove hand moulds found at a street dump in Jingdezhen when undertaking a five week ceramic residency and research tour in China that took place in October-November 2013.
After discovering the hands with Chen Yong (nickname Fanjoe, shortened to Joe) a few days before the end of the trip and recognizing the possibility for an installation, I decided to take one hand back to the UK with me and Joe collected the rest. We debated about what we might possibly do with these found objects and I invited him to collaborate
with me - him working on the multiples in China, me working with the individual hand mould in Britain - and see what happened. He agreed. We set the month of June/July 2014 to exhibit the project. We had no idea where the project would take us or what the outcome would be. After my return, dialogue was continued through WeChat (a digital App) on our phones and the project has evolved and been driven by a reciprocal spirit of affection, optimism and cooperation. All the communication (verbal, written, and photographed) charting the development of ideas and speculations, have been transcribed and recorded by me and then sent to Joe to translate into Mandarin, to finally be printed into a book.
As an experiment in trans-disciplinary collaboration between two artists who do not share the same generation, geography, or gender, the aim was to develop a sculptural language through the notions of inclusion, storytelling and connection that celebrates the discarded and unwanted through the creation of mnemonic objects. Given a new life, this act
of recuperation has produced objects and images which aspire to induce daydreams into, and transformation of, our repressed histories, memories and trauma.
The psychic effects of trauma - that psychoanalytic theories have shown insist on repetition and its technical reproduction - is a theme which is extensively explored through the lens of China’s ceramic practice and history, an ancient cultural tradition which celebrates and rewards repetition. It also looks at the ceramic object as fetish and prop, which allows the psyche to hold onto contradictory knowledge, ‘magical thinking’ and a belief in false messiahs.
The work refers specifically to the inequalities of a global economy and considers the political, economic and social complexities of industrialized ceramic production in which manual labour has been reduced to mindless, deadening repetition and creates a form of psychic amnesia and repression of historical memory. It provides a space in which to
question the enchantment of beauty over the ugliness of social exploitation and “how the craftsperson can, through the pride taken in their work, be blinded to the social and political consequences of what they make”. Ceramic materials, processes and skills are used to
expose and explore issues of what it means to be considered obsolete, useless and unwanted. The purpose of clipboards, aluminium cable trunking and an industrial trolley for display adds a further material association with production workshops and factories.

Serial Objects of General Use (2014)

Raku clay, white slip, porcelain slip, underglaze decals, clear crackle raku glaze, workshop trolley

 

Mould-making processes were utilised to produce cast multiples of the female rubber glove hand mould, onto which traditional Chinese porcelain decal decoration is juxtaposed with a raku-fired glaze. This firing technique causes surface cracks and fractures to develop on the glaze surface through the trauma of thermal shock. The robust use of clay and glaze surface calls to mind an archaeological relic from traditional China, unearthed after many years of burial. This is a formal display of how trauma is written into the human anatomy and how repressed memories are entombed and distorted in silence, fear and shame. Although a multiple, each hand is unique, indexing repetition which delivers difference, unpredictable results and the transformative ability of materials, not repetition without difference; a signifier of compulsion and unresolved trauma. The twenty-six hands are displayed upright in a gesture of defiance and reclamation and celebrate manual labour, the feminine and its cultural history of human skill and making.

 

SHECHINA
3 box frames with cups, bowls, tiles and photographic backgrounds

SHECHINA

3 box frames with cups, bowls, tiles and photographic backgrounds

What Joe (Chen Yong) says…

about the abandoned property development in Sanbao Village where he has hung some of the hands, held “a happening” to create a participatory encounter with local residents and intends to stage his exhibition (at the same time as me in June/July 2014)

 

I try to connect with the building’s old owner’s daughter ,she said ,before this building area is named “Mountain villa of ceramic art”,and after her dad kill himself ,these buildings has already been sold to someone else,maybe just the bank.and then these buildings just been abandoned there,grass came out,trees began bigger and bigger,but no one use it anymore .

I have asked some of the villagers and also some artist,the villagers thought that building is kinds like bad luck,it’s being talking like ghost house,snakes came out at the middle night,danger and no one wants to live there,or near,but there is a temple just behind these buildings,cos the monk always free captive animals,I guess there should be more and more animals around(also they free snakes),after there short life,the souls could be stay in that big garden,like animals heaven.
These glove hands mould are use for rubber gloves,the interesting thing is,rubber is a strong,waterproof,elastic substance,just like souls.
So the mould is not just for making gloves,but also souls,all the user is a human,these glove moulds are connection between every single soul and cold-blooded industry.
Time goes on,new industry replaced the old ones, ceramic glove moulds has been replaced by aluminum alloy glove moulds,that’s why they are abandoned in the corner.
And some potter also think these buildings just been abandoned like that is a huge waste,they would love to rent some as a studio,just there is no one they can talking to.

Chen Yong’s Artist Statement

 (born in China, 1988)

I have travelled a long time before settled down in Jingdezhen to do with my ceramic works.that’s why i always try to add more special ideas into my works,
Cos I think the only way to do a better work is always change.change your mind,change your way,change your style.i’m still young,but i will keep trying,to make better works,make this world a little different.

 

Bureaucratisation of the Overlooked (2014)

Collages, solar plate prints, ink drawings, colour photocopies, paintings, 16 x Clipboards