Artist: Derek Au
Derek Au, CHINA
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I’m interested in the relationship between historical and contemporary craft traditions, as well as the on-going dialogue between different crafts such as ceramics, metalware, glass and painting. In my early work, Planeware, I developed porcelain slab construction techniques inspired by tinware and Song Dynasty qingbai ware (which, in turn, was influenced by Tang Dynasty silver
and gold ware). My newest series, Painted, explores the long history of slip decoration in ceramics as well as the relationship between painting and ceramics. As with hakeme, in the Painted series brushes are used to apply slip. But Painted removes the “ground” of the underlying thrown form, leaving behind only the slip. An amateur researcher of ancient Chinese ceramics and glazes, I am continuing to develop a number of glaze types using both traditional materials (such as porcelain stone and natural ashes) and modern materials. As a part of this research I created Glazy (https://glazy.org), a free platform for sharing and analyzing ceramics recipes. I’m a strong promoter of open-source
software and the benefits it can bring to the ceramics community.
After two years of a much too liberal education, Derek Au dropped out of college and headed West to California in order to “be a potter”. But the money soon ran out and Derek’s only options were either to become a forklift operator or go back to school. After five more years of university Derek headed West for the gold rush of his day- the Internet boom. But before the bubble burst, Derek was already disenchanted. He left work and resumed making pots until, inevitably, he once again needed a real job. Suddenly Derek found himself “saving the planet” in Europe’s den of iniquity, Amsterdam. Work led to a hippie ship, and the ship led to China. In between journeys, Derek spent time between a ceramic studio and Beijing, where he began studying Mandarin. In 2007, Derek finally visited the world capital of porcelain, Jingdezhen. He has been in Jingdezhen ever since, where he is attempting once again to become a potter.
2008/09 Solo Exhibition Pottery Workshop C2 Gallery. Jingdezhen, China.
2009/05 Form & Function: Ceramics Group Exhibition Two Cities Gallery. Shanghai, China.
2009/07 Ningbo Contemporary Ceramics Exhibition Ningbo Museum of Art. Ningbo, China.
2009/07 Foundation: Summer Show Two Cities Gallery. Shanghai, China.
2009/12 Wang Hao & Derek Au Functional Ceramics Exhibition Pottery Workshop C2 Gallery. Jingdezhen, China.
2010/02 Group Exhibition Light Square Gallery, Adelaide College of the Arts. Adelaide, Australia.
2010/05 First International Triennale of Kogei in Kanazawa, “Network Crafting” 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. Kanazawa, Japan.
2010/06 Spring Auction 2010-Contemporary Design Hosane Auction House. Shanghai, China.
2010/08 Varied Life Exhibition “参差日常”生活展 微山行 Design Gallery. Shanghai, China.
2011/01 Foundation: Functional Two Cities Gallery. Shanghai, China.
2011/04 2nd Dimension Contemporary Ceramics Group Exhibition Ningbo Contemporary Art Museum. Ningbo, China.
2011/06 Transcending Time BMW Hap Seng Star Gallery. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
2011/12 Tooling National Tainan University of the Arts. Tainan, Taiwan.
2012/04 Teaware: 5 Person Exhibition Moganshan Road M50 Art Industry Park. Shanghai, China.
2012/06 Documentary《china 瓷》 CCTV-9 Documentary. Beijing & Jingdezhen, China.
2012/08 Solo Exhibition The Clay Studio. Philadelphia, USA.
2015/08 Glazy Open Source ceramics recipes library https://glazy.org
2016/08 Utilitarian Clay VII National Symposium Invited Artists Exhibition Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts. Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
2016/09 Designed & Crafted 16 Signature Gallery, Atlanta Contemporary. Atlanta, Georgia.
2017/08 “72 Hands” Documentary Project On-Going video documentation project. http://72hands.org
2017/09 “From, In, to Jingdezhen; Eight Experiences” Gimhae Clayarch Museum. Gimhae, South Korea.
2018/03 “Expatriate Ceramics” Northern Clay Center. Minneapolis, Minnesota.