Thursday, May 1, 2008

Special Recognition for Anthony Foo’s Ceramic Works

I'm really honored to have my pieces receive "Special Recognition" at the Upstream People Gallery “10th Annual Contemporary Art International Online Juried Art Exhibition. My works: “Daily Assault", "Empty Calories", and "Last Boat Out” were chosen from approximately 250 entries.  (Links to all my exhibited works: “Daily Assault” “Last Boat Out” “Empty Calories” “Landed”Where Have All The Forests Gone?”)

“Foo is an accomplished ceramicist,” said Larry Bradshaw, curator of the show and professor of art. “All of his pieces are strong and significant in today’s contemporary ceramic art. “Daily Assault” is a dramatization of the effects of a daily bombardment. “Empty Calories” interestingly handles the idea of poor nourishment in some of our food choices today. Another striking piece is “Forest Gone”. And “Last Boat Out” continues with his play upon the circular element."

This piece which is the 4th in my "Earthship" series has become my favorite piece. I fell in love with the shape of the hull and started a series of them. This may be the last one I make so I decided to change the title of the piece to "Last Boat Out."

It actually has a very poignant story behind it. I have a close Vietnamese friend who shared with me how he and his family got out of Vietnam during the refugee crisis. Malaysia was one of the "processing" countries in the region who accepted these "boat people." To cross from Vietnam to the east coast of Malaysia, they would have to battle rough seas, starvation and avoid the pirates plying in that area. 

This piece depicts this courageous and perilous journey. The boat is crammed with people (pods); everyone carrying their worldly possessions (the silvery acrylic wash), hoping to make it to a better place. It makes me appreciate what we have here in America. Things that we cannot and must not take for granted - Freedom, and the desire of people to seek it, no matter what the cost.

"Empty Calories" was an impromptu creation. I had left over steel mesh from another project so I decided to see if I can make a tea set (for the Tea Set exhibition at the Irvine Fine Arts Center, April 2008) out of the scraps. 

I first created the metal sculpture, figured out how to join the various pieces of the tea pot. The tea pot and cups are double walled. The metal sculpture was then dipped into thin Southern Ice porcelain paperclay slip and allowed to dry.
Successive dippings were required to build up to the desired thickness. It is fired to Cone 04, with no glazes. The metal mesh is still inside the sculpture. The title of the piece came to me at the last moment, and I think it's very aptly named. After all, tea (without sugar or milk) does not have any calories!

To view more of my works, please visit my website,
Upstream People Gallery,

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