Casey Chen: Lazy Dynamite
20 February - 5 April 2021
Emerging Sydney-based ceramic artist Casey Chen’s practice references historical illustrations from an eclectic mix of folklore, mythology and pop culture.
For the National Art School 2020 Grad Show, Chen drew upon imagery and motifs from the archetypal tales of the four great classic novels of Chinese literature: Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Journey to the West, Water Margin and Dream of the Red Chamber. His resulting works are both a self-exploration and an homage to the rich and enduring history of Chinese porcelain craft and Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints.
Blending childhood nostalgia with long-standing East Asian ceramic traditions, Chen applies his imagery to hand-thrown plates and vases, which are then fused with geometric patterns from traditional sources. The result is a cultural pastiche, and a dynamic conversation between traditional craft and contemporary perspective. The exhibition title Lazy Dynamite refers to the fickle nature of ceramics and the process between the periods of feverish making and the slow times in between.
Chen graduated from the National Art School in Sydney last December with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree majoring in ceramics, and was the recipient of the annual Harvey Galleries National Art School Exhibition award.
A BRAG Foyer Exhibition
Images L to R:
Casey Chen, Military Maneuvers 2 2020, glazed stoneware, underglaze and enamels, 36 x 36 x 6 cm, The collection of Lloyd Harris and David Collins
Casey Chen, 36 Heavenly Spirits and 72 Earthly Fiends 2020, glazed stoneware, enamels and lustre, 52 x 30 x 30 cm, Private collection of Mark Tedeschi AM QC
Casey Chen, Forty Rounds between Mountain and Sea 2020, glazed stoneware, underglaze and enamels, 33 x 33 x 8 cm, Private collection
Casey Chen, Lady reading a book 2020, glazed stoneware, underglaze and enamels, 28 x 20.5 x 1.5 cm, Private collection