Biography Artist Statement Curriculum Vitae

Ying-Yueh Chuang was born in Taiwan and came to Canada in the early 1990’s. She received a diploma of Fine Arts from Langara College, Vancouver, a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, and a Masters degree in Ceramics from NSCAD University, Halifax. Following graduation she was a resident artist at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto for three years. She has taught ceramics at NSCAD University, Ontario College of Art and Design University, University of Regina and Sheridan College. She is currently teaching at Capilano University in North Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Ying-Yueh Chuang’s work has been featured in many publications such as Art in America, Ceramic Review, Ceramics Art and Perception, Ceramic Monthly and others. Book publications include The Ceramic Spectrum and Making Marks: Discovering the Ceramic Surface by Robin Hopper, as well as several of the 500 Series by Lark Books. She was an invited speaker at the 2009 Australian Ceramics Triennale Conference in Sydney, Australia and has been invited to present workshops and lectures in China, Taiwan and throughout Canada.

She has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally in both juried and invitational exhibitions and has been the recipient of many grants and awards. She was the 2006 recipient of the Winifred Shantz National Emerging Artist Award for Ceramists, Canada. Her work is found in many public and private collections such as the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Government of Ontario Art Collection, Burlington Art Centre, Ontario, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Saskatchewan, and the WOCEK Icheon World Ceramic Centre in Korea.

Artist Statement  

Of all the materials I have encountered, clay has proven to be the most forgiving and accessible material, allowing me to explore ideas through the making of objects. Certain ideas I learned while growing up in Taiwan have stayed with me, while others have been abandoned. In this same way, I am selective about how I adapt to Western philosophies and ways of living, leading me to live a hybrid existence with elements from both these cultures.  This way of thinking has intern influenced my interest in hybridization, leading me to take elements from plants or sea anemones in order to combine and create forms that are symmetrical and asymmetrical.

From hybrid forms inspired by organic material and imagined objects, my work comes together through a hands-on process and evolves into forms completely different from the initial object. Vegetables, fruits and bones are just a few of the forms that inspire my work and for me, trips to the grocery store become inspirational as I see how colour, texture, and shape play off one another in an environment where they are displayed to best exemplify these qualities.  As a collector of things, it is the small elements that most people overlook that inspire me most, the pieces that are thrown out or read as undesirable.  Take for example the seeds from a pepper.  While always thrown out immediately in order to deal with the pepper itself, I find myself captivated by the seeds, the structure and texture they create. 

It is by close observation of plant life that I have noticed how within each structure and environment patterns are created and repeated.  In some cases, the specific organizational element of each structure makes the forms and patterns as a whole look integrated and balanced.  In other instances, the density of texture increases as the size decreases, while colour enhances the structure making it more complete.  It is how individual elements, while independent, can also be used like building blocks to create larger units of pattern, which in turn can create even larger patterns exponentially.

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