Ceramic is a permanent medium and I’m a reluctant visitor.
As a Chinese artist living in the United States for the past decade, I have grappled with the tension between my early years in China, where I immersed myself in art centered around harmony, nature, and composition, and my art education in the US, which encouraged me to learn the rules in order to break them. This juxtaposition has greatly influenced my artistic journey, as I now combine my appreciation for harmony with the vibrant colors, conceptual leanings, and unrestricted expression of Eastern gestures inspired by Western landscapes I have discovered in Western aesthetics.
Raised in a traditional ceramic city where perfection was the ultimate standard, I initially focused on mastering traditional techniques. However, clay, being a paradoxical material—both fragile and sturdy—has led me to reconsider its possibilities and explore its unique qualities. I now emulate the impressionistic gestures found in traditional pottery by intimately engaging with the clay, using touch and pinching techniques. Through gentle taps on the soft clay, I create imprinted surfaces that visually and materially record the passage of time. This process establishes an emotional bond with the material and allows the clay itself to guide my artistic expression. I have found liberation in my creative process by embracing imperfections and welcoming mistakes and chaos.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Nanxi Jin is an interdisciplinary artist who works with clay. She currently lives and works in Chicago. She obtained a BFA in Art & Design from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2020. She graduated from the School of Art Institute of Chicago in 2022. Her works have been exhibited in multiple exhibitions, including Ceramic Art Avenue Gallery (2019), NYCxDesign during New York Design Week 2021, :iidrr Gallery (2023), and The Plan (2023) She received the First Prize in the 2022 “Shiwan Cup” Youth Ceramics Competition, Silver Medal of the 12th Chinese Ceramic Art Exhibition and Silver Award for China Ethnic Arts and Crafts Competition. Her work “Various Vase” has been collected in Guangdong Shiwan Ceramic Museum.
© Nanxi Jin