Dear Shaded Viewers,
On a quaint barge near the Pont de Neuilly, Zhou Yiyan invited viewers to join her as she presented “Pluie de Porcelaine.” Her workshop, almost at eye-level with the water, features sketches along the walls as well as tools and works-in-progress on the tables.
Not only does she work with ceramics, but also other methods such as painting and photography. She chooses the medium based on which would best serve the purpose she envisions. She begins with the desire to translate her observations of the world, nature, or humans. Then, she lets her hands guide her as she sketches.
Many of Yiyan’s sculptures feature a circle, a shape that continues to fascinate her. One display shows Yiyan’s attempts at drawing a perfect circle, at which she was unsuccessful without her compass. The same display includes many hanging ceramic circles that broke during their crafting. With these sketches and ceramic pieces, the artist demonstrates the idea that imperfect circles are perfect in their own way.
The exhibition introduced a performance later in the evening: in costume, Bonnie Tchien made her way across the boat as she stepped on pieces of porcelain. Finally, she reached a screen playing a film, as music and the sound of porcelain tinkling filled the room. Yiyan recited a poem she wrote in Chinese, alongside a French version, asking the audience to listen to the sound of raining porcelain.
As for jewelry, Yiyan has made ceramic necklaces, earrings, and rings, usually combined with other materials as well. Yiyan notes that she would like to make the statement that although art is made to observe, it is also wearable.