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    Shelley Miller, The Wealth of Some and the Ruin of Others (triptych), 2008

Elegant Disorder

Perspectives on Porcelain

Paul Mathieu, Sin-Ying Ho, Shelley Miller, Elizabeth Zvonar and Brendan Tang

May 12 – June 23, 2012

Satellite Gallery
560 Seymour Street, 2nd Floor
Vancouver, BC

Artist talk Paul Mathieu: Friday, May 11, 6 to 7pm

Opening reception Friday, May 11, 7 to 9pm

Curator’s Tour Louis-Alexandre Douesnard-Malo
Saturday, June 2 at 2pm at Satellite Gallery.
Space is limited. Please RSVP to reserve your place:
debbie@satellitegallery.ca or 604-681-8425.

Elegant Disorder: Perspectives on Porcelain is a group exhibition featuring contemporary artists Paul Mathieu, Sin-Ying Ho, Shelley Miller, Elizabeth Zvonar and Brendan Tang. Presented at Satellite Gallery, this exhibition engages with the history of porcelain—in particular, contemporary expressions of the blue-and-white motifs reminiscent of Chinese Ming Dynasty wares. With more than a dozen works on display touching on pottery, sculpture and photography, this exhibition joins new perspectives to familiar porcelain motifs.

The works in this exhibition make a compelling statement: porcelain is an active and vivid vehicle for our imagination. It has always been a force in global trade and industrialization since early modern times and, while its proliferation is a direct consequence of Western colonialism, it is seldom considered within critical discussions of that history. This ancient material may seem obsolete within today’s technocratic societies, yet it continues to thrive, as it has for thousands of years, in both applied and creative fields.

Elegant Disorder seeks to make visible the tensions between local and global identities embedded within porcelain’s materiality and design. It is from this perspective that each artist in the exhibition subverts expectations of craft and decorative arts as well as gender roles. Each engages with the questions of history, technology, sexuality, colonialism, and labour that have long intersected on porcelain’s elegant surface.

Artist Biographies

Sin-Ying Ho’s works are part of her series Meeting Places (2007-2009). Her work reflects the impact of globalization on the cultural borrowings and interactions in an accelerated “global village.” She currently teaches at Queen’s College in New York City.

Paul Mathieu is interested in the role and function of ceramics within culture in general and art in particular. Mathieu explores concepts particular to craft practices, such as decoration, function and containment in relation to various contexts in time, history and human experiences. He currently teaches at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver.

Shelley Miller’s work is situated in public spaces, in both ephemeral form and impermanent materials. Miller is a Montreal-based artist whose installations, sculptures and public works have been exhibited across Canada as well as in India and Brazil. She completed her BFA degree at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, and received her MFA from Concordia University in 2001.

Elizabeth Zvonar’s pieces explore the material relationship of porcelain to the body and sexuality. Zvonar holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Her work has been extensively exhibited, most recently in Vancouver at the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Contemporary Art Gallery, as well as internationally.

Brendan Tang’s work enters the dialogue on contemporary culture, technology and globalization through a fabricated relationship between ceramic tradition and Techno-Pop Art. Most recently, his work has been exhibited at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (as a 2010 Sobey Finalist), the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Power Plant.

Elegant Disorder: Perspectives on Porcelain is curated by Louis-Alexandre Douesnard-Malo, a candidate in the Master of Arts program in Critical and Curatorial Studies at the University of British Columbia. For more information please visit: http://www.curatorialstudies.ca

This exhibition is made possible with support from the Michael O’Brian Family Foundation, the Killy Foundation and the Audain Endowment for Curatorial Studies through the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, in collaboration with the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia and Satellite Gallery.

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at jana.tyner@ubc.ca,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689