Interview with ‘East meets West’ Artists

We caught up with the artists behind the group exhibition East meets West in Christmas Steps Gallery to find out a little more about their project – based mainly in the practice of contemporary ceramics.

How did the idea for the East meets West exhibition come about?

The aim of the exhibition was to create a dialogue between European artists and Taiwanese artists and to exchange cultural identity from different perspectives through: material, form, colour. This exhibition also aimed to widen understanding about Far Eastern culture.

How many artists were in the show and were you all working in ceramics?

There were ten artists are in the show:

-  Seven artists from Taiwan presenting traditional Chinese calligraphy, contemporary Chinese paintings, graphic design and clay.

- Two local artists from Bristol and one artist from Europe using clay as a medium to work with.

What is it about ceramics as a medium that you’re drawn to?

Wen-Hsi Harman – for me clay crosses between East and West. It is enriched with traditional craft processes and can be shifted into contemporary art. This hybrid language directly connects with my own situation. As a Taiwanese woman living in the UK, I am living ‘in-between two cultures’. I am a tourist as well as an outsider. Embarrassed tensions always happen, clay records my experiences.

Martin Harman – clay makes me realise humans are limitless and that ideas can become a reality.

What other projects do you / other artists in the show have going on aside from this exhibition?

Wen-Hsi Harman – I am currently undergoing my PhD research in ceramics at Bath Spa University as an exploration of Taiwanese cultural identity through contemporary ceramic practice.

Martin Harman – my artwork has been selected for the Taiwan Ceramic Biennale 2016 and I continue to develop my practice relating to research around: Stonehenge, Stone Circles and the built environment.

Hsiang-Ming Tang – I continue to develop my practice of calligraphy in relation to the beauty and meaning of writing.

Which other artists inspire you?

Wen-Hsi Harman – Pablo Picasso and Ai Wei -Wei.

Martin Harman – Anthony Caro, Ron Nagle.


What is it about Christmas Steps Gallery that attracted you to it?

The historic location, the atmosphere and its close proximity to other independent shops.

What did you hope to achieve through the East meets West exhibition?

We wanted to reach a wide audience to encourage people to understand different art forms from Eastern and Western cultures.


What is next for your practice?

Wen-Hsi Harman – my next exhibition Identity: story of the object will be at Bath Spa University library (Sion Hill ) from the 10th Nov to the 8 Dec 2015.



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