Dehua, Quanzhou, Fujian Province, CHINA
Candy Coated was awarded an Artist Residency by the Quanzhou Porcelain Road Art Development Center, the People's Government of the City of Quanzhou, and the People's Government of Dehua County Republic of China. Candy created work with her favorite material, porcelain in the heart of the 2500+ year old International Ceramic City of Dehua, China at the honorable Master Lin's amazing studio and ceramics factory for the permanent collection of Blanc de Chine which is now on display in Beijing, China.
Established in 2016, this Artist Residency is aimed at selecting/working with outstanding international contemporary ceramics artists and renowned contemporary artist to create artwork in China in a transparent, fair and just way. Aiming to deepen international artists' understanding of Chinese ceramic culture and China's splendid history and culture, so as to promote exchanges, integration, and innovative development of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary art both in China and abroad.
A whole new horizon opens in the East with this three-month porcelain residency where Candy will be until January 2019 creating mind-blowing delicately intricate artworks with pure porcelain clay from the original source. Collaborating with and meeting ceramic artists from Jingdezhen and Dehua, China to promote cross-cultural ties and contemporary interpretations on classical Chinese ceramics.
Selected results of her time in residence at Master Lin's studio in Dehua special, including precious ceremonial tea set designs, to be exhibited in September 2019 in Philadelphia at The Clay Studio to celebrate the close of her Visiting Artist Residency in an installation titled Tea Housing
Special thanks to the Universe and ALL for this once in a lifetime opportunity!
Artist Statement of Candy Coated on artworks made during Blanc de Chine Artist Residency Award, China
This completely porcelain work is entitled “Butterfly Guanyin”, it is comprised cast heart and Buddha hand forms, hyper-realistic flowers made by hand under the direction of Chinese master flower makers, and the life-sized sculptural portrait head representing the that is not quite male nor fully female spirit of compassionate Buddhist deity, the Bodhisattva Guanyin.
Representing the essence of wisdom and compassion that is Guanyin, enlightenment through transformation, and the pure beauty of the most special of porcelain materials found in the mountains of Fujian this piece is very much an embodiment of dreams come true. It has been more than a 25 year dream of mine to make artworks in the most historical place in China with the most special of porcelains at its source where it has the highest energetic vibration. That place happens to be Dehua, China for me. The luminous beauty of the clay lets the finished pieces contain and effuse its own light, making it alive with life transforming or enlightening it, very much what the Bodhisattva Guanyin essentially does.
For me, the creative process becomes reality when inspiration takes form. “Alien Guanyin” is the anchor piece in a body of works that comprise a larger wall installation entitled “Head, Heart, Hands” which expresses the idea that all creation comes from the mind/head, flows through the heart and finally out through the hands into these forms called art.
The Head not only represents Guanyin it is also symbolic of the mind and greater thinking, mental creation. What we think, we create. The Heart shapes are meant for greater heartfelt compassion, emotional creation, humanity was borne from the Bodhisattva’s tears of compassion. It is sweet to note that two tears placed side by side form a heart. The spirit of Quan Yin is that of compassionate loyalty and the greatest lesson of life and reason to live: love. The Hands simply support the Heart and are for larger service to community and the world, whatever form that service may take or be.
This artwork was made during Blanc de Chine Artist Residency Award 2018/2019, Dehua, China at Master Lin’s studio. It was an honor to learn such skillful mold making and casting techniques and use them successfully. The butterfly wings and the small teardrop heart-shaped wings forms were specifically modelled/designed so that one mold made that produced both a left and a right side. Another lifelong dream of mine to learn how to and make porcelain flowers realized itself when master flower makers welcomed and taught me the techniques to do so. The results of such generous sharing of masterful skill can be found on at top Guanyin’s forehead, where it blooms endlessly.
“An Everblooming Stilled-Life”
Here in lies a stilled piece of life, an arrangement comprised of a Buddha hand mudra holding a budding blossom, hand mudras with carved eyes on their fingertips, spiral blooming peony flowers in white and celadon/cabbage green, shiny glazed swollen hearts, crystal imprinted fortune cookies, and painted leaves.
A frozen yet flourishing grouping of hand positions used in meditation practice to evoke a particular state of mind, every mudra has both an outer/symbolic and an inner/experiential function for it communicates at once, both to the person who performs them and to the observer, aspects of the enlightened mind. The tips of the thumb and index finger touch each other and form a circle here, standing for the never-ending flow of energy. Eyes are carved on the fingertips of this mudra hand expressing further the rarefied and powerful energy emanating from an enlightened being through his or her hands.
The other is the Buddha hand mudra holding a scared flower bud expresses the energy of compassion, liberation and offering of acceptance and is often seen in conjunction with other mudras, it bestows a specific quality of energy one might be seeking from an enlightened being. Leaves figuratively grow and flourish around the fertile spiraling blooms that are both physically still, yet visually kinetic highlighting the beauty in contrast and contradiction.
These works were also made during the Blanc de Chine Artist Residency in Dehua, using traditional flower making techniques generously and compassionately imparted to me by master hands and hearts. Hands making hands, hearts making hearts all brought together in a contemporary floral arrangement.