Constructed realities: Life Beyond Borders - Sin-ying Cassandra Ho

Nilufar Gallery is proud to present ‘Constructed Realities: Life Beyond Borders’, a solo exhibition of the ceramic artist and designer Sin-ying (Cassandra) Ho staged in the Via della Spiga space.

“Travelling and acquainting new cultures has always been a defining and enriching element of my work. The refined, singular and curious expressions of such meeting that one finds in Ho’s work is unique in its kind, and the reason why I’ve instantly been drawn to her practice. It thus seemed relevant to introduce her vision to the international hub of Milan” states Yashar.

Ho identifies herself as a global sapien, having lived in multicultural cities like New York City, Toronto, and Hong Kong (where she is originally from), while working in her studio in Jingdezhen. Her background accompanied by a strong sense of Chinese heritage and identity have guided her artistic practice towards expressions of ceramics that could merge the various influences into a cohesive and balanced narrative. Ho’s work uses the tensions and juxtaposition of life experiences and cultural observations, selecting European and Chinese elements, iconic decorative motifs and images from both historic and contemporary perspectives, building symbols of cross-cultural narratives. Ho also draws inspiration from the history of the Silk Road (by land and sea) and its influence on cultural exchange. She describes her life experience as “her own personal Silk Road journey”.

In her ceramic work, Ho’s styles and forms derive from multiple ancient cultural histories including European (Greek, Italian, Celtic, French, German), Chinese, Islamic, Roman and Maya. Inspired by the theoretical definitions of the vase’s structural elements, referred to as the lip, neck, shoulder, belly, and foot, Ho chooses her works’ shapes according to how they relate to the human body. Her cut-and-paste technique creates recognizable and simultaneously unfamiliar silhouettes, with symbols from both East and West that are hand painted, digitally designed and then transferred onto the glazed surface. This mixture of digital and analogic, together with the fragmentation of her work, creates a visual distortion creating a shifting dimensionality that evokes cubism in a postmodern era. These multiple forms joined together represent her personal journey, deconstructed and reconstructed, from East to West and West to East, as well as narratives of social and global changes provoked by globalism, technology and the digital age.

In her series ‘Garden of Eden’, Ho challenges her physical boundaries to create a group of monumental vessels, six to seven feet tall. These artworks’ shape is once again inspired by the silhouette of the human figure, referencing the Renaissance paintings of Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve as the core composition, surrounded by hand-painted cobalt underglaze of hundreds of flowers and combined with digital transfer-printed images. Universal human nature and traits, such as greed and other materialistic desires, the impact of marketing, hopes and technological transformations are intrinsic to the concept of these architectural vessels situated in a garden, thus evoking the collisions of 21st century globalisation.

Dates: October 6th 2022
Press Preview: October 5th from 4pm—7pm