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"Cross Series #3 (detail)"
Ying-Yueh Chuang, "Cross Series #3 (detail)," 2008, ceramics, wood and Plexiglas rods 12’ x 12’ x 2’.
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"Flower Series #1"
Ying-Yueh Chuang, "Flower Series #1," 2011, porcelain and vintage fabric, 119” x 104” x 5”.
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"Flower Series #6"
Ying-Yueh Chuang, "Flower Series #6," 2011, porcelain and vintage fabric, 20” x 20” x 4”.
YING-YUEH CHUANG - Collector's Pick
By Maureen Latta
Ying-Yueh Chuang is decidedly not a minimalist. Her installations are constructed from individual ceramic pieces presented in dizzying arrays of repeating forms and hybridized structures – sometimes even hung from the ceiling or wall. “I don’t want my work to be displayed in the traditional way, which is always sitting on a plinth with a top, bottom, left and right,” says Chuang. “Any object we have in our life is three-dimensional. A fruit or vegetable, we don’t define where the bottom is, where the top is.”
Her wall-mounted Flower series plays with notions of class and culture. The work incorporates cheap Taiwanese textiles and flowers made of unglazed porcelain, which she accessed while on residency in Jingdezhen, the Chinese town that historically supplied wealthy Europeans with precious porcelain wares. Her Cross series includes more than 800 ceramic pieces that resemble vegetables or sea creatures.
Chuang’s inventive spirit helped her win the 2006 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics, a prestigious national award for emerging artists. A graduate of NSCAD University’s MFA program in Halifax, Chuang’s formal interests centre on the imperfect symmetries of natural objects. Her installations build slowly, their accretions reflecting her obsession with collecting objects with interactive potential; for example, milkweed pods that split to reveal an inner complex of seeds. She teaches at Vancouver’s Capilano University, at least for now – a budgetary shortfall has prompted administrators to close the studio arts program after current students graduate.
Ying-Yueh Chuang is represented by Regina’s Slate Fine Art Gallery. Her work, priced at $150 to $10,000, is in a group show there in December, 2013.