Physical Exhibition: 6 May 2023 - 4 June 2023
Expedition of Fire: A Ceramic Art Exhibition
This exhibition showcases ceramic works of art from 13 Malaysian ceramicists, each shaping unique ceramic expressions with clay and fire depicting the beauty of everyday things and art, through their unconventional perspectives in appreciating life.
Opening Ceremony cum Art Talk of “Expedition of Fire: A Ceramic Art Exhibition” Learn more >
Educational Programmes Learn more >
Dragon and Phoenix
Law Yoek Suie, Chia Peck Hong
H21 x Diameter 20 cm
(Left) H21 x W9 x D3 cm, (Right) H21 x W7 x D3 cm
Zhangren Tenmoku Leaf Pattern Teacup
Ng Foo Cheong
H7 x Diameter 9.5 cm
The inception of ceramic or pottery is a momentous achievement in human civilisation. What began as a mere vessel has since transformed into an art form, representing a leap forward in civilisation and a revolution in aesthetics. Creating a piece of ceramic art is a creative process that involves the selection of natural clay by the artist, infusing his or her thoughts and ideas, combining exquisite craftsmanship with artistic spirit and inner qualities to create a unique, one-and-only piece of work. Thus, it is a product of integrating both sense and sensibility. The simple, unadorned clay is shaped by pressing, kneading, and repeatedly piling it up by hand, requiring labour and emotion. Subsequently, the piece undergoes a refining process through firing in a kiln, ultimately transforming into an exceptionally unique piece of artwork.
The “Expedition of Fire: A Ceramic Art Exhibition” is a group exhibition consisting of 13 senior, middle-aged and young ceramicist and ceramic art creators from Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Perak and Melaka. The exhibition is led by Mr. Cheah Yew Saik, the founder of Kuala Lumpur College of Art (KLCA, 1968 – 2005), and features 99 pieces of exhibits.
Among the works on display are Cheah Yew Saik’s “Survival and Euphoria” series, which seeks to enlighten viewers with its portrayal of the beauty of simple living; Cheah Yeow Seng’s “Rebirth and Elegance” series, which was created during the pandemic; and Tan Vooi Yam’s “My Hometown” series which depicts his cherished and beloved hometown, Ipoh. Meanwhile, the creations by Nelly Ng, Maxine Xie, Liyan Low, and Chon Chong San wander between expressionism and abstractionism; the “Tree” series by Chia Peck Hong, and the “Dragon and Phoenix” series, co-created by Chia and her husband, Law Yoek Suie, convey blessings of good fortune. Other works by husband and wife artists include Loh Kim Meng’s soft and graceful creations, as well as Leong Chee Hsiung’s bright and resplendent pieces. Last but not least, Yap Lei Kuan’s floral-themed plates and Ng Foo Cheong’s tenmoku tea cups convey the warmth of craftsmanship and express the beauty of everyday life.
The “Expedition of Fire” uses clay and fire to convey the “conversations between human and kiln” and the “dance of fire and clay” by these 13 artists, calling for a spiritual return to the beauty of life and art. Each piece, created with painstaking effort, bears the marks and crystallisation of the clay that has been tempered by the flames. They reflect the successes and failures, joys and tears, perfections and imperfections that are a part of human life. Hence, an installation art piece composed of the artists’ collection of unfinished, imperfect, or even broken art pieces was included in the final section of the exhibition. This conveys the notion of discovering and creating deeper beauty within imperfections, the fleeting nature of time, and the impermanence of all things. The pandemic has prompted us to embark on an expedition of self-reflection, challenging us to reconsider our definitions of perfection and imperfection, completion and incompleteness, and the fleeting nature of existence, in order to gain a deeper understanding of the true essence and purpose of life.
As the world-renowned writer, Ernest Hemingway once said, “the world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.”
In recent years, the art of pottery or ceramic making is often described as a stress-relieving and even therapeutic activity. It is hoped that this “Expedition of Fire: A Ceramic Art Exhibition”, will allow us to enjoy and appreciate the artistic charm of the exhibits and be inspired by the artists’ unyielding perseverance and unique aesthetic perspectives.
Exhibition opening hours: 11 am – 5 pm (Closed on Mondays)
Prior appointment is required for groups of more than 20 people. Please get in touch with us at https://b.link/WhatsApp_SokaPCE