Zian Cao

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I dedicate myself in exploring the possibility of ceramics, recontextualizing its intrinsic materiality and physicality. My creative process is completely improvisational. The free and natural movement enables the clay to release and reveal the purity of the material embedded under the smooth surface. I see my works as a process-based abstraction, deeply anchored in the Modernist practices of action painting. The movement and action unveils the physicality of the clay, and thus purifies the abstract form of the movement. Any form is born during the active engagement between the body and the porcelain to convey non-concrete, perceptual objective abstractions. Through direct personal involvement with the clay, subjective consciousness obtains total emancipation, experiencing the existence, deformation, rhythm and decomposition of the dots, lines and surfaces — as well as the transient moment of movement created between the materiality of porcelain and id.

The Persistence of Movement
Porcelain 11.00*10.00*97.00cm
The Persistence of Movement(detail)
Porcelain 11.00*10.00*97.00cm
Dominant Vestige
Graphite on Whitestone ware 23.00*53.00cm
Composition VI
Graphite on Whitestone ware 49.00*52.00cm
Composition II
Graphite on Whitestone ware 49.00*44.00cm

Zian Can was born in Hangzhou, China. In 2018, he entered Parsons School of Design, majoring in Integrated Design. At the heart of Cao’s current practice is the inexplicable relationship between hand and clay. Being mined for centuries in Cao’s hometown soil, China, the artist discovered his intimate connection with the substance, porcelain. Cao interrogates the fundamental of porcelain as vessel, breaks the common convention of its forms, veering from white and smooth surface of this material to compositions of swirling forms. As a sculptor, Can constantly investigates on the issue of life and nature in his works. The transformation of porcelain from mud through fire emulates the process of the earth nurturing life, also demonstrates the lavation and sublimation of the soul. Cao’s works have been exhibited in [System Unfolding], 25 East Gallery, New York, US (2019) and Wonder World Pop-up Museum, New York, US (2019). Cao lives and works in New York, US.

United States
United States
Wichita Falls



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