Elegant Disorder: Perspectives on Porcelain is a group exhibition featuring contemporary artists Paul Mathieu, Sin-Ying Ho, Shelley Miller, Elizabeth Zvonar and Brendan Tang. Presented at Satellite Gallery, this exhibition engages with the history of porcelain—in particular, contemporary expressions of the blue-and-white motifs reminiscent of Chinese Ming Dynasty wares. With more than a dozen works on display touching on pottery, sculpture and photography, this exhibition joins new perspectives to familiar porcelain motifs.
The works in this exhibition make a compelling statement: porcelain is an active and vivid vehicle for our imagination. It has always been a force in global trade and industrialization since early modern times and, while its proliferation is a direct consequence of Western colonialism, it is seldom considered within critical discussions of that history. This ancient material may seem obsolete within today’s technocratic societies, yet it continues to thrive, as it has for thousands of years, in both applied and creative fields.
Elegant Disorder seeks to make visible the tensions between local and global identities embedded within porcelain’s materiality and design. It is from this perspective that each artist in the exhibition subverts expectations of craft and decorative arts as well as gender roles. Each engages with the questions of history, technology, sexuality, colonialism and labour that have long intersected on porcelain’s elegant surface.