Not currently on display at the V&A

Sculpture


Born in 1960, Taiwan, Chang Ching Yuan is a respected ceramic artist, professor and curator. Chang’s work is deeply rooted in his reflection on Taiwan’s identity and its problematic confrontation with mainland China. Since the 2000s, Chang created a series of works under this theme, often taking iconographies from Chinese traditional culture as metaphors of the relationship between parent culture and subculture. Included in these series is Rock with No Name, where he made ‘scholar rocks’ with stoneware glazed in vibrant colours and position them inside containers or on stands of inappropriate size/ material, creating an awkward juxtaposition. The scholar’s rock has always fascinated Chang as a material projection of utopia among Chinese literati culture.

In Rock with No Name No.2, this sense of dislocation is enhanced by the contrast between the tall, slender yet twisted form of the ‘rock’ and its very small footprint and stand, as well as the synthetic palette. The colour and the dot-like pattern on the rock is produced by a process that is similar to that of lacquer: apply multiple coats of slip, layer after layer; reveal the underlayer by scraping and polishing the top layer. The purpose of this method is not to imitate lacquer but to create a reference to the formation of Taiwanese culture, to how it is an accumulation of influence from mainland China, Portugal, Nethelands, Japan and Taiwanese indigenous peoples. The obscurity of the colour refers to a state that is difficult to define or interpret. The anthropomorphic mouth-like slit in the body of the ‘rock’ is an element that has appeared repeatedly in Chang’s work. The rupture of the otherwise complete form is a signal of the incompleteness of Taiwan’s cultural identity.


object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Brief Description
Rock with No Name No.2, sculpture, glazed stoneware, by Chang Ching-Yuan, Taiwan
Dimensions
  • Height: 600mm
  • Width: 160mm
  • Stand diameter: 135mm
Summary
Born in 1960, Taiwan, Chang Ching Yuan is a respected ceramic artist, professor and curator. Chang’s work is deeply rooted in his reflection on Taiwan’s identity and its problematic confrontation with mainland China. Since the 2000s, Chang created a series of works under this theme, often taking iconographies from Chinese traditional culture as metaphors of the relationship between parent culture and subculture. Included in these series is Rock with No Name, where he made ‘scholar rocks’ with stoneware glazed in vibrant colours and position them inside containers or on stands of inappropriate size/ material, creating an awkward juxtaposition. The scholar’s rock has always fascinated Chang as a material projection of utopia among Chinese literati culture.



In Rock with No Name No.2, this sense of dislocation is enhanced by the contrast between the tall, slender yet twisted form of the ‘rock’ and its very small footprint and stand, as well as the synthetic palette. The colour and the dot-like pattern on the rock is produced by a process that is similar to that of lacquer: apply multiple coats of slip, layer after layer; reveal the underlayer by scraping and polishing the top layer. The purpose of this method is not to imitate lacquer but to create a reference to the formation of Taiwanese culture, to how it is an accumulation of influence from mainland China, Portugal, Nethelands, Japan and Taiwanese indigenous peoples. The obscurity of the colour refers to a state that is difficult to define or interpret. The anthropomorphic mouth-like slit in the body of the ‘rock’ is an element that has appeared repeatedly in Chang’s work. The rupture of the otherwise complete form is a signal of the incompleteness of Taiwan’s cultural identity.
Collection
Accession Number
FE.85-2021

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record createdMarch 18, 2021
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