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  • Call for Art – 12th Annual “Seascapes” Online Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • 8th Annual Leaves & Petals Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 8th Annual Leaves & Petals art competition..
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  • Art Show:

    Location: Truro, NS

    Visual Voice Fine Art presents 'SUMMER' June 20- July 16, 2022. Open Monday, Wednesday,..
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  • Art instructors needed in Calgary

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Calling for Calgary based artists. Become our hosting artists to gain exposure, income..
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  • Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition consists of works from internationally..
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  • Old & New: A Solo Exhibit by Robert Crosby

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The paintings of Robert Crosby will be on display in the Joyner Gallery..
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  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Asian Roots Trio”, a..
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  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Meditation”, a solo show..
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  • Gallery Ring ARTISTS OF THE MONTH Contest

    Location: , ON

    Gallery Ring announces the ARTISTS OF THE MONTH contest. A RUBY, SAPPHIRE, EMERALD..
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  • “Summer” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline August 31, 2022

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Summer of the soul, summer thunder, summer wine, summer fling, summer..
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  • John Lennard - Exhibition opening June 17, 2022

    Location: Haliburton, ON

    John Lennard is known for his vivid landscape paintings. A serene summer sunset,..
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  • Exhibition: Common Ground

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    In this exhibition, Sara-Jeanne Bourget, Robin Gleason and Mark Johnsen explore the layers..
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  • New Edition – online art exhibition

    Location: Brooklyn, NY

    Applications are now open for our online exhibition “New Edition”- an investigation into..
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  • Beacon Original Art Call for Submissions

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic, glass, jewelry and textile artists are encouraged to APPLY..
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  • Landscape Reflections: Solo Exhibit by Marilyn Cochrane

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The Niagara-on-the-Lake artist, Marilyn Cochrane, celebrates the natural world in a more encompassing..
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  • Repair Landmark

    Location: Fredericton, NB

    Hello, Looking for a skilled artisan able to repair our farming community's landmark. ..
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  • Call for artworks: Canada-China-Australia exchange

    Location: ,

    Led by Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Sino-Canada Alliance..
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  • STILL WITH US: Floyd Kuptana at Gallery Arcturus

    Location: Toronto, ON

    STILL WITH US: Celebrating the artist Floyd Kuptana, 1964 -2021. Works in stone, paint,..
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  • Looking for hosting artists, Calgary based

    Location: Calgary, AB

    If you are a Calgary-based artist who is interested to gain exposure to..
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  • Commonwealth Artists' Prize

    Location: ,

    In Brief We are calling for entries from artists who are: 1) A..
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  • Check Jooble for Art related Jobs

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Looking for a job in the ARTS in Canada? We have thousands of..
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Wayne Ngan

By Robert Amos July 2, 2004

} Wayne Ngan By Robert Amos Wayne Ngan at Winchester Galleries, 2260 Oak Bay Avenue, 595-2777, until July 3 www.winchestergalleriesltd.com The Winchester Gallery has put ceramics on a whole new footing in Victoria. An exhibition of about 120 pieces by Wayne Ngan, of Hornby Island, is presented at the gallery in shiny new plexi cases under fine halogen lights. The ceramics are breathtaking, and so are the prices. We have never before been offered a pot by a contemporary local artist for $3,500. Really, it should come as no surprise. Ngan’s skill in creating forms from clay is unsurpassed. He glazes them with a complex of geology, chemistry and thermodynamics, and then causes this intricate dance of fire and earth to rise up into the air and sing. Why shouldn’t this be worth half as much as a piece of paper over which Toni Onley briefly passed his brush? In fact, Onley paintings make an interesting backdrop to Ngan’s pots. Onley developed his watercolours with a spirit of Orientalism - the Japanese brush, the empty spaces, the calligraphy. Ngan, who was born in China but grew up in Vancouver, has imbued his decidedly eastern pottery with a modernist ethic drawn from Kandinsky and Picasso via Gordon Smith and Jack Shadbolt. In my opinion, virtually all the best potters in this country live on this far west coast. Here we have been educated by the excellent work of Gordon Hutchens, Walter Dexter, Robin Hopper, Judi Dyelle, Jan and Helga Grove, just to name the first few that come to mind. But Ngan has always been at the top of my list. One of his vases sits by itself in a display case. Globular and generous in proportion, it glistens with a transparent black glaze containing within it a pattern of infinite granulation. It presents at once a rude peasant strength - you could hold a lot of rice wine in this! - and a sublime sophistication worthy of Brancusi. It’s easy to see why a selection of Ngan’s work is on permanent display at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa. There is a compact sense of order in this man’s pottery, and when I try to describe it, words fail. What is this object? It stands on a round foot, but as soon as the body arises it is surmounted by a barrel shape set on a transverse axis. The neck of the vase grows out of the barrel, a square growing out of the side of a cylinder. Ngan is squaring the circle! The shapely rectangular rim softens at the corners. The glaze there stretches and thins and disperses, revealing every colourful component of its inky depths. All those words... and they don’t begin to do justice to what this man hath wrought. For millennia, people have been coiling and slab-building and turning objects made of clay. Yet Ngan has invented dozens of shapes which I have never seen before. Sure, he makes bowls and vases and even plates, like any potter. But what of the little lidded boxes which swell up from the base and finish in a gentle dome? A number of odd objects convey a power reminiscent of ancient Chinese bronzes - tripod feet, a cylindrical waist and three leaves spreading out from a central well. On the outside these look like pitted metal, while inside there glows a smouldering ultramarine blue glaze. This is more than pottery. Few of the objects have any functional purpose. Could they be sculpture, perhaps an abstraction of the human form with hip and shoulder and torso? Ngan holds no brief for minimalism, and is happy to decorate his surfaces with more verve than most painters you could mention. The sides of vases paddled flat make a perfect ground for calligraphic flourish. Flat dishes may be dipped in slip, then scratched through. This sgraffito results in a thrilling design held in place by the special tension which comes with a wheel-turned form. In this exhibition are a number of flat slabs which are a perfect ground for his painterly expression. The palette of minerals and fire are more elemental than any mere painter can deploy. I visited Ngan’s Hornby Island home a number of times where he held court throughout the summer. Sitting beneath the wisteria near his pond, he played the philosopher while tourists milled about. On every visit I have made a purchase or two from the shelves near his giant, slumbering wood-fired kiln. It was only on the most recent visit, when he invited me into his home, that I realized that what we tourists were offered were “seconds”. In his house were stacked pieces he esteemed too highly to offer for sale at studio prices. Clearly, Gunter Heinrich made the selection for this show from Ngan’s very best. Heinrich told me that not only did he pick the pieces from Ngan’s household cupboards, but from the top of those cupboards, and even at the very back. Ngan is not a young man any more, and he has at last met a dealer unafraid to display his best work with an appropriate dignity, and to price the wares accordingly. Though you may be surprised to find that these ceramics cost more than the mugs and bowls at your local craft fair, be aware that connoiseurs of pottery in Japan and China regularly pay far, far more than this for works by the masters ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2004Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B.C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com

Notice Board

SUBMIT View

Current notices

There are no notices at this time.

Today's notices

  • Call for Art – 12th Annual “Seascapes” Online Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
    View notice

  • 8th Annual Leaves & Petals Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 8th Annual Leaves & Petals art competition..
    View notice

  • Art Show:

    Location: Truro, NS

    Visual Voice Fine Art presents 'SUMMER' June 20- July 16, 2022. Open Monday, Wednesday,..
    View notice

  • Art instructors needed in Calgary

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Calling for Calgary based artists. Become our hosting artists to gain exposure, income..
    View notice

  • Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition consists of works from internationally..
    View notice

  • Old & New: A Solo Exhibit by Robert Crosby

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The paintings of Robert Crosby will be on display in the Joyner Gallery..
    View notice

  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Asian Roots Trio”, a..
    View notice

  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Meditation”, a solo show..
    View notice

  • Gallery Ring ARTISTS OF THE MONTH Contest

    Location: , ON

    Gallery Ring announces the ARTISTS OF THE MONTH contest. A RUBY, SAPPHIRE, EMERALD..
    View notice

  • “Summer” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline August 31, 2022

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Summer of the soul, summer thunder, summer wine, summer fling, summer..
    View notice

  • John Lennard - Exhibition opening June 17, 2022

    Location: Haliburton, ON

    John Lennard is known for his vivid landscape paintings. A serene summer sunset,..
    View notice

  • Exhibition: Common Ground

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    In this exhibition, Sara-Jeanne Bourget, Robin Gleason and Mark Johnsen explore the layers..
    View notice

  • New Edition – online art exhibition

    Location: Brooklyn, NY

    Applications are now open for our online exhibition “New Edition”- an investigation into..
    View notice

  • Beacon Original Art Call for Submissions

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic, glass, jewelry and textile artists are encouraged to APPLY..
    View notice

  • Landscape Reflections: Solo Exhibit by Marilyn Cochrane

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The Niagara-on-the-Lake artist, Marilyn Cochrane, celebrates the natural world in a more encompassing..
    View notice

  • Repair Landmark

    Location: Fredericton, NB

    Hello, Looking for a skilled artisan able to repair our farming community's landmark. ..
    View notice

  • Call for artworks: Canada-China-Australia exchange

    Location: ,

    Led by Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Sino-Canada Alliance..
    View notice

  • STILL WITH US: Floyd Kuptana at Gallery Arcturus

    Location: Toronto, ON

    STILL WITH US: Celebrating the artist Floyd Kuptana, 1964 -2021. Works in stone, paint,..
    View notice

  • Looking for hosting artists, Calgary based

    Location: Calgary, AB

    If you are a Calgary-based artist who is interested to gain exposure to..
    View notice

  • Commonwealth Artists' Prize

    Location: ,

    In Brief We are calling for entries from artists who are: 1) A..
    View notice

  • Check Jooble for Art related Jobs

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Looking for a job in the ARTS in Canada? We have thousands of..
    View notice

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