Throughout 2021 An exploration of collaborative ceramic and sound art practice in Britain and China Find out more →

About Interbeing


An exploration of collaborative ceramic and sound art practice in Britain and China

Ryan Hui disc
Ryan Hui
Annie Wan, Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread, Porcelain, 2019, Photo Annie Wan
Annie Wan
Guanghui Chen
Guanghui Chen

Interbeing is our most ambitious project to date, a China-UK ceramics and sound collaborative project taking place throughout 2021, funded by Arts Council England. It explores cultural exchange between two different making cultures, the UK and China, through two different disciplines, ceramics and sound art. The concept of ‘Interbeing’ comes from the Heart Sutra, a Buddhist text, showing how everything in the material world is intimately connected.

“If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. […] ‘To be’ is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to do inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is.”

(Thich Nat Hanh from ‘The Heart of Understanding’, 1998)

In our connected global culture of the 21st century, Interbeing explores the cultural connections that unite artists from different backgrounds and disciplines. In our post-Covid-19 era, the ways that we cooperate trans-nationally are of particular importance to continue to support ongoing and encourage communication and collaboration across closed borders.

The Interbeing project brings together two contrasting nations, Britain and China, and two contrasting disciplines, ceramics and sound art. We invite artists from both countries to participate in a series of exhibitions, performances and residencies in 2021 at The Ceramic House, Powell-Cotton Museum, Chiddingstone Castle, London Chinese Community Centre and Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute.

Interbeing is curated by Kay Aplin (ceramics) and Joseph Young (sound art) and is the continuation of an investigation into collaborative sound art and ceramic practice that started with Landscape: Islands (2016) and Made in Korea (2017).


May-June 2021
Exhibition: Emptiness is Form, The Ceramic House

June-Oct 2021
Residency/Exhibition (UK) : No Interdependent Origins, Powell-Cotton Museum

Sept-Oct 2021
Film: Listening Hands, London Chinese Community Centre

Sept-Oct 2021
Exhibition : Neither Increasing Nor Decreasing, Chiddingstone Castle

Oct-Dec 2021
Remote Residency/Film (China) : Perfection of Understanding, Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute

Dec 2021
Book: Silk Roads and Floral Routes

Phoebe Jiakun, Quiet Contentment no. 2, high temperature ceramic painting, 21cm diameter, 2016
Phoebe Jiakun
Hongbo Xu, American Heart Sutra (Book Through Heart), Wood fired earthenware, 2015, photo Hongbo Xu 2
Hongbo Xu

The Interbeing project launches in May 2021. The Ceramic House hosts Emptiness is Form, an exhibition featuring contemporary Chinese ceramics by international artists of Chinese heritage. 

In June-August the Powell-Cotton Museum hosts No Interdependent Origins, a remote residency and exhibition for two Hong Kong ceramic artists represented by Karin Weber Gallery, Annie Wan and Lau Yat Wai, who will be collaborating with two UK artists working in sound, Emily Peasgood and Dan Thompson. The results of their collaborations will be displayed in the historic setting of Quex House, Kent.

In September a new sound art/performance film Listening Hands devised and created by Joseph Young will be produced in collaboration with a Vitafilms. Joseph will work with a Tai Chi master and group at London Chinese Community Centre. The film will feature Joseph’s custom made Sonic Baton instrument conducting sounds recorded in China and the visual language of the Tai Chi movement style and will be premiered on Silver Sunday (3rdOctober), a national day celebrating older people.

In September Neither Increasing Nor Decreasing, a virtual exhibition coordinated in partnership with Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts will be launched online, pairing established Chinese ceramists with objects from the Buddhist Collection at Chiddingstone Castle.

In October, Perfection of Understanding involves five UK artists (Andrew Livingstone, David Cushway, Valeria Nascimento, Fenella Elms and Kay Aplin) whom will undertake a remote residency in collaboration with Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute. Each ceramic artist will be paired with a Chinese sound artist (Hui Ye, Sun Wei, Sheng Jie, Echo Ho and Sin Ned) to produce accompanying sound pieces, creating five new interdisciplinary sound and ceramic works. These will be showcased in the form of an artist film which will be premiered at a finissage in December at The Ceramic House.

New ceramic work by Kay Aplin consisting of a large scale wall-mounted porcelain tiled installation, inspired by traditional Chinese floral symbolism, will be compiled into a book, Silk Roads and Floral Routes, published in December 2021 and launched at the finissage.

Interbeing is produced by The Ceramic House in partnership with:

Powell-Cotton Museum (UK)
Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute (China)
Karin Weber Gallery (Hong Kong)
Shanghai University (China)
Chiddingstone Castle (UK)
London Chinese Community Centre (UK)