SILK ROADS AND
Ceramic Wallpaper: Peonies
Sacred Flowers of China
Kay Aplin has created a new large scale wall-mounted porcelain tiled installation inspired by traditional Chinese floral symbolism, part of which was exhibited in Emptiness is Form at The Ceramic House in May-June 2021. The work will take a new direction as Silk Roads and Floral Routes, a conceptual piece contained within the concluding book, Perfection of Understanding. Chinese artists and partners involved in the Interbeing project have selected photographs of walls which have some significance to them, upon which the peonies will be photographically installed and thereby take a virtual tour of China.
The peony is the official emblem of China and has great value in Eastern culture. An eternal symbol of royalty, honour and wealth, it is present in many religious festivals and traditions. The Chinese name Peony can mean “the most beautiful” and stands as a symbol of spring and female beauty and reproduction. The peony, most exalted of the Chinese symbolic flora, is a popular motif found on traditional Chinese porcelain.
The new body of work is called Ceramic Wallpaper: Peonies, fired in Denmark in autumn 2019, where she was guest artist. The material is unglazed porcelain fired raw in the Embla, a large wood fired kiln for 6 days and nights and a smaller version in the soda wood kiln. The resulting colours and textures were created by the flames and wood ash over the duration of the firings.
Published December 2021
Launch details TBC.
More information about Silk Roads and Floral Routes will appear here as the project unfolds. Sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page to hear about the latest news.
Inter-being is a Buddhist concept that comes from the Heart Sutra and, in the context of the Interbeing project, explores the cultural connections between two seemingly very different cultures, the UK and China. By starting from a point of similarity rather than distance, we hope to foster and encourage a deeper understanding between artists from the two countries, especially at this time when the challenges of Covid-19 are pressing us towards more open international collaboration.
Silk Roads and Floral Routes is part of the Interbeing project – an exploration of collaborative ceramic and sound art practice in Britain and China. Throughout 2021 at The Ceramic House.