You-Yu Ding


In today’s society where information explodes, the realm of art timeliness have developed into a booming stage, to those youth students see how to find themselves without loss and confusion, going to step into the world of art like me was facing the important topic.
Standing on the turning point ones origin becomes an important reference. Backtracking the previous ceramic training and vision broadening, seems an indelible mark on me.

In this confused level returning to ceramic art which is a popular knowing type – Container I started with. Tracking back its past development, long to find out their value of self-conscious, thinking out since ancient times ceramics are used on loading substance. The requirements were derived from desire of containing of people. At that time, people were not focusing on the shape of container, but most of the materials that were carried. The substantial functional considerations were the value of existence on most of containers.
But continuing to explore the evolution of the containers, we can reveal the form of bronze ritual container in the Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties. It is a significant change in the value of human-contained materials. The gaze of people is no longer just a matter of its look, but more of a form of desiring consciousness, such as faith, expectation, and desire. In this behavior, it can be found that the functionality of the container is no longer just a substantial loading function, and the functionality that carries the human emotions is expanded in an instant. However, with the function of the emotions loading, the containers themselves gradually become the essence of human expression of emotional thoughts. This presents the functions of emotions as trophies, stone monument, pure gold cups, etc…, that do not have substantive functions.

Finding such interesting changes from the past container, and the opening of this functional expansion, along with the desire for human development and primitive survival, it’s slowly unable to satisfy the desire of modern people. The increase of desire and the advancement of technology have led to the development of ceramic container. It has also developed the form of “ceramic craft” and “pottery creation”, which can directly and indirectly express the emotion of creator. At the moment, the development of ceramic media is no longer just a form of container or vessel, becoming more like the sculpture but lack of functional, it is a kind of direct expression of ceramic creation as a performance of
spiritual and visual. The functional and spiritual performance has become the main thought of most modern ceramic artists. Now I can fully experience the modern society through the exploration of container, it’s not only the diversity of the art realm but also entirely development of ceramic realm.

Thinking of the value of ceramic art in modern society, understanding the influence of functional changing to ceramic container tie up with its development , and how to find my own targeting in the field of modern ceramic becoming my continuous thinking subject. In order to find a place to stay in this ceramic realm.
I need to find my own determination and beliefs to be able to complete my creative journey. From the exploration of the containers in the upper section, people’s desires have driven the evolution of the shape of the containers, it gradually changes from the supporting role of desire to the leading role of emotional expression. Functionality and spirituality have become the two major categories of most ceramic artists in their creation, this image has become the original setting that modern ceramic artists need to clarify before they start their own creative journey. However, I slowed down, eager to find
the remains of ceramic spirit from the roots of ceramic evolution. In order to open the journey of the container through my own observation.

Exploring with ceramic media in the veins of the container, if we skip the setting of media at the first place only talk about the process of craft, it can be found that the existence of the craft was to solve the problems of human needs, and the process was constantly revised and refined for promoting the human progression. In the spirit of these traditional craftsmen, the craftsman has the ability to detect problems and solve problems, and to make such causal problems through their skills to produce the tools of human needs. In addition to solving the problem, the craftsman’s product also records the social development pattern and social atmosphere at the same time. This connections are like social scholars who understand the social structure and phenomena of different ages and outlines of society by analyzing the data obtained from people’s livelihood supplies. In the past, the craftsmen through finding out problems which be solved and unconsciously recorded the social pattern. Along with this idea has solved the problem of finding a balance between functional and spirituality in my choice of ceramic art. Also think about how to translate the modern social patterns through the skills and spirit of the ceramic artist. Through functional containers combining with emotional sculptures can be changed into my conversation with today’s society.

From the idea of being just a traditional skill to try to find and change the thought of the current “craft” in society, so that I can accurately find my own position when I am lost in this jungle of art. Searching for my own foothold, firmly locking the direction forward become the simplest way to quickly pass through this jungle. The craft spirit is like the foothold in observing the society here, the object of my creation is just like the language in arguing with this world. It is hoped that through such self-positioning, the explanation of the exclusive “craft” can have a unique way to be told in modern art. This will also be my choice to move forward on this creative journey.

Education Experience

M.F.A., Crafts and Design Department, National Taiwan University of Arts

Experience & Awards (see BIO)

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Modernization | Faith

With the rapid development of technology and the scientists’ exploration of everything, the mystery of religious beliefs has gradually faded.
But this doesn’t mean that faith has no longer an influence in life. Just the opposite, when people are soaking in sorrow or anxiety, they still rely on faith to seek for spiritual comfort.
It is only different from the religious reforms initiated by Christianity in the 16th and 17th centuries. At that time, people regarded faith as a goal of life to defend.
Nowadays, beliefs have evolved in a variety of ways and respect each other because of different ethnicities and different concepts in different regions.
Faith is still an important carrier of human beings, gently tolerates all the negative sentiments. It is just like a mighty wall, letting people gather up and attach with. Other than standing up for the gospel, they yearn for a mental back up through their beliefs.

Modernization | Faith(main part)

Modernization | Faith (attached), Size:60\30\83cm

Modernization | Family Structure

Home is the social structure that everyone contacts at the beginning and the most deep-rooted structure accompanying our life. Along with growth and experience, the past cognition has changed constantly.

Through the archaic shapes of ancient Chinese Ding to express the transformation of cognition between the past and the modern society.

From daily cooking utensils, commemorative vessels to the symbols of power, this archaic symbol not only embodies the profound history to our generation but also intertwined the past social structure and regenerate the modern society.

In the 21st century, our world is unceasingly driven by the development of technology, information and international competitiveness, these reasons have led to the change in the structure pattern of the different generation. Family’s future hopes and responsibilities are shifting to the children’s shoulder. Therefore, children must find ways to integrate the new world and enhance their own strength to adapt and face all the unknown challenges and competitions.

For this purpose, leaving the comfort zone given by the family has become a common occurrence for most people.

Modern Ding is to record the observation of such a change in the family structure. In the past, the ears of the Ding (the handle of the Ding) was designed to facilitate mobile use, so it must be firmly jointed to the body. But in the works – Modern Ding, the ears were designed as a mortise structure, which symbolizes that when the family is formed, at the same time also ready for the departure of the child, and eager for their return as a pulsation to lead the family forward.

The concept base on the traditional forms of Ding which implies the social consciousness from the past, and through regenerates new forms to interpret the changing social patterns of this generation. These works aim to record and explore the transformation of modern society, the 21st century’s Modern Ding.

Modernization | Family Structure (solid) 3
Modernization | Family Structure (distanced)2

The Pretender

At the beginning of the work, I was using the throwing technique to make the base rough, then finishing the final shape with clay pads by hand-building. The configuration of the engobe ceramics is determined before the pottery went through the bisque-firing, next step, l glazed up the pottery and after glost-firing, the work is completed.

“Eat” is not as simple as it used to be in modern days, it become more like a “communication” between people rather than just eat. The influences of “eating” created certain words that inspired me of my work, such as “social life”, “business event”, or “dinner party”, our mentality changes through being in those different occasions, the time and space, more importantly, the people who surround us, affect the most.

Human desires are moving us forward, to a direction where we serve the purpose, to sum up I have four inner types of mental state to presented in my work, first, “dominate”, second, “pry”, third, “feign”, fourth, “defense”, all of them act in concern with an unified object which is the wine glasses, by “How you hold the glasses” I can than associated with behaviors in order to fully expressed the heart of my work- the pretender.

The Pretender 1
The Pretender 2
The Pretender 3
The Pretender 4

It says

My idea is to treat these containers as my own language . They carry their own capacity but also my thoughts and spirit. I want to use this way to memory and to describe myself at the present stage. I applied all of my skills of doing ceramics and my experience of life to build these art works. Moreover, the five pieces of different pottery containers represent five meanings by their own, which is: ”selfish”, “time”, “savings”, “depression”, and “contradiction”.

It says

All images © You-Yu Ding


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CURATOR | Joelcy Kay