Making a meal of ceramics



Vipoo Srivilasa is one of the most successful ceramicists in Australia. His amazingly productive exhibition work never ceases to surprise. In Sydney he is now trying something different. At Gallery 4A he is introducing to his work the wonderful world of Thai cuisine. The project Roop – Rote – Ruang (Taste – Touch – Tell). Here’s an explanation:

The gallery exhibition will focus on environmental issues such as coral reef damage. This will include a series of blue and white, intricately decorated ceramic hands. Visitors will also participate in the creation process by building their own pieces of coral from clay provided in the gallery. Those coral pieces will gradually come together to form a coral reef, growing larger as more people participate in the project.

At the dinner parties, Srivilasa will present a new ceramic dinner set over a four-course meal. The work will unfold as
the meal is consumed. Images will gradually be exposed on bowls or plates and the full narrative will reveal itself as the
dinner comes to its conclusion.

This is an interesting move for Srivilasa into the area of relational aesthetics. The Argentinean-born Thai artist Rikrit Tiravanija forged a practice of making meals for visitors to the gallery, as an early example of relational art.

I had always thought that relational art was essential antithetical to skill-based art forms like ceramics, which can appear elitist in their difficulty. But let’s see what happens with Vipoo in Sydney.

One thought on “Making a meal of ceramics”

  1. Interesting Artist. Actually though, far from being considered elitist, ceramics is too often relegated to craft, which is considered low art, regardless of the conceptual quality of the work. And frankly, functional ceramics is, if anything, the original relational art. It’s purpose for 10s of thousands of years has historically been in ritual or shared experience between people.

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