Gailan Ngan VOLUMES | curated by Lee Plested

31.03.2023 - 13.05.2023

Galerie Christian Lethert is pleased to present »Volumes«, an exhibition by Gailan Ngan curated by Berlin based curator Lee Plested. Gailan Ngan lives and works between Vancouver and Hornby Island, BC. Evolved from her lifelong engagement with clay combined with a conceptual approach to material, her art takes on multiple modalities and methods. This will be Gailan Ngan’s debut exhibition in Europe.

After first apprenticing with her father, renowned West Coast ceramist Wayne Ngan, Gailan subsequently studied sculpture at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver. Since that time Gailan Ngan’s sophisticated studio pottery practice grew beyond vessels towards a deeper understanding of form and its contents. Based in the technical demands of the ceramic medium, her work plays at the limits of throwing, coiling and massing clay to compose sculpted forms rich with emotive volume and humor. Her experimental approach to glazes coats, cradles and collapses onto these forms, bringing further content to the works through an intuitive use of color and process. In the kiln, applied globs of found natural and acquired industrial materials fuse together, molded by the searing heat and the force of their own intrinsic chemical reactions. Here chance is brought into play, their components expanding and collapsing. The resulting alchemical bodies move naturally through the world at large, their organic masses resonating with our own. Here shown in conversation with plants, many nestled into ceramic vessels, Gailan Ngan extends this process based practice into the flow of our daily lives, directly into our living environment.

Clay also finds itself used as paint in a series of paintings, which further explore the affective potential of bulbous, buoyant silhouettes. Made on ink paper, the works continue a material exploration of mediums often associated with craft, here utilized for plaintive abstractions. Like the sculptures, they also reflect her inheritance of ›Back to the Land‹ values as they evoke the environmental formations of Hornby Island and the handmade histories of her formative years. However, in embracing the Conceptual elements of material as signifier and process as form, Gailan Ngan brings these histories into conversation with our contemporary landscape.

The gallery will also present a series of small vessels which were commissioned by the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. Gailan Ngan has exhibited extensively in Canada including a concurrent exhibition at Monte Clarke Gallery, Vancouver; Cooper Cole, Toronto; San Diego Art Institute; Nanaimo Art Gallery, BC; Kamloops Art Gallery, BC; and The Vancouver Art Gallery. In 2015 she received the North West Ceramic Foundation Award.

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