Ceramics & Glass (MA)

Gerald Mak

Lives and works in London

Previous degree: 

BA Fine Art Chelsea College of Art (first class honours) 2013

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Residencies:

RCA China Project cultural experience, Jingdezhen China, 2019

Across Borders, Sanbao Ceramic Institute, Jingdezhen China, 2019

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Open for conversation and opportunities, residencies local and abroad.

For commission and sale enquiries, please email gerald.mak@network.rca.ac.uk

Contact

gerald.mak@network.rca.ac.uk

My website

Instagram

Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

I am an interdisciplinary artist based in London with roots from Hong Kong. I work across drawing, sculpture, ceramics and writing. Recent circumstances and personal experience, namely a decade-long residence in London, the social movement in Hong Kong, residency trips to Jingdezhen China, and the corona pandemic have made me recognise my latent concern in identity and culture, notions of otherness and human relationships. Making responsibly and responsively to the contemporary moment has become ever more acute. My practice is continually driven by this ongoing negotiation with my lived experience in London, abroad, and identification to Hong Kong’s schizophrenic, postcolonial identity crisis.

Detail

Hats!

Detail

Hats! came about from a study of museum collections; exploring how East Asians, under the umbrella of orientals, were (mis)represented within the genre of chinoiserie from the 17th - 18th century, at a time when the Chinese Taste embodied all things contradictory for being alien, unfamiliar, exotic and fascinating. Notably in the Meissen and Sèvres collection of porcelain figurines, many were depicted wearing different types of hats (even cabbage leaf hats!) which inform this collection of hand sculpted miniatures.

photography by Marta Fernandez Canut

Medium:

glazed porcelain, bone china, stoneware

Size:

50 x 21 x 8 cm
appropriation
chinoiserie
Cross-cultural
hats
Meissen
porcelain
post colonialism
representation
Sèvres
Victoria and Albert museum

Left panel of On the other hand, I am overflowing with emotions (triptych) — Each panel measures 99 (h) x 52 (w) cm. The tiles were hand rolled, about 8 cm in thickness.

Detail of carved surface

On the other hand, I am overflowing with emotions (triptych)

tying the impossible knot

tying the impossible knot

Hand studies (mustard background) — 9 - tile composition (each tile 28.5 x 28.5 cm)

Togetherness — 47 x 46 cm

mockup — rendering of On the other hand, I am overflowing with emotions (triptych) installed on the wall

In this series of carving Desire for Communication and Relationships, I am exploring gestures that symbolise relationships, be it of harmony or conflict concurrent to events personal and external in the past year. I see the motif as self portraits to a degree, expressions of my own hands drawn from habits and personal relationships. It is about touch, or lack thereof within the context of a pandemic; hand gestures as a communicator that words cannot articulate otherwise, in some instances looking into hand signs communicated in the protests in Hong Kong.

Individually designed, the overlapping hands are carved onto hand-rolled porcelain tiles in different scale, produced during the residency in Jingdezhen. These could be made to commission. Contact for further details.

Photography by Marta Fernandez Canut

Medium:

carved porcelain tiles

Size:

dimension variable

Love handle

Love handle (left) with It's a wrap! (right) — photographed with metal chair by Milan Tarascas

rim detail

Individually designed, hand carved onto hand thrown porcelain forms


photography by Marta Fernandez Canut

Medium:

carved porcelain pots

Size:

40 x 28 (d) cm

Untitled (hand studies on paper) — 92 x 65 cm, edition of 10

Detail

Untitled (two hands on paper) — 57 x 38 cm, edition of 10

Contact for detail

Medium:

Embossed on somerset paper

Size:

dimension variable
Launch Project

Travelogue panel 7 — The composition comprises of nine panels. Please press the launch button to view the composition in full.

Bus stop choreography

Bus stop choreography

Travelogue on tiles — 40 x 25 cm each tile. Decal on glazed earthenware tiles, depicting the 9 panel composition Travelogue: from Jingdezhen to London Lockdown

Detail

Bus stop choreography

Bus stop choreography

盛會party (drawing on paper) — 76 x 56 cm. watercolour on Somerset paper. drawings made during lockdown

During my residency in China, I turned to watercolour to document what I found funny, absurd, beautiful and different. Besides primary research from a library of snapshots and videos taken on my phone, I am also drawing from references to chinoiserie, satires with animals, and inspiration from internet memes like pepe the frog. Existing on different surfaces like paper, ceramic tiles, digitally or potentially on fabric, the imagery weaves together semi-autobiographical narratives as I adopt the role of a traveller, and a cultural observer. These are painted in a visual language that blurs the boundaries of fictional and real, historical and contemporary.

Could be made to commission with different compositions, contact for more details.

Photography by Marta Fernandez Canut

Medium:

digital compositions, watercolour drawings on paper, decal on earthenware tiles

Size:

dimension variable

See you on the other side — writing during lockdown

What of the other, then? — dissertation about the other

See you on the other side comprises a series of writing I have done during lockdown, looking back on events and moments personal and external, indexical and pivotal to my developing artistic practice. I hope to put them together with drawings as a publication in future. This section also includes a reading of the dissertation I have written during my Masters, titled . It offers contextual research into aesthetic of the other, in reference to chinoiserie and the porcelain trade in 17th- 18th century; the artistic practices of Matt Smith and Yinka Shonibare in tackling concerns around colonialism and cross-cultural hybridity; and fermentation as a metaphor for discussing otherness and culture on a microbial level.

Medium:

carved porcelain pots

Size:

40 x 28 (d) cm
Social
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