An installation of ceramics by artist Gailan Ngan takes centre stage at the Art Gallery of Evergreen (AGE). Ngan sets her experimental and innovative sculptures in a fictive environment for Chronicles (March 3–April 22, 2018), her first exhibition at the AGE. Her whimsical and beguiling clay forms animate the gallery. Combined with collected objects, these bulbous ceramics rest precariously on colourful metal supports, sit atop each other or stand directly on the floor, arranged in playful, quirky vignettes. Through a series of contrasts, Ngan explores the softness of stone, the absence and presence of the body, the mixing of found and made objects and the creative space between science and fiction.
Gailan Ngan makes pottery and sculpture. She grew up in a family who cultivated her learning and skilful capability with clay. More recently she has shifted her focus from making utilitarian tableware toward creating larger sculptural forms. This new direction has opened her investigation of clay as a limitless material unrestrained by tradition. She explores and exposes the material’s association with the body and its actions, and through bulges and cracks, thick drips and goopy glazes, she exaggerates this relationship. She forages her own clays, rock and combusted material for her ceramic work to further emphasize the connection between process and form.
Ngan has shown in the US, at the San Diego Art Institute and Art Los Angeles Contemporary, and nationally, including exhibitions at the Nanaimo Art Gallery; Cooper Cole, Toronto; Centre A: International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Vancouver; and The Apartment, Vancouver. Her work is included in the Doris Shadbolt Collection at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver. She graduated with a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and received the North-West Ceramics Foundation Award of Excellence in 2015. Ngan lives in Vancouver and is represented by Monte Clark Gallery. The artist would like to thank the British Columbia Arts Council for their support of her recent work.
All images: Installation view of Gailan Ngan: Chronicles, exhibition at the Art Gallery at Evergreen, 2018, Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.