Creative Thailand

“Simplicity and Timeless,” message in ceramic works of “Aor Sutthiprapha”

Writer : Editor Team

                Aor Sutthiprapa from Small Studios is one of the Thai born world famous “ceramic artists.”  Her works have different forms from other Thai artists’. Her Contemporary Art works were exhibited in Sweden.  Her renowned work, Weaving Indigo, was prominent on its simple form and earth mixing technique. The concept was to show uncertainty of life through earth.

This was what she has been doing for about five years.

Product Name: Internal Dialog - Transition no.1 year 2016

                “European found my works calm and neat in an Asian style while Asian found my works similar to Scandinavian style.  However, for me, I want my works to have these four characteristics.

                1. Timeless: They should always look modern

                2. Simplicity

                3. Repetition: Working is my way of life and in a way it is a mediation.

                4. Sublime:  I want people to interpret my works.

                Thinking process to deliver “universal message.”

        “Aor” used to say earlier that working with ceramic was like walking in the park.  What she want was sitting comfortably and observing herself, her thoughts and her feelings rather than trees or other people.

             She told us that her thinking process and perspective were heavily trained when she was a master degree student in HDK School of Design & Crafts, Sweden.  She met with Prof. Morten Lobner Espersen, the famous ceramic artist who urged her to look inside and push her to the limit of her potential.

Product Name: Internal Dialog - Blue and Red, year 2018

                “While I studied, Prof. Morten push me to do what I should do.  I was harshly questioned about the motif in each design production.  That taught me of a totally new thinking process. I allowed myself to like or dislike the products with concrete reasons.  This method made me see myself thoroughly.”

                “It is hard to tell how I communicate universal message through my ceramic works.  There is no exact steps. Several ideas come from the fact that I love asking questions to myself.  I often use this technique.” Aor believed that her works still have a room to develop. “From 10 score scale, I give myself 5.  Maybe I need another 30 years to be in the world 8th or 9th ranks.  After I saw the works of the world famous artists, I realized mine still had a long way to go.”

                Ceramic work is detail-oriented.

                Aor has just started her fifth day in Residency program in Shigaraki, Japan.  She is one of the invited artists to be an artist-in-residency of “Shigaraki Ceramic Counterpart” for 90 days.  Working in this ceramic city where its unique ancient pottery methods have flourished and many famous artists used to reside would benefit her learning curve.

                “In the past, I started working right away but when I met these skillful artists, I realized I was too rush.  They took so much time selecting pigments. I told myself if I wanted to have quality works like them, I should push myself and changed my working process. I should pay more attention on material.  I used to think that 50% of skill could produce quality work but what I have learned lately proved that it was not.”

                The more I see other’s works, the smaller I am.

                Almost every year, Aor temporary resided in some foreign countries as the artist-in-residency.  It increased her energy and brought herself out of familiar environment. Traveling and seeing more works also broadened her ideas for future works.

“I saw a 200-baht ceramic work and a million-baht Jennifer Lee’s, English ceramic artist, work.  I believe my works can be developed.”

                “Last month in International Academic of Ceramic, I saw works from a 90-year-old Japanese ceramic artist.  He has been a ceramic artist since World War II and becomes the first Japanese ceramic artist who makes Contemporary Art works.  He is my latest favorite artist. His works were so modern even they were created 40-50 years ago.”

                These are Aor’s inspiration to develop her works.  For the future overview of Thai ceramic industry, Aor said that ceramic work was hard since its beginning.  You got to have a kiln and a fitted body because you have to lift heavy works. I heard complaints from the new wave beginners that it was so tired.  It was so hard to finish one piece of work. Even for me, sometimes my suddenly works broke after firing.

                “Ceramic making was a continued testing so it has pretty low chance to develop.  It was not about how much you see other products. It needed more than that.” Patience and dedication as a ceramic artist might be an answer.

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