Beyond China is a solo exhibition featuring work by emerging artist Matthew Harris. By applying silkscreen techniques to clay, Harris creates ceramic busts and tiles with a graphic edge. The exhibition will feature work that addresses the ongoing cultural shift between “old” and “new” China. During nine months spent researching ancient ceramic kiln use throughout China, Harris was constantly confronted with the stark differences between ancient kiln ruins and the “futuristic skyscrapers” of China’s rapidly growing cities, such as Shanghai. Harris found himself “increasingly aware of the tensions inherent in the simultaneous pursuit of economic advancement and cultural preservation.” The exploration of these tensions informs Harris’ work in Beyond China as he attempts to address the “transformations occurring in China as the country plays an expanding role in the modern global market.”
By combining contemporary imagery with ancient sculptural forms, Harris comments on the growing pains of China’s rapid economic growth. In this series, contemporary imagery from popular culture and the global market, such as the well-known plaid of Burberry’s signature scarf, is applied to cut away sections of statuary heads so that the “new” China appears to be blooming out of “old” Chinese sculptures. By combining contemporary imagery with ancient sculptural forms, Harris comments on the growing pains of China’s rapid economic growth.