Past Forward: Traditional Forms, Modern Themes

Sin-ying Ho's porcelain creations at the Hood Downtown are a treat for the eyes.  Tall, people-sized works with suggestions of shoulders. Smaller vase-like pieces with surprises, spaced one per viewing wall. A collection in the middle of the exhibition space where forms are twisted, severed, and put back together in unexpected combinations.

At the Hood Downtown. Photo by permission of Alison Palizzolo, Hood Museum

Ho's art reaches back to traditional forms and familiar cobalt-blue colors as well as to her own Chinese roots. She is a professor at Queen's College in New York City with a studio in Jingdezhen, China, a city known for its ceramic art. While she conceives and directs her own work, she says that "art is not a solitary function," and ceramics "is a group-collaborative process." Larger pieces in particular require a team.

Temptation: Life of Goods No. 2 speaks to the global fascination with shopping and pricey consumer goods.

It is the juxtaposed modernity that catches a viewer off-guard. Visages of Confucius, Jesus Christ, and John Lennon share both sides of the rounded belly of a gracefully-proportioned piece. Another contains images of Mao, the Mona Lisa and Marilyn Monroe in a nod to the work of the late Andy Warhol. Traditionally-clad children hold their iPads aloft amid a swirling design composed of the ubiquitous "@" sign. One World, Many People reflects Ho's own biography as an artist who was born in Hong Kong, lived in Canada and the United States, works in China, and seems to perceive the modern world as a global village. This piece translates the phrase One World, Many People into as many languages as Ho could locate on Google (46).

The artist, Sin-ying Ho, left, with Hood Museum Director John Stomberg

This is an exhibition to be enjoyed alone or in company. As is its custom, the Hood Downtown is invested in sharing its art with viewers on many levels. It is open to the public, and welcomes browsers. The printed program, available at the gallery, is particularly informative with photographs of individual pieces, commentary by Denise Patry Leidy of the Yale University Art Gallery, and an interview of the artist by Hood Museum Director John Stomberg. A recent conversation with the artist on April 7 was standing-room only. Other events are planned, including a lunchtime gallery talk on April 25 at 12:30 p.m.

Made in the Postmodern Era Series No. 1 (detail). Photo by Susan B. Apel

This exhibition will run through May 27, 2018 at the Hood Downtown located at 53 Main Street in Hanover NH. For hours and further information, visit the Hood's website.

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(Photo, top, is a detail of Bella Series No. 2. Photo by Susan B. Apel )


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