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Material symbiosis and sentimental representations of natural phenomena in Fan Ji's ceramic works

Sentimental representations of natural phenomena are a central topic in Fan Ji's research and ceramic forms. According to Fan, they not only extract on and represent aspects of an unseen and often neglected side of nature, but also explore visual possibilities of a mutated human world and its regeneration.

Earth Nidus 1, 2, and 3 – glazed stoneware, stainless steel mesh, flocks, plastic beads, 10*10*10 cm each, 2022

Fan's obsessiveness toward nature is driven by Object Orientated Ontology, which rejects the privileging of human existence over the existence of nonhuman objects and makes distinct claims about nature and the symbiosis of a different materiality.

By incorporating different materials into one integrated object, her practice reflects the reclaiming of this symbiosis and co-existence as the materials have been employed for the creative process regardless of their origins– nature or industrial production.

Earth Nidus 3 – stoneware, aluminium mesh, flocks, plastic beads, 10*10*10 cm, 2022

In the recent body of work, Fan fired clay together with metal mesh as a metaphor for the interaction between nature and the built environment.

Utilizing material qualities such as the plasticity of unfired clay, Fan was able to mimic natural lifecycles while the materials themselves perform somewhere between the artist's control and their own autonomy- The metal part in her work erodes during the firing process affecting the formation of clay in both visual and chemical ways.

Ruins (details) – glazed earthenware, aluminium mesh, dimensions variable, 2022

Throughout her practices, Fan aims to create a surprising material symbiosis that portrays an apocalyptic subversion in human-nature relationships under the Anthropocene, in awe of the interconnectedness of life and all living things.

Ruins 2 – glazed earthenware, aluminium mesh, 27*40*25cm


About Fan Ji

Born in 1997, Fan Ji completed her MA at the Royal College of Art in 2022. She chose to be a creative practitioner in the field of ceramic art because of her passion in making as well as the idea of combining contemporary issues with traditional techniques. Her recent exhibitions include Summoning, Safehouse1, London; The 6th International Tea Culture Exchange Exhibition, Beijing, China; “Radical Contemporary” Exhibition on the Occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Bauhaus Movement, Dessau, Germany; JIA·131 Treasure Young Artist Exhibition, Beijing, China.

As both a craftswoman and a contemporary artist, Fan’s practice looks at space, unperceived human feelings, and microhistory, often in relation to questions about interactions and manipulations. Her practice also touches upon themes of power, hierarchy, materiality, and nature, which she uses to discuss the relationships between humans and the environment we inhabit.

Fan’s practice is studio based and she works for exhibitions and commissions. She has ambitions to work on a larger scale through residencies and to expand her research to communities and other public spheres.


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