Developing New Approaches and Techniques for Pâte de Verre Glass Artwork using the Chinese Philosophical Notion of ‘Non-Action’.
Jin, Qu (Started 2013) Developing New Approaches and Techniques for Pâte de Verre Glass Artwork using the Chinese Philosophical Notion of ‘Non-Action’. PhD study, University of Sunderland.
This research focuses on combining pâte de verre glass making technique with Wu Wei (無為), a Chinese philosophical idea with regard to what to do naturally and unintentionally. Pâte de verre is a process of filling refractory moulds with crushed glass pastes and fusing this with heat to make objects, such as vessels and sculptures. It is significant in glass art because many artists are keen on it. This research emerges from an artist interests and attempts to combine pâte de verre and Wu Wei, which might be termed ‘hybrid pâte de verre’.
Glass art is springing up in China. Currently it consists of 18 universities teaching kiln forming glass, two of them establish pâte de verre course, though many glass students and practitioners interest in it. In the West, many aspects of pâte de verre history have been recognized, and most pâte de verre artists focus on traditional technique to develop personal creative approaches. This research arises from the desire for exploring the potential of pâte de verre might combine with other materials and techniques such as paper, wood, ceramics and waterjet cutting to express the idea of Wu Wei in artwork.
To this end, a number of approaches are taken in this research. Case studies, which relate to hybrid approach, clarify the development position of hybridity in today’s world. Building on interviews and questionnaires to Chinese glass practitioners, the current situation of Chinese pâte de verre is presented. Studio-based practice through cultural hybrid and practical hybrid, leads to a body of hybrid pâte de verre artworks: Leaves, Traces and Cloud is Saying. Thus, this research offers a model of artistic practice that how the inspirations from Chinese culture have been incorporated into contemporary pâte de verre art for other artists to refer to.
This research contributes a hybrid approach for pâte de verre knowledge achieved by establishing a framework in which the knowledge can be understood for Chinese glass practitioners. Also this research has brought aspects of Chinese cultural thinking into Western art forms and used different methods to interpret the creative process. A conclusion is that the principles of Wu Wei can be expressed by Western pâte de verre art and that it can be developed as a personal philosophy of creative practice. The research also demonstrates that pâte de verre can be a medium for the hybrid expression in the field of contemporary art, establishing new relationships and approaches for the traditional Western pâte de verre technique. Finally, it offers an example for other practitioners and researchers in further study.
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