Interbeing / 互即互
24 August – 31 October 2021
Powell-Cotton Museum, Quex Park
Interbeing / 互即互 is a exploration of collaborative ceramic and sound art practice in Britain and China. It explores cultural exchange between two different making cultures, the UK and China, through two different disciplines, ceramics and sound art. The concept of ‘Interbeing’ comes from the Heart Sutra, a Buddhist text, showing how everything in the material world is intimately connected.
“If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. […] ‘To be’ is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to do inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is.” (Thich Nat Hanh from ‘The Heart of Understanding’, 1998)
In our connected global culture of the 21st Century, Interbeing explores the cultural connections that unite artists from different backgrounds and disciplines.
The Interbeing project has multiple artistic outputs and events. For the full project timeline visit Interbeing. In June-August 2021, Dan Thompson and I were paired with Hong Kong ceramic artists Annie Wan and Lau Yat Wai to create collaborative sound and ceramic works. The result is No Interdependent Origins, an exhibition of ceramic and sound works that will be displayed from August-October in the historic setting of the Powell-Cotton Museum‘s Quex House at Quex Park, Birchington-on-Sea.
Interbeing is curated by Kay Aplin (ceramics) and Joseph Young (sound art) and is the continuation of an investigation into collaborative sound art and ceramic practice that started with Landscape: Islands (2016) and Made in Korea (2017). Interbeing is funded by Arts Council England and produced by The Ceramic House in partnership with: Chiddingstone Castle (UK), Powell-Cotton Museum (UK), Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute (China), Karin Weber Gallery (Hong Kong), London Chinese Community Centre (UK), Nanjing University (China) and Shanghai University (China).
The Collaboration: Vanished History with Annie Wan
I was paired with Annie Wan to create work exploring a common theme. The pandemic prevented us from meeting in person, and so we worked in parallel: Annie in Hong Kong and myself in the United Kingdom. We responded to the theme of Vanished History on a local and international level. To find out more, visit the Powell-Cotton museum.