Ancient China’s porcelain, silk and tea were popular goods that were sold to other countries on the Silk Road. During the 19th century, Great Britain invaded China and took over its trade and crushed its prosperous economy.
China’s exports are featured in artwork by ceramist Cindy Leung, which are on display now through Dec. 3 at Stetson University’s Gillespie Museum, 234 E. Michigan Ave. Her “On the Road” exhibit includes 26 hybrid-object sculptures.
Leung is a multilingual artist from Hong Kong who is inspired by her Chinese heritage. She received her Master of Fine Arts in ceramic arts from the University of Florida this past May.
Leung’s use of traditional Chinese materials, such as porcelain, silk and tea, explores postcolonialism, while the forms that she has chosen, which correspond to the computer-input method Sucheng, reflect on her multilingual identity.
The sculptures that were selected for the “On the Road” exhibit are integrated with minerals from the Gillespie Museum’s collection, including kaolin specimens from China and Central Florida.
The clay mineral kaolinite (Al₂Si₂O₅ [OH]₄) is refined from the sedimentary rock kaolin, which was historically mined in the Gaoling District, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province in China. This fine, porcelain clay, often called China clay, also is mined from deposits that are found along the Lake Wales Ridge in Central Florida.
Visitors must wear masks and social-distance to view the “On the Road” exhibit and other displays at the Gillespie Museum. Admission is free.