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Ceramic artist Brendan Lee Satish Tang (who we wrote about here previously) is back with another series of sculptural ceramic works entitled Manga Ormolu as a commentary on globalisation as seen through the relationship between traditional Chinese Ming dynasty vessels and techno-pop art of Japan.

Tang’s trompe l’oeil hybrid sculptures are made from casts of traditional vessels to which prosthetics such as toys, robots, electric wires and plugs inspired by Japanese anime and manga have been affixed. In so doing, Tang seeks to subvert the historic elitism of the vessels which are intended to reference recall 18th century French gilded ormolu with the accessibility of modern popular culture and reach of globalisation by combining futuristic references and traditional Chinese blue and white ceramic forms.

It is thought that the unexpected juxtaposition of high art and pop culture, craft and commodity, the historical and the high-tech, could in fact be references to Tang’s own blended identity as he was born in Ireland to Trinidadian parents and now lives and works in Vancouver, Canada. As a child of immigrants, he has always gravitated towards in between spaces.

“...the hybridization of cultures mirrors my identity as an ethnically-mixed Asian Canadian. My family history is one of successive generations shedding the markers of ethnic identity in order to succeed in an adopted country – within a few generations this cultural filtration has spanned China, India, Trinidad, Ireland and Canada.”
- Brendan Lee Satish Tang

Brendan Lee Satish Tang
While Manga Ormolu offers multiple points of entry into sociocultural dialogue, manga, by its very nature, does not take itself too seriously while the futuristic ornamentation can be excessive, self-aggrandizing, even ridiculous - a fitting reflection of our human need to envision and translate fantastic ideas into reality.

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