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The double-gourd vases (“Hulu ping”) celebrate the female form and pay homage to the seductiveness of authenticity. As I break apart preconceived notions of femininity, womanhood, and my ethnocultural identity the themes of body image, fertility, resilience, vulnerability, and self-worth are reflected in my work through the choice of materials, technique, and silhouettes of the vases.

Gourds symbolize fertility, protection, and luck in Chinese culture and here I exaggerate the proportions of the double-gourd shapes and add imperfections to seduce the viewer with sensual irreverence. The vases are either made by coiling stoneware or super-thin coils of porcelain. I fell in love with porcelain for its distinctly feminine attributes--its exigent nature yields when honored and the material’s refined translucence belies its strength of character.

The vases are made by stacking layers of clay or porcelain coil on top of each other. Just as our choices in life build upon one another and influence the next, the same can be said for each row of clay or porcelain coil. When I work in this way, I’m transported into the seminal moments in a woman’s life like puberty, falling in love, financial independence, childbirth (or the lack thereof), and it feels as though the vessels take shape on their own. Coiling demands presence, vulnerability, and patience, but in the end, what comes through is the vibrant and soulful state of being a woman.

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