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Artist of the Month
May 2016

Artist of the Month

Vivian Wang

Vivian Wang’s colorful and vibrant sculptures are made from cast glass and clay, embellished with precious and semi-precious stones. A former New York fashion designer, Vivian was inspired to become a sculptor after seeing work by Akio Takemori. In 2009 she moved to Florida and turned her creativity to sculpting full-time. She is represented by Habatat Galleries, Michigan. In high demand, the works shown here are all previously sold.

Click on each photo to the right for a full picture.

Vivian Wang

Artist of the Month

Artist Statement:

I am an American sculptor of Chinese descent who has been primarily inspired by Asian art and culture. My work is figurative, focusing mainly on the elegant bearing and formal dress of Asian women and children from the royal courts of ancient China and the dress and lifestyle of the courtiers and Samurai of ancient Japan.

Though old in its origins and subjects, my work is contemporary in its use of cast glass as a significant element of its design. In ancient times, figurative sculpture was made in ceramics, stone and wood. I have followed that tradition by using clay for the bodies. Though glass was invented over 2,000 years ago in China, it was used only for religious artifacts and decorative ornaments.

In contrast, I use glass for the head, hands and feet of my figures, a very contemporary use of materials. This contrast of old and new can also be seen in the patterning on the ceramic clothing of my pieces.

Though inspired by ancient textile designs, they have a decidedly contemporary feeling. My current work involves the adding of precious and semi-precious stones to my figures, yet another example of the combination of old and new.

About Vivian Wang

One lucky day, sometime around the turn of the new millennium, I walked into Garth Clark’s Gallery on West 57th Street in Nerw York City to see Akio Takemori’s sculptures. I knew then, though I wasn’t sure quite how, that viewing that exhibition would change my life.

At the time, I was living in New York and working as a fashion designer for Jones, New York, a very large, very corporate, not very creative, clothing manufacturer. Several years earlier, I had had to sell my own design firm because small fashion companies could no longer compete against the large corporations swallowing up all the smaller fish. To satisfy my creative needs, I began playing around with ceramics, casting plates and bowls and cups, and painting intricate Chinese scenes and people on them.

Perhaps my interest in ceramics is what took me to Akio Takemori’s exhibition that day. From the moment I saw Akio's pieces, I was hooked. I was literally transfixed by his work. The exhibition consisted of a dozen ceramic figures, about two or three feet in height, of the people he remembered from the Japanese village he had lived in as a child. I had never seen anything like them. My embrace of Akio’s work made me want to do what he did, to become a sculptor, to create my own figurative pieces.  

But for several years, I continued my career as a designer, longing to change my career, to do something else, to become a sculptor. But what a major step to take.  How does one do that? Luckily for me, my husband encouraged me to take a giant leap, to quit my job and become a sculptor.

For a while, I stayed in New York, taking design and anatomy classes. But soon, in 2007, my husband and I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, so that I could become an artist.  I needed space, I needed kilns and I needed sunshine. I started by learning basic techniques in sculpting clay and casting glass. And then I began to sculpt, first American children, Ragamuffins, I called them. Then I moved on to Chinese and Japanese courtiers and children. 

By 2009, I had enough work to have my first collection shown by the Stewart Fine Art Gallery in Boca Raton, Florida. My work was popular and, three years later, I was invited to join Habatat Galleries. Since then, I have been creating sculptures as quickly as humanly possible – and having a wonderful life doing so. 

Akio Takemori’s early work had a tremendous influence on me.  He would probably enjoy reading this. Thank you Akio!!

Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Habatat Galleries, Royal Oak, Michigan, for providing the Artist of the Month.

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Our Mission

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.

The Alliance informs collectors, critics and curators by encouraging and supporting museum exhibitions, university glass departments and specialized teaching programs, regional collector groups, visits to private collections, and public seminars.