Objective Gallery is pleased to present “Made in China”, an exhibition showcasing three artists born or based within China: Matt Watterson, Hao Zhenhan, and Ryan Mitchell. The tongue-in-cheek show title is intended to conjure the semantically loaded manufacturing label “Made in China” and all its Western-world connotations. The work of these three contemporary craftspeople pays its respect to the region’s legacy in ceramics and shapes it anew.

For Objective Gallery founder, Chris Shao, the show is not strictly business, it's personal. The gallerist admits not so long ago “Made in China” sounded closer to an allegation than a statement. He hopes this exhibit will spark further intrigue for the incredible creative talents emerging and reinventing modern China.

Each artist was chosen for their unique take on the near-sacred Chinese art form, Ryan Mitchell and Matt Watterson use the unique perspective offered to them, entering from outside, both holding a deep resonance for the history and care Chinese-made objects offer. While Hao Zhenhan teases out single elements of a complex network within materials and craft, inventing something wholly new.

“The show celebrates Chinese artists and their craft, but also suggests a necessary revision to what 'Made in China' means and holds globally. It celebrates the contemporary artists redefining tradition and antiquity, creating something entirely new while paying homage to the country's indisputable legacy in craft.” explains Chris Shao.

“Chinese-made objects have a distinct level of craftsmanship that goes into them. Historical influences are deeply embedded. As an artist living in Jingdezhen, the ‘Porcelain Capital,’ I find this production history all around me. Many making processes remain the same, but they only now use contemporary tools. Even so, as a maker, I can still see the history within the objects produced.” adds artist Matthew Watterson.

“The world tends to link China with its industrial output and the consumer economy, manufacturing the cheap and disposable. Few seem to have the long view of history in mind; China offers us some of the finest examples of art, craft, architecture, furniture, and textiles, the list goes on. Chinese collections are pillars of some of the largest museums in the world.” as framed by Ryan Mitchell.

Zhenhan Hao is a mixed-media artist seeking wonder and magic from the unappreciated, unfamiliar, or hidden qualities of common materials, anonymous craftsmen, and minor, related trades. By bridging different elements and exploring their separate contribution within a system, Hao generates the freshest of aesthetics and explores innovation in the manufacturing process. Hao’s practice spans a wide spectrum of objects, spaces, and multimedia. To date, Hao’s projects have shown in many prestigious galleries around the world, such as Christie’s Gallery and M+ Museum Hong Kong.

Born in 1978, Ryan Mitchell is an independent American artist based in Jingdezhen, where he established a studio practice and moniker penned ‘Coal Ball’. Known for earthy expressive sculptural works in clay; Mitchell emerged as an active part of the contemporary ceramic arts environment amid the mountains of Montana, where he holds an MFA from the University of Montana Missoula. Mitchell’s sculpture pursues the expressive potential of the materials used, linking different cultural and historical representations. Mitchell's work explores the intersections of nature and humanism that intuitively weave image, sculpture, vessel, and abstraction.

Matt Watterson is an artist from Columbus, Ohio, USA who lives and works in Jingdezhen, China. He graduated from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in New York, USA. Along with his porcelain design work, Watterson dedicates his art practice to ceramic sculpture, mixed media sculpture, and large-scale installation works. He has experience in outdoor large-scale public installation art as well as art handling and exhibition experience. Watterson has exhibited and sold his work both domestically and abroad and has attended residencies and expositions throughout China, Thailand, and the USA.