Black Paradox by Zestro Leow

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Ceramist artist Zestro Leow is currently showing his work at a new exhibition Dawn of Youth at Kato Art Duo, Raffles Hotel Arcade #01-26. The exhibition presents the work of young emerging artists from Japan and Singapore and runs until 3 November.

Speaking about his current practice, Zestro says he attempts to challenge the idea of the function of an object when its physical feature of functionality has been made obsolete. “To express this concept, I chose to create a series of sculptures influenced by Shinto Shrines. Shinto (the way of god) is a Japanese religion dating from the 8th century and incorporating the worship of ancestors and nature spirits and a belief in sacred powers in both animate and inanimate things. Shinto Shrines are consecrated structures which main purpose is to house Gods and Sprits of divinities.

As a believer of Shinto, these spirits represent a place of worship and provide a source of spiritual vitality and regard them as spiritual home. On the other hand, for non-believers, these Shinto shrines are merely ‘decorative’ structures with no concrete function and are only representation of the religion. With this in mind, I began to create shrine-like sculptures with wheel throwing method. Although, wheel throwing in pottery has always been use to create functional vessels, I decided to use this method to create non-functional vessels by sealing the openings and stacking these vessels to form shrine-like sculptures. I hope that through my presentation, I am able to portray the contradiction of an object or structure presenting a pure form or as a form with certain function.”

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