Since childhood, my favorite animal has been the bird. Watching a bird in flight is to see it in equilibrium between gravity and its own velocity, and it is little wonder humans have always fantasized about flying themselves.
Balloons, filled with helium gas, fly and to hold it in place we tie a weight to its string. When I watch a balloon hovering in the middle of the room with equal levity and gravity, I sense the gentle serenity created by the equilibrium. Butterfies hovering over flowers are also beautiful in this way. Even love exists when two people, two forces, push and pull in different directions. The stars in the sky may look random but the universe exists in balanced forces. We, too, are floating in space.
These light and airy-looking ceramic balloon sculptures, tethered to the walls, remind us to find the beauty of equilibrium, in the world around us, and in the universe.
'Fly High' ceramic balloons series
Flying is everyone’s desire. When a helium balloon escaped from my hand one day and went into infinite space I began to wonder what is there beyond the blue sky? Even though we cannot see with our eyes, we know that there in the universe are layers of galaxies merging constantly with dying and forming stars. My wonders about space inspired me to create this series of ceramic balloons. The patterns and motifs on some of my ceramic balloons reflect the abstract images of constellations and views of the cosmos.
Perpetuity is also one of the unsolved problems we face. What if a balloon never deflated, so that the joy it brought us never ended? What if our memories never escaped us? What if these balloons could lift us up while also keeping us grounded? I make these ceramic balloons to remind us our unobtainable desire to be in charge of time and space.
Turning the soft Mylar balloon into heavy ceramic, yet keeping the look of its lightness is my pleasure and passion in making ceramic balloons. I like to reexamine the levity and gravity in the often mundane objects and symbols of happiness: balloons, with playful and vibrant color fields.
I am interested in interactive arts and my balloons-in-ceramic are hung on walls on installation. Some people might say it will be unfamiliar, obscure and dangerous to hang ceramic pieces on the wall. I think what is dangerous is to get satisfied with comfortable concepts. I hope these colorful ceramic balloons will break the norms.
'Up! to the Sky', an installation included in 'Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary Exhit' at Japan American National Museum, Los Angeles :
",,,, By combining ceramic Mylar balloons and Hello Kitty images, which both represent pop cultures; she hopes to “expand the happiness around us”. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said in the Little Prince, “Only the children know what they are looking for.” Nina Jun provides moments we can look through with the innocent eyes of childhood. "
In the prompt record for the Hello Kitty exhibition:
“Hello! you are looking at ceramic balloons. Are you surprised when I said these are made of ceramic? It is ceramic. Are you wondering how they are hung on the wall? There is a hole in the back and it is hollow.
What I like the best about Hello Kitty image is her blank look. This objectiveness is my favorite part in the trend of contemporary arts. I think it makes people to want to fill that blankness with their own feelings and memories.
My ceramic balloons may look like manufactured. But every piece is one of a kind because I paint each of them individually with the clay material called ‘underglaze’ and it is fired at 1950 degree. Therefore there are no editions.
I let you see my art works from your own experiences.