Introduced to the concept of rocks after moving to China from the USA nearly six years ago, LaBar has often compared his porcelain sculptures to scholars’ rocks. He has said: “They are objects that open the mind, inviting contemplation, abstract in form, dancing between material and space. Both embody the transformational processes.” He also follows the same aesthetic criteria traditionally used for judging rocks—thinness, openness, perforations, and wrinkling—to assess his own sculptures.
LaBar’s abstract, virtuosic sculptures are composed of individual and wheel thrown elements. The production involves a labour-intensive process in which the artist assembles the parts together to form an elaborate matrix before placing them in a kiln. As the heat of the kiln melts the clay and glaze, the once precariously-stacked components settle into a stable, composite piece. As the forms twist, bend and interact with each other, the final, dynamic work reflects the tension, chaos, harmony and unity, between the individual components.
LaBar received his BA in Biology and Art from Gonzaga University, Spokane Washington, and his MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has lived and worked in Taoxichuan, Jingdezhen since 2014.
POP ROCK in 2021 is Alisan Fine Arts’ first time working with the artist.