3D printing is not new to the world of ceramics, but seeing how artists are taking advantage of technology to make it their own is where it gets interesting. 26 year old artist and designer Pretty Ngo pushes the boundaries of 3D ceramic printing, showing that the artistic and creative touch is not eliminated by the process. In fact, it is only highlighted more prominently. Ngo’s last exhibition, Memory Palacecurrently showing at R & Company, takes its name from a type of mnemonic device used in ancient Roman and Greek history to recall information through the visualization of a spatial environment. The sculptures are Ngo’s “memory palaces,” reminding him of the nostalgic color palettes, pixelations, blurry gradients, and atmospheres of favorite games like “Pokémon and Animal Crossing.”
After each vessel is 3D printed, Ngo adds the artistic touch by painting them in bright colors and geometric patterns, sometimes affixing them with various embellishments. While 3D printed objects can seem too precise and calculated, Ngo makes them much more personal through his process, highlighting the fluid relationship between man and machine and the innovative creations that can come from it.
The spools of 3D printed colored porcelain that make up my works wrap around, overlap to create the entire vessel, but the form is not the only thing that is brought to reality. The way the colored porcelain is placed, row by row, creates an atmosphere. These hazy gradients, speckled with grog of glassy colored glaze, echo the light the sun creates as it rises or sets. The light being projected on the landscapes of the memory palace. The atmosphere created gives the viewer the impression that these lands are distant and that we only see them from a distance. Meticulously placed drops of glaze atop the landscapes flow down to the plane below.
Pretty Ngo: Memory Palace is on display at R & Company (64 White Street, NYC) through August 12, 2022.
Photos by Joe Kramm, courtesy of R & Company.