SAM Art: Brendan Tang’s “Manga Ormolu”

The new incarnation of Here and Now, the museum’s new acquisition space, focuses on recently acquired contemporary ceramics. The works now on view reveal their desire of bridging the past and present. These hybridized vessels express their synthesizing of visual histories from Eastern and Western cultures.

Focusing on the intermingling of stylistic traditions, Brendan Tang’s Manga Ormolu blends cultural references. Here, a dynamic robotic form seems to discard the skin of its prior form as a Chinese Ming dynasty vessel. The artist has said, “this narrative is personal: the hybridization of cultures mirrors my identity as an ethnically-mixed Asian Canadian. My family history is one of successive generations shedding the markers of ethnic identity in order to succeed in an adopted country—within a few generations this cultural filtration has spanned China, India, Trinidad, Ireland and Canada.”

Manga Ormolu version 5.0-h, 2010, Brendan Lee Satish Tang, Canadian, born in Ireland, 1975, ceramics, mixed media, 16 1/4 x 11 x 7 1/2 in., Margaret E. Fuller Purchase Fund, 2011.27, © Brendan Lee Satish Tang. Now on view in Here and Now, new acquisition gallery, third floor, SAM downtown.

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