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22 November, 2003
"Solan's Clay Road" Exhibition, Auckland New Zealand
Latest News (22 Nov 2003):

The New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark inaugurated Solan's exhibition at the Auckland Museum last night.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Auckland, Dr John Hood first addressed and introduced Solan to the three hundred guests who were present at the special Reception for the Exhibition and the International Conference of Asian Studies.

The Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of arts, Culture and heritage, then in her speech highly acclaimed the creativeness of Solan's artworks, and specifically shared her personal feelings with the guests on the "universalness" of that 1,617 prostrating human figures crawling towards the temple of heaven, the tower and the mountains could be upon any lands in the world, be it Mexico, Egypt, China, India or Japan...... ; which she described as "the flying teapots"; the middle class denoted in and the pair of teapots , "a rooster and a duck in dialogue".

The Prime Minister cut the ribbon jointly with Solan and declared the official opening of exhibition in Auckland.


(15 November 2003)
A ceramic exhibition blending the distinct influences of a Chinese up-bringing and the natural environment of New Zealand will be showcased at Auckland Museum from 15-30 November 2003, held in conjunction with The University of Auckland.

"Solan's Clay Road" is a display of varied pottery pieces made by Solan Chan in Auckland and Hong Kong during the past five years.

Rather than following the ceramics tradition, she uses the medium more as a means of artistic expression, and realizes her imagination through the process of giving form to the clay. The marks left by her sculpting and molding serve as records of her daily life through time; they are, in a sense, natural evidence of her spiritual life.

Although clay is her primary medium, Solan's interests are not constrained by a "traditional" understanding of ceramic art; she also makes functional ware, contemporary sculptures, mixed media and installation works.

From an artistic family in Hong Kong, Solan Chan began her career as a traditional Chinese calligraphic artist before turning to painting in watercolours and oils. Since 1990 she has worked in ceramics, based largely in Auckland. Tempted to express herself freely with clay and glaze, she pursued her own contemporary innovations and explored the invisible hands played in the firing of the kiln. Her work burned the traces of the Chinese romance from the ages afar.

More than 10,000 people visited "Solan's Clay Road" in Hong Kong and Macao, where exhibitions were held at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, the Commercial Press Gallery in Kowloon and the Pavilhao do Jardim Lou Lim Ieoc in Macao. Frank Wilson, the Consul-General of New Zealand inaugurated the exhibitions in both Hong Kong and Macao. Each attracted widespread critical acclaim.

A tri-lingual catalogue in English, Chinese and Portuguese has been published with details of the exhibits.

The coming exhibition at the Auckland Museum will display an installation work "Regards" by Solan. The work compiling of 1,617 ceramic pieces in an area of 2 x 10 metres was earlier collected by Museu de Arte de Macau (Macao Museum of Art). Which is on loan specially for the exhibition at Auckland.

The exhibition at Auckland Museum will be held in association with the New Zealand Asia Institute at The University of Auckland.

During the exhibition, the University will host the 15th New Zealand Asian Studies Society International Conference, "Asia: Images, Ideas, Identities". The conference, held from 21-24 November, will bring together specialists in the study of Asia from New Zealand, Australia, and other countries in the Asia/Pacific region.

Digital images of the exhibits are available on request.

Solan Chan will be available for interview from 5 November.

Media are invited to pre-view the exhibition on the afternoon of Friday 14 November 2003. Please let Alison Booth know if you wish to attend (phone 373 7599 ext 82546).

Further information:

Karyn Clare
Auckland Museum
Phone: (649) 306 7084
Email: kclare@aucklandmuseum.com

Alison Booth
The University of Auckland
Phone: (649)373 7599 ext.82546
Email: a.booth@auckland.ac.nz

For details of New Zealand Asian Studies Society International Conference:
Dr Xin Chen
New Zealand Asia Institute
The University of Auckland
Phone: (649) 373 7599 ext86936
Email: x.chen@auckland.ac.nz
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