Han-Chiao’s vessels, which she creates by throwing clay on a wheel, are made from black sand and glazed in white zinc oxide. The material makes them look like Shang-dynasty ritual bronze vessels or Han-dynasty pottery excavated from a grave. Trained in photography at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Han-Chiao has worked as a commercial and editorial photographer in Paris for the past decade. In her ceramics, she aims to capture “the slash,” a term she uses to describe the multiple roles an individual or object plays in modern day society.
Han-Chiao gives a name to each series that hints at their inspiration. The “Teeth” series is a collection of bowls and vases whose edges have sharp, finely honed peaks that resemble shark teeth. Her “Face” vessels have slightly raised rounded protrusions that take on the characteristics of eyes, noses, and mouths. Her “Figure” vessels resemble ancient Greek amphora and are elegant, elongated stand-ins for a slender female form. Her “Trapper” vessels are exquisite replicas of the hinged lobes used to trap insects in the Venus Flytrap. Han-Chiao’s ceramics are functional, but also imbued with a sort of romantic love, as if they are souls reborn in clay. In the way that they are more than just what they appear, they embody Han-Chiao’s notion of the slash.