Profiles of Young Hudson Valley Artists/ Lena Chin/ article by Robyn Hager

To highlight young, emerging artists and creators of all mediums in the Hudson Valley, this will be the first article in a series that will shine light on artists ranging from writers and musicians to tattoo artists and potters, showing the diversity of talent and artistic integrity emerging in this region of New York State.

Figure 1: Process of ‘throwing’ and shaping the clay mug

Lena Chin is a first-generation Ecuadorian-Chinese artist who received her BFA in Ceramics from SUNY New Paltz in 2018.

Over the years, Lena has created her own distinct style for her ceramic pieces, and she finds the process itself extremely therapeutic. Chin has always been interested in the micro and macrocosmic details of the world which has influenced her to illustrate the nuances of this topic and to explore the unseen. By creating porcelain wares that promote intimate moments, the work rewards the observant viewer with intricate details.

Figure 2: Finished collection of shaped mugs

In Lena’s words her style is: “consistent of echoing patterns and boldly pigmented colors. The graphic quality of my work is influenced by a hand painted system where the patterns progress. Patterns have historically been a type of visual language and as one moves around the form each design element creates an opportunity for investigation.”

Figure 3: Process of designing the mug post-underglaze

With a deep interest in astrophysics and quantum-physics, she has read books such as “Hyperspace”, “Quantum Enigma” and “Quantum Creativity”, and she explores these ideas abstractly through in her work via various patterns and designs. She has also been influenced by stained glass and elements of star maps, and has found that “the more I discover about the universe the more it seems to manifest itself unconsciously in my work”. One example Lena provided that has greatly influenced her work is called BOSS (baryon oscillating spectroscopic survey) and is a collection of super cluster galaxies over 1 billion lights years wide, making it the largest structure in the galaxy that has helped to uncover the structure of the universe as a whole (fig. 6).

Figure 4: Taking the finished mugs out of the kiln after firing and the final glaze

Brightly colored and interspersed with distinct patterns and textures, her pieces are tactile for the hands and stimulating to mind and are the perfect statement piece for any countertop or a cup of coffee or tea. With her background in ceramics, Lena is well-versed in her craft, now teaching a variety of classes at Fallkill Creative Works in Poughkeepsie, NY for students of all ages along with being a Studio Assistant to @tellefsenatlier. If you would like to check out Lena’s work you can go to the website listed below or learn more about her on her Instagram page. If you would like to take a class in ceramics by Lena, as she offers the classes “Intro to Wheel Throwing” and “Beyond Basics”, you can go to fallkillcreativeworks.org to learn more and sign up for her classes.

Instagram: @lenalaiceramics

http://www.lenalaiceramics.com

Figure 5: Lena’s signature featured on the bottom of her mugs
Figure 6: BOSS structure

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Robyn Hager is a writer and poet and an Associate Editor with Lightwood magazine. Read one of Robyn’s poems in a previous Lightwood issue.

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