3D printing isn’t new to the ceramics world but seeing how artists take advantage of the technology to make it their own – that’s where it gets interesting. 26-year-old artist and designer Jolie Ngo is pushing the boundaries on 3D ceramic printing, showing that the artistic and creative touch is not eliminated through the process. In fact, it’s only highlighted more prominently. Ngo’s latest exhibition, Memory Palace, currently on view at R & Company, is named after 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 own “memory palaces,” which bring back her nostalgia for the color palettes, pixelations, hazy gradients, and atmospheres of favorite games like ´Pokémon and Animal Crossing.
After the 3D printing of each vessel is complete, Ngo adds the artistic touch by painting them in vibrant colors and geometric patterns, sometimes affixing them with various embellishments. While 3D printed objects can feel too precise and calculated, Ngo makes them much more personal through her process, highlighting the fluid relationship between human and machine and the innovative creations that can come from it.
The 3D printed colored porcelain coils that comprise my works wrap around, building on top of each other to create the vessel in its entirety, but form is not the only thing that is brought in to reality. The way the colored porcelain is laid down, row by row, creates an atmosphere. These hazy gradients, bespeckled with glassy colored glaze grog, echo the light that the sun creates when it is rising or setting. The light being cast onto the memory palace landscapes. The atmosphere created gives the viewer a sense that these terrains are far away, and we are only viewing them from a distance. Glaze gloops that are meticulously placed at the summit of the landscapes drip down to the plane below them.
Jolie 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.