Hsuan-Wan Hung (Swan) completed a BA in Fine Art, at George Mason, and an MFA in Printmaking at the University of Houston, Texas. In the mid 80s she moved to Tokyo and worked as jewellery designer. From the late 80's to mid 90's, after obtaining a BSc from the Bartlett, UCL, she continued her diploma studies in the Architecture Association. Wanting artistic autonomy and recognizing her earlier attraction to clay sculptures, she decided to become a potter. Swan set up a workshop in Zürich and initially started with wheel throwing for speed and spontaneity. Eventually, however, her wheel throwing became slower with prolonged hours of modification on the turntable and she realized that her attraction to pottery was not purely therapeutic or romantic in nature. Swan became fascinated by the process of deformation in pottery, with the ambiguity between practical ware and sculpture. After working for three years as a teaching scholar (2006-09) in the Welsh School of Architecture, she is now continuing her research on deformation in art.
The act of deformation is a distinct, yet dependent phase of making clay vessels. Beginning with the design and making of pottery as an art form, her thesis is an exploration of themes surrounding deformation as an artistic device. As the short-lived, if not sporadic, occurrences of deformation in art are often outside of traditional discipline, the project aims for a more holistic understanding of the human act of deformation in art, whether in the conceptual or actual realm, and whether autonomously or heteronomously influenced. It takes up ideas from Alois Riegl's Kunstwollen, Theodor Adorno's Aesthetic Theory and Gilles Deleuze's concept of the minor in light of deformation. Defining the causes and manifestations of deformation in art, the thesis explores the conscious, spontaneous, intuitive and exploitative aspect of working and creating. Utilising the personal approach of forming and deforming pottery as a framework, the project investigates the related themes within the products and context of sculpture, architecture, calligraphy, painting and ceramics, as a specific aesthetic proposition. Deformation, then, projects toward the works of artists who have mastered previous methodologies and explored new possibilities. By analyzing the deformation process, the thesis explicates the relevance of deformation in art within the contemporary culture.
Hung, Hsuan-Wan, 'Lonsdale House', Project Review 1991-92, Architectural Association (London: Architectural Association, 1992).
Fueter, Maja, 'Object der Sinnlichkeit: Die Keramikobjekte von Swan Hung Hotz', Ideales Heim, Nr. 11, November (1999), p. 22.
Hung Hotz, Swan, 'A Pot for the Hand', Made 5 (2009), p. 4-5.
Hung Hotz, Swan, 'Tang Lady Vase, Green Stoneware Developed from Yi-Xing Cay Analysis', Benefiz Papillon, Werke / Auktionskatalog (2003).