Tan Shao Qi (b. 2000, Singapore) graduated under the International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme (IBCP) in Visual Arts at the School of the Arts, Singapore (SOTA). She is currently pursuing her BA (Hons) in Ceramic Design at Central Saint Martins (CSM), University of the Arts London.
Her interest lies in documenting the ephemeral found in the environment as she seeks to make visible the local flora that is often overlooked and forgotten. The recurring motifs of common weeds, wildflowers and wayside plants in her works highlight the unseen changes in the city’s natural environment. Drawn from her immediate surroundings, she examines and collects natural found objects on-site as an attempt to connect with her environment. The locally sourced materials are viewed as narrative remnants of the transient landscape in her body of work.
Shao Qi’s experimentations with clay and mediums connected to documenting such as paper and photography evoke how the fragments of local flora she captures are poignantly transient, vulnerable to being unseen and lost at any moment — and must thus be recorded into permanence. Time is thus a crucial force in her practice: her awareness of the inevitable passing of time and its effect on the environment is reflected in the techniques she employs such as paper-cutting, sprig-moulding and low relief carving that meticulously captures the intricate and repetitive elements of flora, giving even the smallest and most insignificant parts of nature its inherent beauty.
As she renders these nature abstractions in porcelain — a material vulnerable to breaking with just one negligent shake or movement — Tan makes monument of their fragility. Her porcelain pieces implore audiences to not only be aware of the ephemerality of natural things, but to see precisely the value and raw beauty in all their stages, especially the moments closest to their demise.