Botanic Life Extended – Ceramic Series by Taiwanese Artist Zhu Ohmu

Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Australia many times and have felt a stronger connection every time that I visit. One of the interesting things about any country is that an outsider can often see things that those who reside in the country might be blind to. These perspectives can be of value to those that live inside if they wish to listen. This is partly why I was intrigued by Taiwanese creative Zhu Ohmu, an artist who is currently based in Melbourne, Australia.

Interestingly Zhu’s bio is, “I acknowledge and am grateful to the Wurundjeri and Bunurong peoples of the Kulin Nation as the traditional custodians of the land that I live and work on. I would like to reflect that within acknowledgement there should be action. How do we act in solidarity with First Nations peoples to end the history of silence and oppression that has resulted in Indigenous disadvantage today?”. It’s a very bold way to introduce yourself, especially considering the controversy surrounding this subject in Australia, so not only do I respect this I also respect Zhu’s fluidity and the ability to work in many different mediums.

The work I picked out is two series of ceramics, one named ‘Plantsukuroi’ and the other named ‘spring, in an upstairs room’. Plantsukuroi is a response to the current trend of 3D printed ceramics. Ohmu wanted to imitate the way in which they are coiled by a machine but using the human hand instead. It’s great how the plants have been integrated in to the vessels, almost becoming one with vessel itself. I hope that Zhu can use these techniques to challenge some unique topics and bring us more interesting works in the near future. I’m really looking forward to it! More can be found on Zhu Ohmu’s website linked below.