Ana Cho spends her waking hours of freedom from the computer at the pottery studio working with her hands. Inspired by the earthy nature of clay she aspires to create functional yet aesthetically unique and pleasing pieces. She feels making usable vessels forms a stronger connection to the people who use her pieces at home. A Korean Canadian Artist who is currently living in the Los Angeles area, during the day Ana works in video games creating digital art.
Cho is one of the artists in the Fierce Tidings art exhibition at the Gene Siskel Film Center in conjunction with the FAAIM 22nd Annual Asian American Showcase which runs March 31st through April 12th, 2017. We asked her a few questions about her work and artistic practice!
-Does your identity or how you identify yourself inform your work in any way?
I never used to make a strong connection between my identity as a Korean and my artworks until I started pottery.
When I became interested in the traditional Korean pottery I realized my desire to create simple and elegant pieces largely comes from being exposed to the traditional aesthetics both consciously and unconsciously while growing up in Korea. I’m looking forward to learning more about Korean pottery, both traditional and modern, and exploring elements that can be integrated in my own practice.
-When making your work, do you have certain expectations or do you aim for a specific reaction in your audience and the viewer? (Do you care about how the message of your work is received?)
I find meaning when my pieces are used in people’s homes with pleasure but without the preciousness that often comes with artwork. I would like my pieces to feel approachable, down to earth and practical – a vessel that makes a person's daily rituals feel a little bit more connected and richer.
-Does art serve a purpose for you outside of just beauty or aesthetics?
Art can be messages sent by the artist to their community, society, the world, or within themselves. Art can also be just for aesthetics. I personally don’t believe art has to have a purpose always because a person creating something itself is meaningful.
-How do current events affect your practice?
I started learning pottery in the midst of a very personally challenging time. The mindful nature of pottery-making helped me tremendously to get through the difficult times. As it did then, working with clay, each step of the process, continues to reminds and allows me to be in the moment and keep the sense of inner peace and calm that easily escapes one in the society we live in.
-Do you feel you are more reactive or more reflective when you create?
I’m more reflective when I create.