Frozen movement: Jozsef Simon Zsolt describes his desire to form, to shape, to be in motion.[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
IT IS NECESSARY FOR ME TO CREATE MY SCULPTURES FROM A MOVEMENT POINT of view. Creation and movement are inseparable parts of my life. I could not leave either of them for a long period. Therefore they influence and fertilize each other.
Twenty years ago I went to study and work at the world famous Porcelain Factory of Hungary in Herend. Besides work and study, I did a lot of sport and dance but at that time I could not see any relationship to my art work. In my following studies, I foresaw that these two distant fields could overlap each other. In a very progressive art school I was studying drama, music and painting from great teachers while in another course I was following movement (Bothmer Gimnastics[R] and Spatial Dynamics[R]) studies. Even though I was doing paintings I encountered the idea of spatial forming. Later on at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, Hungary I decided to concentrate my studies on three-dimensional forms.
My initiation to the sculpture world was unpoetic: I like whipsawing and I like the surface of the sawed plaster mould. I began to construct complex forms of clay with inner spaces in which I cast plaster and enjoyed the results. Afterwards I just had to continue what I did enjoy so much. I could form the clay freely until the last moment of creating the imprint. Clay was outside, plaster inside. I formed the clay as a receiver substance which the plaster could fulfil in a devoted way. I exhibited these plaster sculptures in Indonesia as well.
I wanted to transfer this new technique of mine (casting plaster in to clay) to a traditional porcelain slip casting technique but I wanted to preserve the fresh, flexible, free qualities of the original piece. Naturally, I realize that plaster is not as flexible as clay and has no plasticity. First I recycled old plaster moulds; I cut and carved them one by one. I put together the final pieces freely changing their positions, creating new plaster moulds. Added value on my objects is created by the playful surface, which are the result of the carved plaster piece's joint gap. Most of my work is based on this game. Some of them were exhibited at the 4th and 5th World Ceramic Biennale Korea and other parts of the world. Today I don't cut the plaster randomly but I make a plan where I create a free way for the slip. I use the possibility of this slip casting technique, where the plaster side is sharp and full of joint gaps but the other side is round and soft. I try not to move my sculptures too much before firing. I put them immediately in the kiln; I fire them, usually to 1300-1350[degrees]C in a reduction environment.
I enjoy forming my sculptures up until the last moment. Usually I use 20-60 plaster pieces for a mould. Carving the plaster pieces takes most of the time during my work. I have broken some parts of my sculptures before and after drying and it is not rare that this happens after firing too. A given group of plaster pieces is used for creating 5-7 similar pieces, but never the same objects. I try to reserve the experience of easy and light forming. I want to see sculptures that are not drawn by gravity and then lightness is a part of them as well.
I don't use glaze on the sculptures. Most of my works are white and I rarely use colours. White lets the form dominate on the piece. The first step for me is to bring life into dead material through motion. My concept requires this special technique. I want to put movement and flowing in the centre of my work and I had to find a technique, which allows this freedom. I would like to explain my art conception and some of my inspiration from the nature in a few sentences.
Most of my sculptures are made of porcelain slip. It reminds me of bones. Our bones are the least moveable parts of the body. Although they grow and are dedicated to a system of motion such as muscles, thews, nerves. The imprint of the moveable muscles is visible on the form of the motionless bones. When someone makes sculptures, or just admires natural forms or art pieces, he or she can not avoid perceiving the dynamic and static qualities of the work.
We so often see sculptures, paintings and drawings where motion disappears from the form. Sometimes the form appears directly from the imagination. We can combine easily the existing forms like furniture in a flat. We can put the chair a little bit to the left side or the painting a little bit higher and finally there will be a kind of harmony. The formative force can not appear on the whole surface or shape but it moves the separate parts in every direction pugging and sticking them together. Contrary to this method, what I really want is that the movement reserves its imprint on the shape not only in the composition, but in every little piece in the form. The movement is inside, not outside and influences the whole, not just the parts.
We can observe how movement develops in the natural world manifesting new forms. Motion is represented in minerals as repetition of geometry and in plants as growth and metamorphosis, which creates a framework that transforms forms into others. We see simple repetition in the world of minerals constructed of pentagons, hexagons. In a plant there is different repetition, there is metamorphosis. A flower differs from a leaf. It is a transformed leaf, the movement and transformation is more complex. In animals, it creates a hollow full of soul and motion, creating their independent world. They disconnect from the ground to become much more independent but they don't have perfect forms. In animals the bones are the closest to the minerals as material but their forms are so different. The form of the mineral directly created by the rule of geometry and the effect of the movement appears just in the repetition. The bone consigns its form to the power of the muscles, nerves and instinct, which create greater distance from the exact geometry. This is the forming method I want to touch in my work.
I want to overstep the repetition of the minerals and come closer to the complexity and life-fullness of the human body. I want to loosen up the hardness, let fly the heaviness and endow the motionless with life.
Jozsef Simon Zsolt is a porcelain designer and artist in Hungary who does presentations, workshops and seminars on his technique and art work. He is a teacher at the Naput (Sunway) Free Art School, Budapest (www.naputasok.hu). firstname.lastname@example.org (www.nomisart.carbonmade.com)