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Cui Meimei

Cui Meimei is a clay and glass sculptor who has exhibited in countries such as China, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy. Recent exhibitions include the British Glass Biennale and  the 31st Mediterranean Contemporary Ceramic Competition in Grottaglie, Italy. Cui’s sculptures are improvised and often incorporate what she describes as mistakes, imperfections, and accidents in the material during the creation process. 

The sculptures are indicated as non-objective forms however sometimes resemble the shape of sea crustaceans or coral reef structure and various sea life. Some of the forms may resemble oysters, entire coral reef ecosystems, or squid and barnacles. Having Cui’s own sculptures resemble sea life was probably unintentional however the resemblance remains clearly visible. Perhaps because sea life has a natural organic angularity may be the reason why the sculptures appear to imitate nature from the seabed. As pure abstractions the sculptures reflect intricate shades of color with biological-inspired forms. The configurations have precise balance and tone as if carefully and meticulously crafted rather than executed with improvisation and impulsivity. Usually containing several pieces, each work comes off more like an installation rather than pure sculpture because the arrangement and relationship of placement seems to be equally as critical as their finish.

Comparing and contrasting two works such as No. 07 (pictured above) and No. 08 (pictured below) we may find works which resemble sea urchins or octopi. These creature-like abstracted forms with reaching limbs which extend outward towards the audience reflect a star-shape pattern and folds of ceramic shrapnel. While No. 07 reflects inward on the floor as if contracting towards death, No. 08 stands tall on a pedestal as if to lunge towards the viewer as if we were prey and the sculpture was the predator. No. 08 composition appears as if the organic form remains in motion literally jumping down towards the audience such as an octopus rushing towards a fish with its beak, before grasping around the subject with tentacles. 

Cui Meimei sculptures contain a grand contemporary design and veneer which reflect bright colors with neutral whites and off-whites. Containing an appearance of luminosity and transparency, the works materialize into planes which seem to almost bend or manipulate the light which passes through them. Often mysterious and odd, these crustacean-like forms approach a display as if reflecting a landscape from the wild imagination of Jules Vern novels or perhaps even alien life forms in a Star Trek film. The sheer oddity of the form invites us into associations, however the pieces can be easily valued as pure expressions in non-objectivity as they are intended. In such a regard, we may appreciate the lack of reflection or imitation to human-created objects or structures. Cui Meimei creates fascinating, bold works which encapsulate a relationship between light, space, and contemplative time.

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