Hello — I’m Anny

Photo by ann/drew gayle

I’m an artist who works primarily in ceramics because of clay’s history of function and connection to home.

I graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in May 2019 with a BFA in Ceramics and a concentration in Graphic Design.

I have studied abroad at The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China, interned at Greenwich House Pottery, worked as a studio tech at BKLYN CLAY, and completed a two year residency at Clay Art Center, where I first started teaching.

Currently, I’m an instructor at doclay, and a studio tech at The Potter’s Wheel and Chambers Pottery.

Feel free to follow my work on Instagram: @annychenart or to reach out via email.

Scroll down for my artist statement︎︎︎

Artist Statement

Throughout my work, clouds are a repeated motif. They have represented connection, tradition, belonging, home, family, an idealized landscape in an ever-changing environment…but I first drew them to feel connected to China through old Chinese pottery. While I sculpt, brush, scratch, and carve clouds into gourds and stools, I reconsider what my childhood could have been like had I grown up in China. Yet, this is a stilted imagining as I am an American-born Chinese who grew up in rural Oklahoma. Would I care so much about my roots if I had grown up surrounded by people who looked like me? My anxiety over home as a place pushes me to labor over “home” as a feeling—since I fear I do not quite belong even now.

With climate change intensifying and no real reform coming from lawmakers, my anxiety spikes while my sense of belonging wavers. I reference motifs and forms from China to romanticize a time period of a country I have no real connection to as an American. These complications of identity, place, and belonging in my work reveal a need to resist the trap of stagnant definitions as I figure out my role in America. Do I even want a home here? My work is a sandbox to figure out these questions and share these incomplete answers with my audience. 

If you’ve made it this far, here’s a link to an oral history interview with Richard Zane Smith from Oklahoma State University. He makes beautiful corrugated pots using a Pueblo coiling technique, and he digs his clay from a site in Vinita, OK., which is a town/county right next to Nowata, OK., the town where I grew up. It’s kind of amazing to think about our proximity of location before I knew about clay, and I’m only now learning more about his work when I’m all the way in New York. (https://dc.library.okstate.edu/digital/collection/ona/id/106)
© 2022 Anny Chen, all rights reserved
© 2022 Anny Chen, all rights reserved