ASU Museum Collection

Art Shows: I am looking at doing more show so

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Why Clay?

Clay is mystery. Clay is magic. Artists pound on it with their fists and sometimes times their heads. They plead, caress, cajole and coo over it as the shapes and images of their imaginations struggle to take form. It is this alchemy; complete with seduction, fire and fury that beckon with possibilities infinite. Longing to understand and control the clay, one can only hope for meaningful co-existence.

Over the centuries, clay has revealed itself as a transcendent material like no other. Clay speaks of cultures and civilizations in the artifacts we find. It finds a place as a space age material able to withstand re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere. Used to construct sacred buildings and heroic statues that have lasted for thousands of years, it gets broken and crumbles under foot as we walk on it everyday. This is what binds me to this endeavor; this mystery, this magic that is the art of clay.

...What to know about Randy?

Born and raised in the beautiful Hawaiian Island of Oahu, artist Randy Au graduated from Punahou High School and came to Southern California to pursue a fine art career. Studies include Biola University with Grant Logan; U.C. Irvine with Gifford Myers; and California State Fullerton with Jerry Rothman and John Stokesbury where he earned a B.A. in Fine Art. He established the Flying Cup Clay studio in 1987 and became a fulltime studio artist in 1992. He presently splits his time between the studio; being the ceramics instructor and Assistant Director of the Visual Arts Conservatory at the Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana, California since 2002; and other various teaching and workshop opportunities.

As an activist for the arts, Au was a contribution member of the Santa Ana Artists’ Village Taskforce in 1993 as well as a member of the "Mayor’s Art Strategic Planning Committee" and the Santa Ana Council of Arts and Culture. Au was a guest curator for the Santa Ana John Wayne Airport where he organized "Orange County Contemporary Clay" (2007-2008) an exhibit of 28 prominent ceramic artists.

Au is known for his "Vegetable Series" which combines a love of nature with intricate decoration, a whimsical sense of form and an enjoyment of function. The pieces are sophisticated and radiate a liveliness of their own in layers of patterns influenced by historical and cultural decoration. Oriental, Egyptian, Southwestern and contemporary American references provide the overlapping inspiration. At the same time, the forms are filled with a whimsical sensibility that delights in their natural references of use and enjoyment. The tension between organic for and painterly surface acts to engage the viewer in a dialogue of form and surface. The work has gained tremendous appeal in its unique opulent design, unusual organic forms, and playful function.

The series was awarded a Gold Medal in the "Discovery Award 1993" for Craft in California. It has also been a part of the invitational exhibition at the prestigious "DinnerWorks" exhibit in Louisville Kentucky, "Teapot Show", Ferin Gallery in Northampton, Massachusetts; "Pacific Craft Show", Orange County Museum of Art and featured on the "Modern Masters" series of the Carol Duvall Show for HGTV

Exhibitions include a traveling show of Southern California ceramics to the Taipei Cultural Center, Taiwan; "Tea and Fantasy", Alianza Gallery in Boston; as featured artist, Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro and an invited exhibiting artist at the Orange County Fair 2005. Most recent shows are at the Lynn J. Gallery in Buena Park (2012); Ceramic Biennale (2013) at the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona and "Pedagogic Clay 2015"; at the Frank M. Doyle Art Pavilion, Orange Coast College, Coast Mesa. In 2016 He was the featured visiting artist at the AMOCA Studio that culminated with a show "Organic Matters: New Works by Randy Au".

The work is in private and public collections like: ASU Nelson Art Museum-Ceramics Research Center, "Contemporary Crafts Collection", Tempe, AZ; Newark Museum "Modern Ceramics Collection", Newark, NJ; and the American Museum of Ceramic Art permanent collection, Pomona, California.