Randy Au / Flying Cup Clay
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii
Works in Santa Ana, CA
Born and raised in the beautiful Hawaiian Island of Oahu, artist Randy Au came to Southern California to pursue a career in Fine Arts. Studies include Biola University with Grant Logan; UC Irvine with Gifford Myers; and California State University at Fullerton, with Jerry Rothman and John Stokesbury, culminating in a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art. Au then established the Flying Cup Clay studio in 1987 and became a full-time professional artist selling his works through exhibits and galleries. He presently splits his time between the Studio (Muddy's Studio) and as the instructor of ceramics and Assistant Director of the Visual Arts Conservatory at the Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana, California since 2002; as well as other teaching, exhibiting 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. Au also participated as a "Visiting Artist in Resident" in 2016 at the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, California which culminated in a studio show.
Other exhibits include a traveling show of Southern California ceramics to the Taipei Cultural Center, Taiwan; “Tea and Fantasy”, Alianza Gallery, Boston; featured artist, Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro; invited exhibiting artist at the Orange County Fair 2005; “Ceramic Biennale” in 2013 at the American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona; and “Pedagogic Clay 2015” at the Frank M. Doyle Art Pavilion, Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa. Works can be seen at the Orange County- John Wayne Airport through March 2023.
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.