In Truth Before Flowers, Jennifer Ling Datchuk disentangles histories and traumas through objects culturally associated with womanhood. Inspired by the history of teacups and dinnerware, she employs porcelain to speak in dualities, especially of fragility, resilience, and ultimately the struggle between diversity and the flawless white body. Materials like porcelain and hair have crisscrossed the world and reflect migrations of identity. Datchuk deconstructs established hierarchies of materials and champions the handmade.
About the artist
Jennifer Ling Datchuk is an artist born in Warren, Ohio and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother came to this country in the early 1970s from China; her father born and raised in Ohio to Russian and Irish immigrant parents. Beyond initial appearances, the layers of her parents’ past and present histories are extremely overwhelming and complicated – a history of conflict she has inherited and a perpetual source for her work. She captures this conflict by exploring the emotive power of domestic objects and rituals that fix, organize, soothe and beautify our lives. Trained in ceramics, the artist works with porcelain and other materials often associated with traditional women’s work, such as textiles and hair, to discuss fragility, beauty, femininity, intersectionality, identity and personal history.
She holds an MFA in Artisanry from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a BFA in Crafts from Kent State University. She has received grants from the Artist Foundation of San Antonio, travel grant from Artpace, and the Linda Lighton International Artist Exchange Program. She was awarded a residency through the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum to conduct her studio practice at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Germany and has participated in residencies at the Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China, Vermont Studio Center, and the European Ceramic Work Center in the Netherlands. In 2017, she received the Emerging Voices award from the American Craft Council. Recently, she completed a residency and exhibition curated by Dr. Debra Willis for Artpace. She lives in San Antonio, Texas where she maintains a studio and teaching practice.