Ruby Yeh

Layers of Identity, 2023

38 cm
"Layers of Identity," takes the form of a wide top and narrow base ceramic vessel, serving as an exploration of the intricate layers that compose our identities and the delicate equilibrium we maintain as we juggle the various roles we inhabit in our lives. Employing a combination of hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques, I coiled this piece on the pottery wheel, mirroring the gradual formation of our own identities.

The exterior of the vessel remains intentionally unglazed, revealing the diverse clay bodies that constitute its structure. This exposed surface acts as a metaphor for the layers of identity we accumulate throughout our lifetimes. Each layer, shaped by our experiences, relationships, and aspirations, contributes to the rich tapestry of who we are.

In stark contrast, the interior of the vessel is meticulously glazed, presenting itself as a dark pool of water when viewed from a distance. This inner space symbolises the swirling confusion and rich inner thoughts that reside within us as we navigate life's complexities. It represents the countless experiences that have sculpted us, merging to form the unique individuals we become.

"Layers of Identity" holds profound personal significance for me, as it serves as a reflection of my own journey of self-discovery and transformation. Much like the layers of clay comprising the vessel's exterior and the enigmatic depths of its interior, I, too, am the culmination of my experiences—both the visible and the concealed.

Through this artwork, I extend an invitation to viewers to contemplate their own layers of identity and the intricate interplay of roles in their lives. It is a reminder that beneath the surface, we are all reservoirs of experiences, constantly evolving and adapting, ultimately becoming the beautifully complex beings that we are.
Ruby Yu-Lu Yeh is a Taiwanese-Australian ceramic artist based in Meanjin (Brisbane). She utilises both wheel-throwing and hand-building techniques to experiment with clay and develops works that are both sculptural and functional. Ruby’s current exploration focus on creating larger work as vessel of an internal dialogue between her Eastern upbringing and Western education.
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