Tell us about yourself!
My name is Xiao Tai. Xiao is my surname which is pronounced Shaw. I'm from Shanghai, China. At present I am a glass artist, designer and professor at a university. As a first generation of modern glass artists in China, glass practices and art design education fill most of my life. I set up a 400 square meters glass studio with advanced equipment on campus for casting sculpture, fusion and stained glass. The studio is also an art exchange hub for students and artists from Europe, America, Asia and Australia who work on academic research and innovation. I love my work and enjoy sharing it with glass fans all over the world, people are always welcome to visit if you are in Shanghai!
What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
Through glass the sacred light and shadows touch and move me. I am fond of using glass to create dreams via various processes. My techniques are focused on casting and fusion for sculpture. The processes requiring interesting opposing ways like as passion and sense, controllable and uncontrollable. Although there is so much failure in practice with glass material, I still enjoy challenging myself using different techniques and unique cultural approaches to shape making.
What themes do you pursue in your work?
My works can combine the implicative and realistic aspects amid them. I think there must be some oriental ideology in my subconsciousness as I grew up there. However, I don’t like to mirror them in stereotype symbols in my works. For example, the “BC” series was inspired by the ancient bronzes of China, so I tried to use glass and copper at the same time in my work. Another, the “Tune” series, was prompted by my favorite crisp sound of glass. The “Coral Reef Sea” series reflect the nature Great Barrier Reef in my heart abstractly.
If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
I would be an architect or scholar, but I think that glass has helped to fulfill my true wish.
Why are you a member of GAS?
It is critical to make connections with people working in glass. Resources from GAS help my work both as an artist and professor. I enjoy sharing and blending methodologies and cross-disciplinary practice in the glass field, and to promote ideas, innovation and technological advances.
To learn more about Xiao, or to see more of his work, go here.