Born and raised in and outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jolie Ngo (b. 1996) holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Ngo is a ceramic artist who expands the potential of the vessel form by creating vibrant, “cyborgian” objects that acknowledge past ceramic traditions while advancing forward-thinking practices. In her own words: “I want to show the ceramic vessel as a future-form that can still hold memories of the past.”
Maintaining a sense of tactility, intimacy and sensitivity often achieved in traditional handworks is paramount to Ngo’s practice. She utilizes contemporary technologies such as clay 3D printing and rapid prototyping to create her forms before, in the words of Ngo, “lovingly dressing them” with hand-painted geometric pattern and hazy gradients, as well as affixing embellishments. This interplay of the machine and the artist’s hand results in objects that resist traditional formal definition.
Influenced by the aesthetics of digital spaces from her childhood—in particular a nostalgia for interfaces such as Minecraft and The Sims—Ngo has become a “world builder.” Her vessels are—microcosms referencing architectural environments, maquettes for furniture, the rolling strata of rice terraces, and landscape paintings. Altogether, Ngo’s practice includes a deep engagement with probing the synergy between handmade arts and technology past and present.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Jolie from the very start of her career,” says Evan Snyderman, Principal at R & Company. “Since we first noticed her work a few years ago, we were instantly drawn to its originality. Jolie’s explorations of tradition and technology, and past and future, are distinctly unique. At the same time, her work fits organically with the conversation many of the designers in our roster are also having, so there is great opportunity for dialogue. We are very much looking forward to supporting Jolie in her vision and to seeing how her ideas unfold.”
“Just barely out of graduate school, Jolie is the youngest designer we have ever represented,” added Zesty Meyers, Principal at R & Company. “While we are always looking to identify young talent, it is rare to come across someone like Jolie, who at such an early point in her career has already demonstrated both mastery of her medium and a boldness in challenging convention. We are looking forward to seeing her ideas develop across medium and scale as we continue to build market interest in her practice.”