DeWaal's Ten Thousand Things
Potter/writer Edmund DeWaal’s work in visual and literary art: Ten Thousand Things, an installation of porcelain art showing some of the cylindrical “things” hidden behind others; and The White Road, a book of creative non-fiction about the histories of porcelain, some hidden behind others. I first came upon DeWaal and his provocative work in a recent radio/podcast interview with KCRW’s “Bookworm” Michael Silverblatt, and then at the Gagosian Gallery’s show of his cabinets lined with cylinders and cups thrown in porcelain. Both were resonant, a quiet, but thrilling combination of words and images. Between The White Road and Ten Thousand Things, the essence of human nature is invoked, felt in the poetry and the rhythms, seen in the black and the white, glimpsed in the hidden and the revealed. And what is its truth, but that we need to be seen and to hide, need the imperfect to believe the perfect is still within our grasp. We are all saints and sinners, heroes and villains, victims and abusers who follow the road, and along the way, beg to find some empathy among the shards.