Next in show - Zhu Ohmu

HANNAH-ROSE YEE AND AMY CAMPBELL, Vogue, March 1, 2023

As part of the new Vogue Vanguard series, which highlights exciting talent in all creative fields, we select six female artists who represent our visionary spirit right now. 

 

Zhu Ohmu

Droopy, bulging, lopsided and wonky, Zhu Ohmu’s imperfectly perfect forms are human-like in their demeanour. Yet her distinctive artistic style emerged as a subversive strategy to explore the possibility of emulating the mechanical process of 3D printing sculptures by hand. “It’s like an inversion of biomimicry,” she explains of the concept.

 

Born in Taipei, Ohmu’s family immigrated to New Zealand when she was seven. Four years later, they moved to Shanghai, then back to Auckland, where the budding artist found a mentor in her high school art teacher. “She saw something in the grotesque and macabre teenage art I was making,” recalls Ohmu. She was also a talented mathematician – her love of problem solving informs her practice today – but her maths and arts subjects kept clashing, so she committed to the artistic route.

 

 

Ohmu graduated art school with a background in painting and drawing but taught herself how to sculpt by watching videos online and “asking lots of questions at the local kiln”. “I love the intimacy of touch that explores the transitional space where clay vacillates between formless and form. My pieces are often pushed to their structural limits.”

 

An exploration of the entangled relationships between machines, human and non-human ecologies, her oeuvre demonstrates the strength, intricacy and intimacy that comes with making by hand. Being part of a new generation of Australian artists who are “alert and educated about

issues of social justice and environmental sustainability” excites her. She’s the architect of a gravity-defying work soon to be on display at NGV’s Melbourne Now, and there are a host of fashion and interior brands eager to collaborate with the talent. AC .

 

 

 

13 
of 241