Luca Curci talks with Ingrid Houchin during the 6th Edition of LONDON CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR 2022, at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space.
Ingrid Houchin was born in Transylvania (Romania) and moved to Chicago (USA) to study Economics at the University of Chicago. It was there that she noticed Golden Bird by Constantin Brancusi. Its simplicity yet gentle exuberance spurred her first desire to create art. The artists holds a B.A in Economics from the University of Chicago and a Masters in International Economics and Finance from SDA Bocconi, Milan. Ingrid is primarily a self-taught sculptor, even though she attended ceramic classes at the Forest Row School of Ceramics and with Tanya Gomez. Her own style stems from trial and error and freedom of thought and process. Houchin sculptural work is influenced by the juxtaposition between the feminine and masculine energetic flow. She paints and sculpts in a modular fashion, introducing movement and multi-dimensionality in the porcelain structures she creates, which aim to explore our deepest feelings, those unseen moments we are trying to hide from the public eye. She often adds a layer of 24k gold as well as gemstones to further explore that dialogue of the external vs internal, of what is perceived and what is not, encouraging the viewer to want to take a deeper journey into the unseen. From the beginning, Ingrid has been attracted to Kintsugi, a 400-year-old Japanese technique. This stemmed from her belief that every flaw is inherently beautiful and provides a uniqueness which should be cherished. A few of the artist’s pieces which experience a natural distortion in the firing process are then completed in a very meditative process; through which she highlights their alternations from the intended original. Music and dancing play a critical role in their development, as she displaces her attention from the static to natural body movements, thus infusing her creativity with new ways of seeing, of evolving. When noticed, the naked eye is drawn to those fragments, desiring to explore their depths and understand their provenance.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Ingrid Houchin – Art is an expression of one’s deepest emotions, a continuation of an internal dialogue which seeks external engagement.
LC – What are you currently working on?
IH – I am currently exploring the female form through a new sculptural collection entitled Sensuality, embodying that moment when a female wakes amongst white satin sheets, gracefully stretching her body in full acceptance of her beauty, uniqueness and sensuality.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
IH – As a sculptor I find inspiration all around me, every form, shape, pattern has a potential of being incorporated in my work. I am particularly drawn to the juxtaposition between masculine and feminine energetic flow and the resonance the meeting of those energies creates.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
IH – Being an artist in 2023 is an exciting time. The world is experiencing heightened global dialogue across different themes but also a revisiting of old patterns and ways of thinking. The global landscape is prime for developing new paradigms and new lenses to explore life through.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
IH – My main themes of exploration are identity and freedom. I am naturally drawn to investigating evolution of human nature and psyche. I am heavily influenced by and drawn to technological development and quantum physics; the tension between those two subjects and how they continuously transform the human race. There is freedom which is lost but also freedom which is gained.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
IH – The theme of the exhibition; the exploration between body and space and the hybrid aspect of identities was a perfect merging of ideas between ITSLIQUID and my own internal and external investigations through the medium of sculpture. The question of “who am I”, is extremely relevant in the current socio-economic environment.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
IH – The 2 series on display at London Contemporary 2022-6th edition, Duality and Reflection illustrate my current exploration of the interplay between masculine and feminine energies. Duality represented by Betta fish, depicts the unexpected combination of male and female in one being; the outwardly air of femininity, sensuality and grace yet embodying masculine traits of strength and power as found in the aggressive nature of those radiant creatures. “Joseph” & “Self-reflection” are an interplay between external and internal. Joseph depicts the beauty and magnificence of the male body with his inherent desire to conceal true emotions in stark contrast with the feminine; Self-reflection, which is graceful, open, often wounded but ready to reveal her feelings and learn from them. The pieces incorporate kintsugi, an ancient Japanese art form I often apply in my work to highlight that everything can become anew, glistening with gold if we have the power and willingness to transform.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
IH – It was a pleasure collaborating with ITSLIQUID and YMX Art and I’m looking forward to participating in many more exhibitions.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
IH – The event was well organised, in spite of the logistical issues with the UK experiencing a period of transportation strikes and unexpected snowfall.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
IH – It was my first engagement with ITSLIQUID Group and my first exhibition. As an artist who is looking to expand beyond her horizons, I find the global outlook and inclusive approach to art exhilarating and very stimulating.