Bended

September 1, 2022 - December 7, 2022
Karl and Helen Burger Gallery
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Jerome China

About the Exhibition

Bended, by artist Jerome China, is an exploration of reimagined, recycled and reused metals made into sculpture. The identity of each piece is formed through several individual remnants, which are fused together to compose an entirely new art piece with its own story to tell.

China first drew inspiration from witnessing artwork being made from scrap metal at a welding shop. He immediately wanted to learn how to weld and make his own pieces.

China allows the creative process to unfold and constantly challenges himself to design abstract pieces that are intriguing and varied from normal, everyday objects.

Making sculpture out of discarded scrap metal and giving it new life and meaning appeals to China. “I am usually pleasantly surprised with the viewers' interpretation of the work and never concern myself if what they perceive is different from what I had in mind," he says. With a sense of peace, he feels that once the artwork is completed, it no longer belongs to him, but to the public. Without the arts, "life would be empty, meaningless and boring as hell," according to China.

China has exhibited his art in New York, New Jersey, Barbados and Philadelphia.

About the Artist

New Jersey sculptor Jerome China was born November 28, 1961 in Richmond, Virginia, and is best known for his abstract metal sculptures made from rusted and discarded scrap metal, automobile gears and other industrial detritus. His pieces are a fusion of found metal, impulsive ideation and life context.

China started his career in 2012 and received his early training as the first artist-in-residence at All Iron Works commercial welding and fabrication shop, currently located in Hoboken, N.J. In addition, he studied with blacksmith Paul Januz at Gravity Line Forge. These artist-residence experiences provided a balanced foundation in welding, blacksmithing and metallurgy. China has lived in New York and Virginia and he currently resides in Northern New Jersey.

Artist Statement

My work gives new life and meaning to scrap and discarded metal. Each piece has made a unique imprint in the world and has reached its “end of life.” I duly respect the life imprint on these objects, but also seek to creatively revive them.

I enjoy the creative process that looks at objects through a different lens, at times inspired by external context, and at other times drawing inspiration from the innate story I interpret from each metal object.

Found metal sculpting demands an appreciation of random form and texture, as well as the ability to visualize a composition where disparate found pieces find a home. I attempt to use the objects in a way so that they are not readily recognizable by the viewer. Although the pieces have been transformed, they still carry the memory of their former function. Their meaning is essentially multiplied, amplified and reinvented as a piece of art.

In the Press

The sculptor's Lighter Side of Darkness Metal Sculpture Garden really comes to life.
-  David Menzies, NJ.Com