Amanda Tong

Based between Hong Kong and Japan, Hong Kong ceramics artist Amanda was trained in Ceramic Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. With a real passion for the subject, Amanda graduated with a First Class Honours and went straight on to establish her own label – Amanda Tong Ceramics. Her work has been exhibited in London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong.

As a ceramic designer-maker, she aspires to raise awareness of the artistic value in traditional craftsmanship through retelling forgotten stories and revisiting rituals within different cultures.

Mahjong is the national essence of China and carries more than a century of history and culture. By reintroducing mahjong with ceramics, Amanda’s work aims to bring awareness of both of these traditional crafts (hand-carved mahjong & ceramics) through a contemporary experience, encouraging everyone to pay more attention to the handcrafts and their skillful Masters, together preserving and inheriting these “intangible cultural heritage”. 

Inspired by the traditional game of mahjong and the craft of mahjong carving, ‘Hear As You Touch’ (聽牌) and ‘Touch As You Hear’ (自摸) are two sets of ceramic interactive installations specially designed and created for Classic Craft, Modern Meaning. The creative process comes from two fundamental elements  – sound and touch.

In the game of mahjong, players will shout across different terms, such as: ‘Sheung (上)’, ‘Pong (碰)’, ‘Kong (槓)’ to notify others of their moves. When the mahjong tiles shuffle or collide with the table, various sounds are produced. What if these sounds were brought to life with a new material? What could it sound like? 

Slide the porcelain mahjong tiles across the bars and discover it for yourself! 

Among the mahjong tiles patterns, Bamboo (索子) and Circles (筒子) were the two patterns that Amanda learned most in Master Cheung’s carving class. He only uses one tool to carve most of the patterns on the mahjong tiles, and there is a very special wooden device for carving the Circles.  

Instead of the standard colours for the mahjong tiles patterns, the porcelain mahjong tiles use blue as the main color for the carved patterns, imitating the blue and white porcelain (青花瓷), and highlighting the material of ceramics.

On the other hand, ‘Touch As You Hear’ is made with unpainted mahjong tiles. Mahjong is a game filled with a sense of touch, and some skilled mahjong players only need to touch the carved patterns with their fingertips to be able to tell what pattern it is (‘甩牌‘). Inspired by this and the tactile quality of ceramics, the interactive artwork is designed to encourage people to touch and feel each individually carved pattern in order to figure out the winning combinations (The answers are shown at the back of the tiles). 

This artwork is supported and sponsored by: