Kathleen Y. Clark Publishes New Book "The White House China"

President No. 45, Southern White House China, Service for 12, Dinner Plates, c. 2020. Kathleen Y. Clark from “The White House China.” (Courtesy of Kathleen Y. Clark)

Southern California-based multimedia artist and photographer Kathleen Y. Clark, M.F.A. ’93, recently published The White House China, a provocative new book filled with photographic and mixed media reconstructions based on dinnerware collections at the presidential residence in Washington, D.C.

The project was inspired by a trip Clark took to Washington, DC, back in 2016. After touring the White House, including the official china collection and various museums on the national mall, inspiration struck. “I was looking through an old case of transparencies I have of antique engravings on the history of slavery,” says Clark. “The images struck me as looking like toile patterns, and I realized slavery illustrations could combine with china patterns and they would look as though they belonged together. That’s when I recalled the presidential china.”

Clark’s work focuses on highlighting the contradictions within each president’s term. Each painstakingly produced image depicts an updated version of the administrations’ official designs. The art and book shine a light on the often destructive events which happened by decision or neglect within each administration, providing a stark contrast to the assumption of civilization and culture set around historic dining tables. Clark’s book is receiving noteworthy reviews, including a recent cover story for LA Weekly.

In her work, Clark explores themes of environment, language, home, family and history. While at UCI, Clark worked as a teaching assistant for prolific social justice artists and professors, including Daniel Joseph Martinez and Pat Ward Williams. She has exhibited works in galleries such as CoCA in Seattle, the Portland Art Museum, Southern Exposure in San Francisco and LACE in Los Angeles. If you would like more information about the artist and to buy the book, visit: kathleenclarkphoto.com.

For UCI Alumni resources, visit engage.alumni.uci.edu
Are you an Arts Alum? Learn ways to stay connected at www.arts.uci.edu/alumni
Questions or stories? Contact artsalumni@uci.edu.

Please visit our secure direct giving page and make a gift today!

Make a Gift

CONNECT - Winter 2021

Jump to Story