Siamese Bird Vase by Yeni Mao


Siamese Bird Vase
designed 2007
Jingdezhen porcelain in custom black gift box
approximately 3¼ x 5 x 4 inches
edition of 175
signed and numbered


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This exquisitely crafted limited edition porcelain vase depicts two headless birds perching on separate rocks and conjoined at the breast. At once traditionally poetic and decidedly aberrant. Mao’s Siamese Bird Vase is the perfect object for a unique gift or as a collectible tabletop item.

Yeni Mao is a New York-based artist whose work primarily explores the duality of exchanges (bodily, personal, cultural, national), metamorphosis, and transformation. Each of these themes is equally present in this vase that evolved during Mao’s recent artist residency in China. During his travels. Mao discovered the Sanbao Ceramics Institute located in the city of Jingdezhen, an area famed for its porcelain. The clay from Jingdezhen has been the source of Imperial Chinese porcelain ware for thousands of years, and it was this longstanding tradition that inspired Mao — the first generation son of Chinese immigrants — to rethink its use in a contemporary object.

Mao’s very presence in China as a Modern-day Western instantly and critically engages certain aspects of cultural dualism, and so it is only fitting that he chose one of the most traditional Chinese industrial crafts for this new project. The morphed and intertwined torsos of the birds becomes the physical elaboration of Mao’s interest in transformation and change, while his further choice to replace the birds’ heads with the opening for the vase invites the user to engage himself in this dialogue and give these birds an identity of their own, subject to whim. You can learn more about Yeni's artwork by visiting his website: