Dual Natures in Ceramics: Eight Contemporary Artists from Korea / SFO Museum, San Francisco
May 17, 2014 - February 22, 2015
“In modern art, as everyone knows, the beauty of deformity is very often emphasized, insisted upon. But how different is Korean deformity. The former is produced deliberately, the latter naturally. Korean work is merely the natural result of the artisan’s state of mind, which is free from dualistic man-made rules.”
—Bernard Leach (1887–1979)
Renowned British studio potter Bernard Leach once acknowledged that Korean potters are admired for their naturalism and spontaneity in creating ceramics. Scholars have attempted to define the beauty of Korean ceramics as “artless art” or “unplanned plan.” Indeed, Korean ceramics have been produced by the second nature of matured, skilled hands, sometimes transcending any rules, knowledge, and intentions.
Taking Roots II: Haejung Lee / Ceramics Park Gallery, New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taiwan
February 24 - April 8, 2012
"Everyone, even animals and plants, accustoms to new environments and new circumstances as time goes by. In order to understand and get used to a new environment, one only needs time. My previous work was about figuring out my identity, understanding different cultures and establishing myself in new environments (the transition from Korea to America). I am now in a constant process of adjusting new situations as a female artist, a wife and further more - as a mom. I want to present my Korean cultural background through new objects that illustrate the natural and architectural landscape." Hae-Jung Lee
Korean born Haejung Lee received her first Master of Fine Art concentrating on ceramics at Kyung Hee University in South Korea in 2002 and a second master’s degree in ceramics at Louisiana State University in 2008. She has been an Artist-in-residence at The Banff Centre in Canada and at Guldagergård-International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark in 2003 and 2004. She presents her work internationally and has been awarded several remarkable prizes such as best of show, award of distinction, silver prize as well as others in both Korea and USA. In summer 2009 she participated in the 5th World Ceramic Biannual Show Korea (CEBIKO) and directed the exhibition “Affinity” which also included many American ceramic artists.
Interview with South Korean ceramic artist Chang Hyun Bang - New artist, June-July 2011
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Ceramics Now Magazine: In what techniques do you usually work and what materials do you use?
Chang Hyun Bang: I usually use two different techniques for my artworks. One is slab-building for the architecture, the other is plaster-casting for the swine. I use stoneware for the architecture, firing at cone 04 while porcelain clay for the swine, firing at cone 6.
What is your present project, what’s its history and how do you make the pieces?
I have been interested in expressing my personal emotion derived from my own trauma through swine’s body language. Most of all, depression, anxiety, desire, obsession from my daily lives, and subtle emotions indescribable through language have been important sources for my inspiration. My recent works ‘Secret Garden’ represent my personal story hidden in the flowers. The universal meanings of flowers were subverted with my personal narrative in my artworks. But viewers are given a clue through the text to decode my secret story with the flowers.
Demosirorooo, 2009, 50 x 32 x 39, 2009, clay, glaze, decal - View his works
Do you remember your early works, how did it all started?
When I look back on my early works, I seem to be interested in expressing my ‘contradictory desire’ and ‘phenomenological things’ such as the absence and presence of a thing. I usually loved using big words that I couldn’t fully understand. But that kind of questions are very helpful to my recent works.