Yoonjee Kwak: Unnatural Nature is on view at Vetri, Seattle
September 2 – October 2, 2021
Vetri is excited to present new works by Seattle-based artist Yoonjee Kwak. In this series, Yoonjee explores vessels as a metaphor for human nature.
Yoonjee Kwak makes sculptural vessels to represent human beings as iconic symbols from the Korean culture. In Korea, when people talk about someone’s personality, they often use “vessel” as a metaphor of one’s spirit of tolerance. Yoonjee’s interactive conversation with the clay is vital to her process—she slowly builds up clay coils from the bottom, allowing her hand marks to remain on the surface. Through this process of building, memories of patience and time come into her pieces, and she is able to create a meaningful record of her practice.
Clay allows me to tell the story of my memories that are left behind from diverse and unpredictable relationships between others and myself. My memories are expressed by using precarious and fragile forms. These memories can be represented in my work through exploration of the duality between weakness and strength.Yoonjee Kwak
Originally from South Korea, Yoonjee currently is a resident artist at Pottery Northwest in Seattle WA after finishing her long-term residency at the Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts in Helena MT (2017-2019). Her works have been shown in a variety of national and international exhibitions including Korea, Turkey, Italy etc. as well as many states in the USA. She earned her MFA in ceramics at the School for American Crafts at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in 2014 and her BFA in ceramics and glass at Hong-Ik University in Seoul, South Korea in 2012. She was a resident artist and taught ceramics classes at RIT from 2014– 2017. In 2020, she was one of the recipients of the James Renwick Alliance Chrysalis Award for emerging artist in Ceramics as well as the Emerging Artist Award in Ceramics Monthly Magazine in 2016.
1404 First Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
Photo credit: Ben Lerman