Korean Contemporary Ceramics at the Korean Society

By Wun Kuen Ng

The Korean Society hosted a small reception during Asia Week on Thursday, March 20, 2014 on 950 Third Avenue in New York.

A handful of people showed up to enjoy the Korean Contemporary Ceramics. Korean ceramics is a highly praised traditional art form. History showed that the expertise of Korean potters was desperately sought after by the Japanese.

The small collection has 20 pieces, and is rich in quality. The show was curated by Robert Turley who fell in love with Korean ceramics during a visit to Korea’s National Museum. Two of the eight artists, Yoon Kwang Cho and Kim Yik Yung, were recipients of Korea’s esteemed prize for contemporary art, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s Artist of the Year.

Cho uses buncheong, a traditional technique, which uses slip (liquid clay) on figures and forms. It adds spontaneity and vitality to the form. Yung’s porcelain had a refined faceted surface that plays with light.

Young Mi Kim’s ceramics were subject to several wood-firings, which tend to have a more rustic look. Shin Sang Ho’s ceramic was more of a sculpture, or slip painted stoneware in a form of a horse.

Min Kyu Lee’s porcelains had raised squares and negative space, which plays with texture. They are also slip cast porcelains.

Jong Sook Kang’s pieces include rows of ceramic apples on the wall. They cast a shadow of butterflies chasing an apple. It is a commentary on the immigrant experience.

Kim See Man’s buncheong vessels play with form and space. Ji Wan Joo’s eight celadon and white stoneware cubes reference Korea’s ancient tradition of geometric patterns in contemporary form.

A great way to support Korean art is to stop by to see the traditional art in a new light. For more info, please visit http://www.koreasociety.org.

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