Ceramics is such an enchanting area which has numerous creative possibilities, especially contemporary ceramics with its boundless approaches. Clay is an intriguing and impressive medium, the ceramic material becomes fertile territory for experimentation and potential creative speculation within contemporary art. Its versatility of expression with unique materiality allows the ceramic artist to increasingly utilize the material to create and produce outstanding aesthetic results; creating an ambiguity to define ceramic and place it in particular categories breaking down the territories that exist between Art, Design and Craft.
Having a curiosity in this interesting movement to question the differences between the conventional and unconventional definition in ceramics, I started questioning the traditional value of ceramics and new possibilities of expression in my work. While keeping craftsman perspective from my previous education in Korea in term of the technical skills with a refinement of the objects, I contemplate the ceramic as vessel but losing its functionality from historical context. The object has a vessel form but it does not have a practical usage, more being decorative and expressive while having another visual dialogues. This process was thought-provoking for me as I torn between maker and artist, I like to consider the compatibility of both the traditional alongside contemporary aspects and this affects my development.
Therefore, my work has developed from contemplating the area between function and non-function to seek the possibilities which cross the borders between design products to the artistic object. In particularly, this collection called “Tasty: recollection of memories” is all about the time that I miss the most. It’s a personal story related to my childhood memories built up by senses, especially focusing on the sense of taste, which reminds me of certain emotional moment such as sweetness brings me to the happiest moment with my dad in the playground. Every object has popping colours with odd textures which is almost like a candy with a sweet fragrance from my imagination as a young child from my retrospect. I hope this extraordinary object can be sensually provocative and imaginative for the viewers while capturing special emotions and memories towards viewer’s retrospect.
Jongjin Park is a talented artist from South Korea who likes to challenge the old techniques and experiment with new possibilities. One innovation is a new form which he developed by blending paper into clay. These two distinct materials come together and become porcelain paper, a discovery that has expanded the limits of the ceramic world.
Park used kitchen towels with porcelain to create the “Artistic Stratum” ceramic series. Kitchen towels are soft, flexible, with strong absorption, and cost-effective, which enabled him to experiment in different ways. Talking about the requirements for selecting materials, Park indicates that his concern is whether or not the material might imply some content in his works. “There is nothing to do with the aesthetic. I always want to tell a story, even if it is a small object. I work for coexistence. Material property sometimes can express various stories,” says Park.
His working process starts with laying paper coated with slip until they form a larger mass, then brushing individual pieces and moving them to the kiln piece-by-piece. He fires the clay and paper at high temperature (1280 degrees) that turns them into solid ceramics. They are so solid that they can be carved and cut easily by using electronic tools like Dremels and sanders, because there are thin spaces between each paper layer. Eventually, these works are “paper-like, but definitely ceramic,” Park says. “This material can be used as porcelain after glazing. I can layer thousands of pieces and only brush slip on the edge side, just like using some 3D printing techniques. It will become a natural container after the firing process.” Park’s works guarantee beautiful visual effects and also inject new energy to the ceramic world.
My artwork utilizes a technique of using a wheel thrown to mold a circular cylinder, as well as decorating with a pattern using repetition and transformation of “dot, line, and face”. Among the various ways of creating shapes in ceramic works, I choose a method of wheel thrown because it is the most efficient way to make bi-symmetry shape. Further, to maximize the advantages of using a wheel thrown, not only did I utilize it to mold, but also decorate, finish, etc. In other words, my whole work process is getting the best out of using a wheel thrown.
The decoration which is processed by the wheel thrown is made on the surface of a bi-symmetrical cylinder, and, of course, all the process of molding and decoration are ended up on the wheel thrown. By developing the wheel throwing technique of decoration, I have overcome the monotonous symmetrical shapes which is usual form coming from the wheel thrown molding. Moreover, I have also widened a way of decoration to use wheel thrown, as I have studied the way in which we can decorate the pattern on the surface of the object.
JIM EUI KIM
My work explores how the perception of three-dimensional ceramic forms can be manipulated by the application of tonal bands (18 different tones from light as white to dark as black) on their surfaces. Illusory spatial phenomena can appear and thus significantly influence the actual three-dimensional forms through the arrangement of the bands by using gradient in tone, width and interval between bands. The duration of the viewer’s attention, physical position and tone or colour of the background are also crucial influencing factors for the appearance of illusions.
I work in-between the concepts of illusion and reality and my work attracts viewers by visual phenomena as well as physical confusions appearing on the surface of the ceramic. Restricting or removing data (information) on the surface increases the chance of the viewer’s perception shifting between illusion and reality. Looking with half closed eyes, in the darker light and with distance, brings the illusion to life for me.