Archive: South Korea
Korean vases: Imperfection gives way to stunning results

Korean vases: Imperfection gives way to stunning results

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase Thousand, 2012. Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24K gold leaf. Dimensions variable, Korea Artist Prize, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
Translated Vase Thousand, 2012. Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24K gold leaf. Dimensions variable, Korea Artist Prize, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea

Yeesookyung is a South Korean artist living in Seoul. She is known for her complex and enchanting ceramic designs and sculptures. The Translated series series, like many of her works, is made up of shards and fragments of broken ceramic pieces that are carefully pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle. Yeesookyung created her Translated Vase back in 2002 after she observed discarded trash from the ceramic master Lim Hang Taek glimmering in the sunlight. The reflection of light from the shards and the organic forms of the cracks inspired her craft.

To create the Translated Vase, Yeesookyung uses epoxy resin to glue together the different fragments of the broken pots. To make the fissures and the cracks more prominent, Yeesookyung uses 24-carat gold leaf for glazing. The gold acts as the perfect addition to complement the beautifully misshapen fractures of the re-constructed vase.

The biomorphic form of the vessel helps to capture the eye immediately as the repurposed pottery created manages to surpass the original beauty of the vase. The Translated Vase combines the delicate fragility of ceramic pottery with the fortified strength of the glue and the gold, the end result of which is something truly magnificent. Yeesookyung covers the cracks in gold because the Korean word for crack and gold is similar. The use of products that share the same name also helps to add an element of humor to the work.

Yeesookyung’s technique in pottery, as stunning as it may be is not new. For years, artists in Korea have been reconstructing and rebuilding discarded ceramic pieces that would typically be considered trash in other parts of the world. The waste is sometimes restored to create new Korean ceramics while others like Yeesookyung’s are used as art. This art form, known as Kinstukuroi also uses metals such as platinum and silver for the repairing process.

The Translated Vase represents the struggle that all individuals face in life. The cracks on the vase represent the wounds that are formed from the struggle while the gold represents the beauty and maturity that people experience when they overcome suffering. Aside from denoting the suffering, Yeesookyung’s attention to detail helped to break the ceramic tradition that insists on perfection.

Rather than discard a perfect piece, like a master potter would, Yeesookyung chose to create new forms from the useless pieces to emphasize that imperfection can also give way to stunning beauty. It is safe to say that the Translated Vase succeeded in channeling the imperfections and irregularities that exist in nature.

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2009, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24K gold leaf. Dimensions variable
Translated Vase, 2009, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24K gold leaf. Dimensions variable”

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase (Detail), 2009, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24K gold leaf. Dimensions variable
Translated Vase (Detail), 2009, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24K gold leaf. Dimensions variable

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2011, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24k gold leaf 13 × 12 3:5 × 12 3:5 in 33 × 32 × 32 cm
Translated Vase, 2011, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24k gold leaf, 33 × 32 × 32 cm”

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2010, Ceramic trash, epoxy, 24 k gold leaf, 34 cm diameter
Translated Vase, 2010, Ceramic trash, epoxy, 24 k gold leaf, 34 cm diameter

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2014, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24-carat gold leaf 44 x 44 x 44 cm (17.32 x 17.32 x 17.32 in)
Translated Vase, 2014, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24-carat gold leaf 44 x 44 x 44 cm

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2010, Ceramic trash, epoxy, 24 k gold leaf, 61 x 47 x 52 cm
Translated Vase, 2010, Ceramic trash, epoxy, 24 k gold leaf, 61 x 47 x 52 cm

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2010, Ceramic trash, epoxy, 24 k gold leaf, 44 x 50 x 44 cm
Translated Vase, 2010, Ceramic trash, epoxy, 24 k gold leaf, 44 x 50 x 44 cm

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2010, Ceramic trash, epoxy, 24 k gold leaf, 37 x 31 x 34 cm
Translated Vase, 2010, Ceramic trash, epoxy, 24 k gold leaf, 37 x 31 x 34 cm

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2007, Ceramic trash, aluminum bar, epoxy, 24K gold leaf, 43 x 45 x 49cm
Translated Vase, 2007, Ceramic trash, aluminum bar, epoxy, 24K gold leaf, 43 x 45 x 49cm

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2008, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24k gold leaf 35 × 20 1:2 × 19 3:10 in 89 × 52 × 49 cm
Translated Vase, 2008, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24k gold leaf, 89 × 52 × 49 cm

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2009, Ceramic Shards, Epoxy, 24k Gold Leaf, 160 x 92 x 95 cm
Translated Vase, 2009, Ceramic Shards, Epoxy, 24k Gold Leaf, 160 x 92 x 95 cm

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2010, ceramic trash, epoxy, 24 karat gold leaf 135 x 85 x 85 cm
Translated Vase, 2010, ceramic trash, epoxy, 24 karat gold leaf, 135 x 85 x 85 cm”

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2010, ceramic trash, epoxy, 24 karat gold leaf 158 x 90 x 90 cm
Translated Vase, 2010, ceramic trash, epoxy, 24 karat gold leaf, 158 x 90 x 90 cm

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2016, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24K gold leaf_174(h) x 128 x 120cm
Translated Vase, 2016, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24K gold leaf, 174 x 128 x 120cm

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2011, Ceramic trash, epoxy, 24K gold leaf,, 66 x 64 x 97cm
Translated Vase, 2011, Ceramic trash, epoxy, 24K gold leaf, 66 x 64 x 97cm

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2009, Ceramic shards, aluminum bars, epoxy resin, 24K gold leaf, 122x84x81cm
Translated Vase, 2009, Ceramic shards, aluminum bars, epoxy resin, 24K gold leaf, 122 x 84 x 81 cm

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2014, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24K gold leaf, 220x110x100cm
Translated Vase, 2014, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24K gold leaf, 220 x 110 x 100 cm”

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase, 2007, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24K gold leaf, 120x210x95cm. Collection of National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea.
Translated Vase, 2007, Ceramic shards, epoxy, 24K gold leaf, 120 x 210 x 95cm, Collection of National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase (Installation View), 2009, Ceramic trash, aluminum bar, epoxy, 24K gold leaf, 85 x 170 x 80cm 2
Installation View of Translated Vase, 2009, Ceramic trash, aluminum bar, epoxy, 24K gold leaf, 85 x 170 x 80cm

Yeesookyung - Translated Vase (Installation View), 2009, Ceramic trash, aluminum bar, epoxy, 24K gold leaf, 85 x 170 x 80cm
Installation View of Translated Vase, 2009, Ceramic trash, aluminum bar, epoxy, 24K gold leaf, 85 x 170 x 80cm


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Serving in the military inspired these red paintings

Serving in the military inspired these red paintings

Sea Hyun Lee - Between Red_101, 2010, oil on linen, 300x300cm

Sea Hyun Lee - Between Red_101, 2010, oil on linen, 300x300cm
Sea Hyun LeeBetween Red_101, 2010, oil on linen, 300x300cm

South Korea’s traditional illustrative and art history is immovable; however, cultural and artistic experimentation will always be relentless. Sea Hyun Lee demonstrates his understanding of just how true the above statement is through his art. He manages to join the two forces of past and present together to create Between the Red.

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Artist mocks Koons highest priced work using garbage bags

Artist mocks Koons highest priced work using garbage bags

Gimhongsok - Canine Construction, 2009, bronze
GimhongsokCanine Construction, 2009, 164x231x90cm

This Canine Construction by South Korean artist, Gimhongsok is one that anyone would fall in love with, coupled with the enigmatic quality it has. This work is the sculpture of a dog remains one of the artist’s most well-known works in recent times. The creation involved using garbage bags, balloons, cardboard boxes, all assembled with expensive materials like resin.

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Beautiful sculptures made entirely from soap

Beautiful sculptures made entirely from soap

Meekyoung Shin - Crouching Aphrodite, 2002
Meekyoung ShinCrouching Aphrodite, 2002

Meekyoung Shin, a South Korean sculptor, became popular for her Translation series, using soap as her medium of art. Trained in the tradition of European sculpture, her statuettes are made factoring in the Western and Eastern style of relief. Her works are usually made from palm oil, a vegetarian soap.

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75% of this country might turn into a desert. How is this artist dealing with it?

75% of this country might turn into a desert. How is this artist dealing with it?

Daesung Lee - Futuristic Archeology
Daesung LeeFuturistic Archeology

Daesung Lee’s Futuristic Archeology project deals with the nomadic people of Mongolia. Although Mongolia has seen increasing modernization and urbanization in recent decades, approximately 35% of Mongolians still live a traditional nomadic lifestyle, thus depending on the vast land and their relationship with the land to survive. However, environmental changes have put their way of life in grave danger, as the land is becoming at risk of desertification.

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German photographer visits North and South Korea

German photographer visits North and South Korea

Thomas Struth – Semi Submersible Rig, DSME Shipyard, Geoje Island, 2007
Thomas Struth – Semi Submersible Rig, DSME Shipyard, Geoje Island, 2007

ABOUT STRUTH’S WORKS IN KOREA

In March 2007, Thomas Struth went on a first trip to South Korea. He spent time in the two largest cities, Seoul and Busan, as well as visiting religious and cultural sites, important landscapes and shipyards. At the vast DSME shipyard on Geoje Island, one of the largest in the world, he photographed tankers under construction and an immense semi-submersible drilling rig. Struth made two further visits to South Korea in 2008 and 2010, as well as visiting Pyongyang in North Korea for the first time.

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Optical illusion billboard by Hawaiian artist in SouthKorea

Optical illusion billboard by Hawaiian artist in SouthKorea

Cayetano Ferrer, Daejeon City
Cayetano Ferrer – Daejeon City #1, 2007

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