Landscape of the Heart:
- a ceramic exhibition by Sung Jae Choi
Date: Thursday, 25 February 2021 | Time : 6.00 p.m. IST
Buncheong ware, or Punch'ong, is a form of traditional Korean stoneware, which take on a bluish-green or grayish-green colour tone on the body after glazing and firing and are then overlaid with white through the application of white-clay slip. Decorative designs are painted on the white slip using an iron pigment. It is the variations in decoration according to the white slip technique that characterizes the Buncheong style.
The clay and the glaze are basically a continuation of celadon but the clay body for Buncheong has a lower iron content than celadon clay, making Buncheong brighter in colour.
This style of stoneware originated in Korea in the 14th century and continues to
be created today. Variations in the making process from region to region and in different periods were factors that led to the diversification of Buncheong as a style.
Sung Jae Choi's exhibition Landscape of the Heart, is divided into 4 thematic sections, each dealing with a specific process that emphasises harmonious forms of the natural world without as well as the peaceful landscape within.
Here below are the 4 sections as described by the artist:
1. Bunchang Buncheong
In my Buncheong ceramic work, the process of applying a white slip and drawing on the surface of the vessel are two very important steps. This allows creative expression as a painting instead of decorative patterns. With traces of physical properties and a production process that embodies a free-spirited dynamic, Bunjang Buncheong ceramics lead to a harmonious expression of inner and outer landscapes.
As for the drawing methods, a white clay slip is used and applied with a paste brush. The aim is to soak a vessel in white clay slip or to pour the slip on the surface of a vessel with a gourd, before removal or retention of the half-dried slip on the surface with tools such as hands, tree branches, straws and bamboo knives. A pictorial image is made on the surface of the vessel, based on the contrast between the dark blue colour sourced from soil rich in iron and the white clay slip.
As for the drawing methods, a white clay slip is used and applied with a
paste brush. The aim is to soak a vessel in white clay slip or to pour the slip on the surface of a vessel with a gourd, before removal or retention of the half-dried slip on the surface with tools such as hands, tree branches, straws and bamboo knives. A pictorial image is made on the surface of the vessel, based on the contrast between the dark blue colour sourced from soil rich in iron and the white clay slip.
A drawing can lead to effective expression where the physical properties of the
soft white clay slip with water are represented as abstract paintings or natural landscape images. The images are revealed only just before the white clay slip is absorbed into the surface of a half-dried vessel. Pictorial characteristics and formativeness are provided by the strokes of a guiyal (rough brush) that looking at first like indifferent scribbling, gradually, with each and every hand stroke, unveil the landscape of the mind, a world of reverberated abstract images reminiscent of a scroll of a black-and-white painting.
Many of my Buncheong drawings show the image of a duck and from the image the viewer is led from the abstract traces of an action to a world of contemplation. The image, landscape and obscure memories together form an introspective connection between the audience and the artist.
2. The Blue Landscape: Theme and Concept of Porcelain Cobalt Blue Slip Work
The free expressivity and vivid painting characteristics of white and cobaltic
decorated ceramics are used to express a landscape in the mind that contains nature through thought and contemplation with the lingering imagery and a tempered aesthetic. The images of white and cobaltic decoration and drawing create the abstract images of moments drawn from natural scenery such as, for example, the sight of a lake, waterside, water plants, waves, wind, fog, sky, sunlight, clouds, night, dawn, daylight.
3. Iron pigment painted Buncheong
My iron pigment painted Buncheong is a work that paints white slip on dark stoneware clay containing a lot of iron. The process combines abstract images of the scholar painters (문인화) style, which were expressed by scraping out the image with wooden sticks, fingers or with a brush. A white slip is first applied on the pots and the surface of white clay is scratched off the margin with a brush and a nail or awl to unveil the image. The focus is on the abstract leading to the landscape of the heart, where contrasting elements co-exist in harmony.
4. Life Sound: Color slip work
With a repeated process, unexpected harmony, like moments and traces of everyday life, with the depth of a natural layer of colours, are revealed as a beautiful and exuberant abstract image. The harmony of colours and the voluminous shape is reminiscent of a sound akin to powerful life force that can endure for many years to come.
Acclaimed Korean ceramicist Sung Jae Choi who has several exhibitions to his credit, is a glaze specialist whose works are included in many prestigious collections around the world. He is currently Head of the Graduate School and Professor in the Department of Traditional Art & Craft at The Korea National University of Cultural Heritage in Buyeo, Korea.
Sung Jae Choi: Biography
1985 Bachelor of Ceramics, Fine Arts School, Hongik University, Seoul, Korea.
1990 Master of Ceramics, Graduate School of Fine Arts, Hongik University, Seoul, Korea.
Until 1992 Worked as a designer at Korea's Traditional Ceramics Research Institute to modernize the aesthetic sense and function of traditional ceramics.
1993 to 1994 Worked as a resident and as a visiting artist at Banff Art Center in Canada, Long Beach University, Art Farm and The Clay Studio in U.S.A.
1995 Returned to Korea and regularly presented ceramics lectures and ceramic work at Universities and participated in many international ceramic workshops.
2006 Guest Professor at New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University (U.S.A)
Since 1999 Member of the International Academy of Ceramics (Switzerland), Korea Contemporary Ceramic Arts Association and currently a member of the International Committee of Korea Ceramic Arts Foundation.
Since 2002 Professor of Ceramics at the Department of Traditional Arts & Crafts, Korea National University of Cultural Heritage in Buyeo and currently the Head of the Graduate School.
Since 2017 Guest Professor at Jingdezhen Ceramic University (China)
38 solo ceramic exhibitions in Korea, USA, Canada, Japan to date and has participated in over 300 domestic and overseas invitational group exhibitions.
Works exhibited in 40 domestic and foreign art museums, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in U.K., Sevres National Museum of Ceramics in France, The Art Institute of Chicago and Philadelphia Museum in the U.S., Korea National Contemporary Arts Museum and Korea Ceramic Foundation.
Click on www.inkocentre.org/Virtual_Connect_Cultural_Collaborations.html to view this exhibition at Prism - InKo Centre's virtual gallery, on Thursday, 25 February 2021 at 6.00 p.m. IST.