Salt Lake City, UT, 84106
I was born and educated in Seoul, Korea. I have studied art since I was 4 years old and was exposed to all kinds of art including graphic design, water color, oil painting, textile dying and clay. I attended art schools for junior and senior high school and for college I was finally drawn to clay because it is so flexible and pliable to work with, and then when fired, is enduring. On the surface art is beauty that humans can enjoy but expresses the suffering we have to face.
I came to the US for graduate study to expand further from the constraints of Korean traditional forms with perfectly symmetrical, high-fire glazed, thrown forms with very subdued earthy colors. Here I could explore the colors and clays that allowed me the freedom to create in a way that was unavailable to me in Korea. I approach my work like a graphical artist but clay lets me create 3-dimensional graphical art that is tactile, enduring and with a much deeper pallet of forms, colors, shadow and light.
My influences come from many sources. When I was growing up my Dad was a psychiatrist and he influenced me to view the world from a philosophical viewpoint. Through him I learned of Freud the idea of the id and the ego–two different sides of human nature. Other influences in my life are the Buddhist idea that life is suffering. From my adopted Christianity I learned of faith in spite of adversity.
My family was always exploring the natural world and I remember going to visit lakes and the ocean and I saw the movement of the whirlpools and eddies in the motion of the water. I loved the reflection of the sun shimmering on the water. The elasticity of clay lets me create the movement of water, the softness of fabric, the reflection of light that remain in my memory.
Through my work I express the feeling of UemYang (Ying and Yang in Chinese), the basis of the philosophy that I grew up with. Through the philosophy of UemYang, in the universe, everything comes in pairs: Earth and sky, fire and water, hardness and softness, positive and negative space. With my work I can form plastic clay into fluid forms that bring the feeling of cloth that flows
yet in fired clay it is heavy and hard.