From the FireContemporary Korean Ceramics

October 7 – December 31, 2006

Above: Eun Me Kim, Flat Jar, 1994, Porcelain base and fire brick powder

This compelling and comprehensive survey of the finest of contemporary Korean ceramics, many created especially for this tour, is a journey through the past to the present. The 90 works in the exhibition incorporate traditional techniques with new influences and innovative methods to create both functional and sculptural works. Nearly every aspect of ceramic art is represented from clean lines, smooth surfaces and established techniques to playful designs, modern perspective, and colorful, energetic forms that give new life to this traditional art form. Reflecting on the mountainous, rugged landscape of Korea or abstract geometric shapes of bold color and fresh designs, the works reveal the adventurous spirit of Korea’s ceramic tradition, 5,000 years after it began.

The 54 contemporary Korean artists in the exhibition range in age from 30 to 80 years old and come from many regions and schools; providing works that spotlight the distinct trends in contemporary Korean ceramics. They are internationally celebrated ceramists and many have participated in the World Ceramic Exposition in Seoul, Korea. Several artists have work featured in major museum collections around the world, such as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC; Victoria and Albert Museum in London, United Kingdom; and The Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Arts, Korea.

From the Fire: Contemporary Korean Ceramics is presented in three groups: Work with Traditional Implications, Ceramic Sculpture and Individual Direction. The categories reveal a progression that conveys the development of contemporary ceramics in Korea. Many of the artists have developed new treatments using the traditional ceramic wares of Korean punch’ong (celadon ware) and Onggi (Korean earthenware). Some artists reference particular styles from the Chosun Period (1392 – 1910 AD) and the Koryo Period (918 – 1391 AD) in their work. The exhibition marks the first time a Korean curator has selected this number of contemporary ceramics from Korea for exhibition in the United States.

The national tour of From the Fire: Contemporary Korean Ceramics has been organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC, and made possible by the generous support of The Korea Foundation, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Mr. Nam-Kil Yang, and the Korean Culture & Arts Foundation.