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Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Asia Culture Center

Unconventional Ceramic Exhibition by Migrant Artists at ACC

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2024-05-08

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Release date:
Upon distribution
Distribution:
May 2024
Unconventional Ceramic Exhibition by Migrant Artists at ACC
-“Immigration of Ceramics,” the ACC’s first exhibition of ceramic art to be held starting April 18
- Examining contemporary ceramic art from immigrants’ perspective by July 28
- Three of the participating artists created some of their works at Chosun University in Gwangju

The National Asian Culture Center (ACC / President Lee Kang-hyun) of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism held “Immigration of Ceramics,” an exhibition on contemporary ceramic art, at ACC Creation Space 6 from April 18 to July 28, 2024. 

 

 As the first ceramic exhibition of the ACC, which has mainly showcased installation and media art exhibitions, “Immigration of Ceramics” offers a new interpretation of the development of ceramics that migrated from Asia through the lens of contemporary art. Organized as part of ACC’s “Asia Network” project, which aims to invigorate various discourses on the theme of Asia, the exhibition sheds light on contemporary ceramics actively developed outside of the region through artists with immigration experiences.

 

 The exhibition features four artists, including “Steven Young Lee (Korean-American),” “Linda Nguyen Lopez (Vietnamese / Mexican-American),” “Se Oh (Korean-American),” and “Amy Lee Sanford (Cambodian-American).” These artists tell their narratives through ceramics in the context of cultural conflicts and identity exploration derived from their experiences as second-generation immigrants or adoptees. The exhibition offers a new perspective on contemporary ceramics based on the history of humanity and the phenomenon of immigration rather than approaching ceramics as an art form.

 

 In particular, Steven Young Lee, Linda Nguyen Lopez, and Se Oh are gaining more attention as they traveled from the United States to Chosun University in Gwangju, Korea, to produce some of their works for this exhibition.

 

 Steven Young Lee is a second-generation Korean-American ceramist who served as the Art Director at the Archie Bray Foundation, a prominent ceramic art institution in the United States, for 16 years. By deforming his works, Lee challenges traditional customs that prioritize the perfect balance of ceramics using various patterns from different cultures based on forms of traditional Korean ceramics. At this exhibition, he presents seven commission works, including three made in Gwangju and four produced in the United States.

 

 “My works in this exhibition are part of the ‘Deconstructed’ series and are based on traditional Korean bowls,” Lee said. “I am ecstatic to present these works I made in Korea using Korean glaze.”

 

 Linda Nguyen Lopez has been creating ceramic sculptures that anthropomorphize objects in daily life, such as mops and dusters, focusing on small items around her based on the linguistic difficulties she experienced growing up in an immigrant family. Six commission works are showcased, including three from the “Furry” series created in Gwangju and three chair-shaped ceramic sculptures visitors can sit on.  

 

 Lopez said, “I am delighted to be in Gwangju and to be able to create the ‘Furry’ series at Chosun University.” She added, “My works abstractly depict objects we can see in our daily lives.” 

 

 Se Oh mainly adopts motifs from natural forms and uses glaze for Goryeo celadon as material for his works to embody his identity in ceramics. Including new work “Garden,” many of Se Oh’s crafts are inspired by plants in Gwangju, using Korean soil.  

 

 “The theme of the exhibition is ‘Porcelain Garden,’ and I used flowers from California and endemic ones in Korea to create my works,” Oh mentioned. “Creating these with Korean clay was difficult, but I look forward to seeing how my works, made with soil from my birthplace, will be perceived by audiences.”

 

 Amy Lee Sanford is an artist who shows the impact society can have on individuals through ceramics. She seeks to heal the historical scars of Cambodia through breaking pottery and establishing connections. The exhibition features the artist’s performance videos and ceramic works.

 

 “It is significant that world-renowned ceramic artists visit Korea, the home of ceramics, to experience Korean clay and create ceramics using this,” ACC President Lee Kang-hyun noted. “I hope that ‘Immigration of Ceramics’ offers opportunities for visitors to understand immigrant artists and broaden their experience of contemporary ceramics.”

Division in charge Exhibition Planning Division Person in charge Director Lee Dong-hee Tel.: +82-62-601-4439
Person in charge Assistant Deputy Director Jo Eun-young Tel.: +82-62-601-4457
The ACC is a responsibly operated organization with administrative and financial autonomy, accountable for its operational performance.

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