Yee Soo-kyung's aesthetic journey through broken ceramic shards, illusory rose garden

Korea Times
Setting foot in the white-walled Page Gallery nestled in Seoul's Seongdong District is like traveling to a bizarre dreamland's ceramic forest.

The "trees" here are bulbous sculptures made up of a myriad of broken shards that were once part of refined Korean ceramics ― celadon, white porcelain and black-glazed wares ― handcrafted by master potters across the nation.

But when the quality of the vessels coming out of the kiln failed to satisfy the unforgiving eyes of their creators, they were smashed to pieces ― and eventually ended up in the atelier of artist Yee Soo-kyung (stylized as Yeesookyung).

Since 2002, Yee has been breathing new life into these "fragments of failure" as part of her signature "Translated Vase" series, by piecing them together and gluing the cracks with epoxy resin and 24K gold leaf.
While some say the practice is reminiscent of the Japanese art of "kintsugi," which involves repairing broken wares with gold or silver seams, the reasoning behind her use of gold is more intuitive when explained in the Korean language. It's about covering the "geum" (crack) that indicates failure of the original vessels, with another shimmering "geum" (gold) that highlights those imperfections and turns them into an organic structure with its own story.

A total of 27 ceramic sculptures produced over the last decade, each with its own bulges and curves, are on view at her new solo exhibition, "Nine Dragons in Wonderland."
December 20, 2022
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