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DescriptionCo-curated exhibition: Dr. David Jones with Professor Lee, Boo-Yun of Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea. 6-30 April, 2017 This exhibition was a critical investigation into the reciprocal relationship between Korean and European ceramic histories, processes and meanings. It took the form of an invitation by the co-curators to significant ceramic artists to respond to the meanings embedded in the transmission of ideas between our continent and Korea. Other international artists invited and selected included: UK David Jones Vicky Shaw Ruth Gibson Ben Brierley Sasha Wardell Jenny Beavan Ruthanne Tudball Tim Andrews Dave Roberts Peter Beard Joanna Howells Gareth Mason Adam Buick Ashley Howard Belgium: Patty Wouters Anima Roos Mieke Everaet Tjok Dessauvage Holland: Jeroen Bechtold Henk Wolvers Willy Vanbussel Jolanda Verdegaal Germany: Martin Mcwilliam Fritz Rossmann Markus Klausmann Monika Debus SuzanneLuckács-Ringel Korea: Originality: The exhibition Heritage and Diversity, is significant in that the ceramic pieces are both self-authored and set within a historical and contemporary context; the work interrogated the inter-relationship of the heritage of Korean ceramics as viewed from a Western perspective. The concept derived from reflections on the (re-)creation of the idea of the studio potter in the 20th. Century. The thrust of this move camee from the (self-appointed) representatives of two imperialist nations: Bernard Leach from Great Britain and Soetsu Yanagi from Japan, who travelled to the peninsula together. They constructed a narrative for Korean ceramics of an uncorrupted vision of innocence, which became the currency of the dominant discourse until Korean scholars commenced their own writings. In his seminal text The Unknown Craftsman, Yanagi described his encounter with Korean pots, in almost breathless tones – describing the “serene beauty”, “unpretentious beauty”, and “humble beauty” of the “peasant” pottery he encountered. Korean commentators in recent years have sought to distance their ceramic tradition from this sentimentalizing perspective and emphasized instead the “natural beauty”, through its respect for the nature of the material, and “simple beauty”, in its lack of complexity and lack of extravagance. Many of us in the West grew up with the texts of Leach (A Potter’s Book) and Yanagi as formative influences; it was through these books that we had access to cultures that had a continuity of ceramic tradition; a way of working that had all but disappeared with the advent of factory production. The ways of Eastern potters while no longer secret, were mediated by these cultural commentators, who had their own (perhaps unconscious) agendas. Rigour: The exhibition investigated the ways in which the ideas of Korea generated by a previous generation of foreign theorists could be examined through making within a contemporary context. Jones wrote one of the critical catalogue essays. Jones was invited to make the introduction to the exhibition at the Private view on behalf of the European clay artists. The private view was officially opened by the British Ambassador to South Korea, Charles Hay.
SponsorsHanyang University, Seoul, Korea Foundation