Ceramic artist, Ms Chun Jiyun is attracting global attention.
She transforms ceramics into an art piece like an abstract painting, and is getting invitations constantly from many countries including the US, Japan and Italy. It is said that her art subtly balancing the East and West ceramic art fascinates art curators all over the world.
Artist Chun graduated from Department of Ceramic Art at Kyung Hee University, and Department of Fashion Design at FIT in the US, and then completed the course in the Department of Ceramic Art at Kyung Hee University Graduate School. She has been participating in many group exhibitions and art fairs at home and abroad such as KCC group exhibition ‘Beyond (US)’, Craft Art Trend Fair (Seoul) and Asia Contemporary Ceramic Art Exhibition (Japan).
Currently, she is working as a full time artist at the Saeori Workshop located in Heyri Art Valley.
Inner emotion expressed with abstract ceramic art
Ms Chun gathers ceramic pieces to make mosaic ceramic plates. These ceramic plates are reminiscent of abstract art that are composed only of divided faces and color. The geometric elements of lines and faces evokes the understated expressions by abstract artist Piet Mondrian, but her work shows emotional expression.
The pieces composing the screen reveal the raw texture of the caly, or express the artist's individual emotional figurative language with tranquil colors. Ms Jeon combined the rustic feel that only the clay has with the abstract artistic expression, and named her art as abstract ceramic art.
The ceramic plates by Ms Chun, which recombines the pieces of atypical shapes, tells a story in each piece such as memories of living as an immigrant and the awe for nature.
Themes are conveyed in such series of works including the Tranquillity series that expresses the inner side with color and faces, Time series that embodies a moon jar using a mosaic technique, Emotion series that expresses experiences three-dimensionally, Memory series that writes words on the pieces, and Nature series that contains part of nature in the objet.
The artist says that the process where irregular shaped pieces are gathered to form a three-dimensional work resembles our life composed of accidental incidents.
The clay is pushed with a mill to make a ceramic plate, which is cut with a knife, or the ceramic plate is broken into pieces, which are reconstructed.
Only the necessary pieces are selected to fit the shape of the screen, which is composed according to the frame such as a rectangle or circle.
The clay is added the pieces to add a three-dimensional effect, and various colors are applied through the glaze. Pieces are reproduced by plaster casting or made into the shape of a bowl such as a moon jar or tea bowl, revealing the diversity of expression.
The pieces rearranged in the form of a puzzle cross the boundary between three-dimensional and flat surfaces with their respective colors and heights within the screen. The artist says that it is difficult to simplify the form and express it only with surfaces and colors, but abstract ceramic art is attractive in that the simpler the concept is, the more diverse interpretations it creates.
The artist expresses nature in daily life as decorations in highly practical living porcelain. She revealed the boundary between the texture of the clay and the glaze with a stencil technique using leaves on the surfaces of objects such as cups and vases. In particular, the kettle adds the beauty of reversal to the standardized form of wheel-based molding by attaching a slanted handle.
Ceramics made of brokenness, ceramics glued to a flat surface
Artist Chun is a ceramic artist who bakes ceramics. However, it can be said that she is a ceramic artist who emphasizes the pictoriality in that she shows ceramics in a plane rather than in a three-dimension. She presents a new aesthetic point of view on ceramics through an atypical form that reconstructs broken ceramics in a mosaic technique.
There are two ways in which artist Ms Chun creates works. One is to break things and the other is to attach things. She uses breaking and attaching to create works that deviate from the commonly known aesthetics of ceramics.
The artist uses celadon, black and white clay to create ceramics with hand-building, casting, and plate forming techniques. The most important among these processes is to divide these ceramics into pieces through distributing the shapes by shape and color. These divided pieces are like ‘pyeonrin’. Pyeonrin, meaning a piece of scale, is the most tactile word to describe her work.
“When I am immersed in literary thought, I often think of the word ‘pyeonrin (fragments) of contemplation’. Just as small materials come together to create a piece of work and small daily lives to make a whole life, small fragments like pyeonrin serve as both sub and main elements at the same time to complete my contemplation. So, when reconstructing fragments, I want to show the interactive figurative beauty between the sub image and the main image into my works.”
”Actually, brokenness and memory apparently don’t seem to be the words in harmony. It’s because while brokenness has an attribute of absence, memory has an attribute of existence. The power that makes what is absent exist…I think this strengthens the sensibility and imagination of humans, and I intended to approach the sensibility, which penetrates the human psychology, through the broken memory anybody has buried somewhere in their mind.”
Her attempt to bring out inner thoughts through broken ceramics is the most honest and powerful part of her ceramic art. It is because her artwork denies the integrity of ceramics as well as the integrity of memory by revealing the fragile nature of ceramics. However, she overcame this 'form of negation' to the dimension of resurrection and restoration by revealing it as the one and only thing in the world. Therefore, now, her story will reach the dimension of attachment replaced with healing. ***