Texas Tech University

Lunar Embrace: Korean Ceramics and Paintings by Tae Keun Yoo

The exhibition, Lunar Embrace: Korean Ceramics and Paintings by Tae Keun Yoo, features ceramic art and paintings by Tae keun Yoo that are reinterpretations by one of today's prominent ceramists in Korea. In this exhibition Yoo explores the bold and startlingly modern ceramic traditions that flourished in Korea during the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910).

lunar embraceJoseon ceramics went through several transformations during its five hundred-year period. Yoo's works focus on the two major movements: Buncheong and white porcelain. In addition to ceramic and stoneware, his paintings, which are inspired by the Korean ceramic and stoneware traditions, will also be included in the exhibit.

Buncheong ware is a form of traditional Korean stoneware that was popularly produced from the late 14th to the 15th century. It is known for its natural, modest, and practical characteristics. The clay has a bluish-green tone. The surfaces of the works are coated with a white slip and decorative designs that can be produced using various techniques, which include stamping, carving, and cobalt or iron pigment painting.

Buncheong wares were exported to Japan and have influenced the development of Japanese pottery and Japanese tea ceremony traditions. The technology and elements of Buncheong has influenced artists around the work seeking insight into Asian ceramic traditions, and Buncheong continues to inspire artists to this day. The exhibit will show how the tradition is practiced by today's artists. Yoo's works will also showcase the different techniques and styles of Buncheong.

lunar embraceThe Joseon white porcelains are characterized by the beauty of minimalist forms, restrained use of decoration and color, reflecting the ideals and ethics of the Korean Confucian state. In particular, the Moon jar is a type of traditional Korean white porcelain which was made during the Joseon Dynasty. The full moon shape is made by connecting two hemispherical halves together in the middle. The milky white color and slightly uneven natural shape are considered to be the highlight of the Korean esthetics and spirit. A number of Joseon Moon jars are registered as national treasures by the Korean government. The exhibit will feature the Moon jars and the paintings of Moon jars by Yoo that demonstrate the philosophy and esthetics of Korea. His Moon jars show the faithful representation of the artistic tradition. His Moon jar paintings show the adaptation and creativity inherited from this era.

Through his works Yoo responds to the difficult history of Korea, such as reunification of the two Koreas and post-colonial relationships of Japan and Korea. The ChungMa YooTaeKeun Bodumda exhibition in 2016, Make the Future with Earth exhibition in 2015, and the exhibition Unification, the Beautiful Bowl in 2014, are examples of such efforts. Using clays from Japan and Korea to make one ceramic work to wish for forgiveness of past faults and to create a positive future is another example.

Yoo is a professor of the School of Design in Kyungil University, South Korea, and owns Chung-ma Pottery Lab. He studied at Kyungil University and at Miyagi University, Japan, earning a master's degree in traditional pottery from Aichi University, Japan.

This program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. This program was made possible in part with a grant from The Center for Global Understanding-Lubbock International Cultural Center, Inc.

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