Tasty Collection/ Ahryun Lee, 2018/ Porcelain/ Courtesy of J. Lohmann Gallery

J. Lohmann Gallery presents Breaking the Mold: Contemporary Korean Ceramics

Breaking the Mold: Contemporary Korean Ceramics showcases five of the most talented emerging designers from South Korea working with clay. Sangwoo Kim, Ahryun Lee, Nin Lee, Jongjin Park, and Bae Sejin were all born in Korea and have studied and worked internationally, continuously exploring the creative possibilities afforded by embracing a global perspective bridging East and West. Korean ceramics have typically been considered uniform in appearance and utilitarian in function, a misconception these new voices aim to correct with their innovative approaches to contemporary ceramic design. Each designer’s inimitable ornamental language, use of experimental techniques, and unique interpretation of clay create a perfect symphony between craft, design, and art that is anything but ordinary.

Each object expresses the individual goals and influences of its maker. Some works are inspired by forms found in nature, while others appear manufactured and industrial. Materials seemingly at odds with one another, such as porcelain slip and paper towels, are harmoniously combined. Many of the vessels are hand-built, sometimes from hundreds of small fragments. The textures are varied and surprising; in the various pieces, clay masquerades as glass, plastic, wood, textile, or even fur and rubber.

At the core of all these objects is the designers’ fundamental knowledge and understanding of the material, which has been augmented over years of practice. The end products seamlessly blend the centuries-old traditions of Korean ceramics with contemporary colors, expressiveness, and versatility.

Founded in 2006, J. Lohmann Gallery, New York, specializes in contemporary decorative arts by both internationally established designers and emerging talents. The gallery plays an instrumental role in nourishing the relationship between design, decorative arts, and sculpture, and its success is due to its unique roster of ceramic, glass, and metal designers, all of whom are celebrated for their groundbreaking use of innovative techniques.