Gallery 1 Gyeonggi Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art
About the Exhibition
From the day they are born, children ceaselessly search to grasp what the world is like. Even if someone explains things to them in detail, children never stop exploring the world. Children need knowledge they acquired themselves through experience. This exhibition starts by posing a question, ‘What will happen if a newborn baby is given an opportunity to explore clay?’ Hence, we arranged a space for both children and grown-ups to feel clay in a natural way and a hands-on experience program. We hope that this exhibition will help children as well as grown-ups think about how humans can live with nature using clay as a medium.
If you click on the image of the work, you can enjoy it on a large screen.
This exhibition consists of an introduction and five sections. The introduction shows Healing Being by Lawson Oyekan, the Grand Prize Winner for the 1st World Ceramic Biennale 2001, and video footage showing the inside of Healing Being. This piece reminds the viewers of the culture of primitive people who built a house with clay or a shelter in nature built by insects or animals. Lawson Oyekan is telling us that the essence of healing lies in nature through the primitiveness of clay.
Space for touch
Passing Healing Being is the first section, the space for touch. This space is filled with seven works by Ted Yoon. The visitors to this space are expected to enjoy the seven pieces hidden inside the secret box with their hands, not their eyes. Doing so, the artist shows us how many things we can learn with our hands, and how many things compromise or hinder our tactile sense.
The second section is upcycling space. This section presents objects that tell stories about environmental problems and objects that show how we have to live for a sustainable future. Restored tea bowls from the Joseon period are also displayed together with works by Kim Jong-hun, and Jungkim Dowon and Mulgogi, artists selected as the MOCA Rookies 2020, a ceramic artist.
Kim Jonghun is a potter who produces Jeongho tea bowls of Korean beauty. He presents broken tea bowls upcycled by the kintsugi technique, the Japanese technique of repair of broken pottery. Jungkim Dowon displays pottery made of natural waste. His pottery returns to nature with time naturally. Mulgogi breaks waste ceramics into small fragments, with which she makes ceramics again. These ceramics that have been re-made through upcycling cause us to consider how we have to use ceramics in the future, and how we have to use so many other things for the environment and for our future.
Space for sensing
The third section is a space for sensing. This space has artworks, tools, and media that allows us to sense with our whole body. Artists participating in this section are Jang Ilho, Song Zoohyeong, Yi Dan, and a group of young artists who were selected as 2021 MOCA Rookies, Lee Jihye, Heo Iseo, Lee Hwihyang, Park Jinseon, and Ham Yeeyoung.
Jang Ilho, sound artist and music director for films, presents sound with clay as the subject. Narration in children’s voices in his work, which symbolizes a cycle of clay being made into lump, broken up, and returned to nature, stimulates the sense of hearing by delivering ‘a story about clay.’ Song Zoohyeong, media artist, makes works that present ironic situations. At this exhibition, Song tells stories about nature and a city and our stories represented by nature and a city. Yi Dan is an artist telling stories about senses with the sense of smell at the center. Applying the nose working method, Yi Dan hung clay balls in the air to enable the audience to smell the clay. By eliciting the primitive activity of following the smell of clay with eyes closed, the artist helps the audience expand the limits of the olfactory sense. Other young artists who were selected as 2021 MOCA Rookies - Lee Jihye, Heo Iseo, Lee Hwihyang, Park Jinseon, Ham Yeeyoung – display musical instruments made of ceramics. These instruments make sounds when children grab, pat, and touch them, inviting the children to approach ceramics in a positive and joyful way.
Space for expression
The fourth section is a space for expression. This space shows works by Peter Voulkos, Marilyn Levine, Yuh Sunkoo, Richard Notkin, Whang Chongnye, Bodil Manz, and Fuwei Meng selected from the collection of Gyeonggi Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art. On the table are reusable paper boxes, other kinds of boxes, and oiled paper. In this space, things we throw away and pass by without noticing them are recycled into interesting materials, which induces children to express what they thought or felt as they looked at the works on display by drawing and making small things.
Space for exhibition
The fifth section is a space for exhibition. In this space, lumps of clay one hundred visitors have shaped after viewing the exhibition will be displayed. These clay lumps embody the feelings and thoughts of one hundred visitors and were made after thinking again about what we humans look like and clay anew. After November, when KICB2021 ends, this space will display works by one hundred children who participate in educational program linked to this exhibition.
This is a special exhibition of Gyeonggi Museum of Contemporary Ceramics for kids and also a special exhibition of KICB 2021 in Icheon. We hope that this exhibition provides an opportunity for children to understand ceramics easily and think about the cycle of our lives through clay and ceramics.