Leach 100 Artist in Residence Hyosun Kim

6th October 2021

At last after many delays due to the pandemic Hyosun Kim has arrived at the Pottery from South Korea to take up her 10 week Leach 100 residency. We are very thankful that she has travelled so far to be with us in these precarious times. We asked Hyosun to share some words about her work during the residency…

“The theme of my work is to interpret and re-read Bernard Leach’s work in connection with Korean ceramics culture. When Leach returned to England from Japan in 1935, he brought a Korean moon jar with him and it became known in England. Research on Bernard Leach is also conducted in Korea, and the moon jar is mentioned every time. Therefore, the moon jar is the object that connects me and Leach.

From 2010 onwards, the background of my work is the moon jar. I create subversive moon jars that embrace risk as a conceptual tool. This creates more a distorted and cracked version in comparison to the standard form. This started on the premise that if we go back to the aesthetics of Korean ceramics in the Joseon Dynasty, the moon jar was a failure, not a success.

I attempt to express the moon jar through two methods: as a direct and an indirect method. As a direct expression method, it will be visualized by accepting the workmanship of risk and material qualities in making a moon jar using white porcelain. As an indirect method of expression, I attempt to connect Leach’s slipware with the traditional Korean “Buncheong” technique based upon Leach’s drawings and patterns. This artwork will transcend pure form to achieve sculptural status and visual language through the contemporary perspective.

I knew of Bernard Leach but this was my first visit to St Ives. What impressed me about coming here is the well-preserved studio and Museum and the fact that they are still in use. In addition, I was able to recognize the development of studio potters in the Museum and in the products that are currently being made. I will experience this opportunity to compare and theorize with Korean studio potters. And most importantly, it is an honour for me to work in Bernard Leach’s original studio and I draw a lot of inspiration from his work.”

Hyosun’s Work will be on Display at the Leach Pottery from November.

Hyosun Kim in her studio at the Leach Pottery, photograph by Luke Pilbeam

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