Functional pottery maintains an important place in historical developments throughout the various ages and when studied can be a good gauge for a civilizations advances and culture. Especially in ancient or older civilizations, pottery reflected many aspects of a society including beauty, technological innovation, beliefs and values. A single ceramic object could tell you much about the person who created it as well as the culture that necessitates it. But as time went on, pottery became more than utilitarian objects; technology advanced leading to developments in the arts, a progression driven by a human tendency towards more leisurely outlets which allowed for artisans to create objects that were not singular or utilitarian in purpose. It is this duality that drives me to produce the type of work that is functional and also aesthetically enjoyable.
The pieces that I create are inspired from many sources. Perhaps the most primary of these influences is my affinity for the beauty and elegance of historical Korean and Chinese ceramics. These pots celebrate a time and a people through their beauty that speaks volumes about the lifestyle of the people in the generation that created them. I admire their simplistic forms and wonderful colors which influence the way I see and shape my work. In my work, I try to find and examine the myriad of objects used by cultures to facilitate their everyday lives. For example, I am fascinated by the family picnic lunch boxes-normally its called Chanhap which is a container made with layered covered vessels- used for side dishes and snacks by early Korean society and the cosmetic powder cases used by the women of the Yi dynasty in Korea. In addition, since I began my studies in the United States, I have had more opportunities to experiences and learn about other cultures. I have discovered the infinitude of possibilities in making pots for a variety of purpose in various cultures, while still retaining the power to reflect the values of a people. I am especially respectful of the work produced in Islamic cultures, as well as the artistic movements of the late Art Nouveau and Rococo periods. My investigation of this work has made me more aware of their decorative elaborations, their organic shapes, sinuous curves, and beautiful patterns. I have consciously and unconsciously incorporated these characteristics into my own work.
Furthermore, I am also influenced by my studies in industrial design. Since industrial design is a format grounded in 2-demensional design, I have learned to first see in 2-dimensions before working in the physical 3 dimensional world. The sprit of industrial design lies in modernism for purposes such as interior design, advertising, and the creation of corporate logos. By virtue of its nature, it reflects the desires and idiosyncrasies of the culture it is produced for, and I have learned the comfort it attempts to create within the human psyche.
Most of my work is first thrown, then altered and finally reassembled. This allows me the freedom to try new things in a process aimed at creating an artistic work of pottery. The intent of my work is to elevate and make light of our own rituals and mores through the emphasis on functional pottery. It should reveal or give indication of the context in which it will be used. My intention, then, is to make objects that will be pleasing to use and agreeable to look at. Furthermore, I wish my work to have the ability to transform the everyday experiences of our homes into something more profound. It is my hope that the work I have created invites the beholder’s eye to move around the object as she or he lifts it to pour.