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Installation view of Translated Vase_the Other Side of the Moon

Translated Vase_the Other Side of the Moon

Beyond and Between


Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea


Installation view of Translated Vase_the Other Side of the Moon, Beyond and Between, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea, 2014

Courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

Photo: Yongkwan Kim ⓒLeeum, Samsung Museum of Art


Translated Vase_The Other Side of the Moon_2014 TVB 2


Ceramic shards from North Korea, epoxy, 24K gold leaf


Collection of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea


Exhibited Work

Translated Vase_The Other Side of the Moon_2014 TVB 2


Text quoted from catalogue :


"Leeum’s White Porcelain Jar has caught attention of Yee Sookyung (b. 1963) who has presented a series of artworks, entitled Translated Vase, using broken pieces of ceramics. For the artist, the Leeum piece represents the best known products from the Joseon dynasty’s central kiln. She finds the appearance of the moon in this jar and gazes at what is invisible far beyond a visible phenomenon. In other words, she seems to have been interested not in mainstream white porcelain products that were made at the royal kiln site in Gwangju, Gyeonggi province, but in ceramics that were produced in the countryside and sold at low prices yet were an intimate part of people’s everyday lives. Her interests include local buncheong ware as well as black-glazed ceramics and earthenware.

Yee Sookyung considers the broken pieces of black-glazed ceramics and earthenware that originated in Hoiryeong, Hamgyeong province as representatives of what are hidden behind. Dark Side of the Moon, made by putting together these broken pieces, represents Yee’s interest in things that were traditionally ignored. In fact, we know little about ceramics made in Hoiryeong. However, certain sixteenth-century pottery from Karatsu, Japan exhibits stunning colors similar to a rainbow, with milky-colored glaze as well. Although scholars posit that this Japanese pottery has its roots in Hoiryeong, specific facts about the Karatsu ware still remain unclear. In the 1920s and 30s, during the Japanese occupation, Hoiryeong was famous as a production base of earthenware and pottery for civilian use in the countryside. In fact products made in Hoiryeong were reported on in news articles and also exported to foreign countries in that time. Actually, the Hoiryeong Ceramics Association was established in 1925 to produce black-glazed ceramics. However, the ceramics in Hoiryeong in those days were still nothing more than local products in a region far from the center of Joseon.

As such, Yee Sookyung sheds a subtle light on the local, the nonmainstream, darkness, and the hidden side that are opposite to the concepts like the center, mainstream, brightness, and the front. Dark Side of the Moon is in the shape of the white porcelain jar as a whole but the details start with many broken pieces. Those pieces consist mainly of earthenware and jars with facetted bodies (the best known shape of black-glazed ceramics) and bottles in black glaze. All these are the forms emerged in the hidden side of white porcelain jars of the eighteenth-century Joseon. By putting together shards of abandoned/denied ceramics and giving them a new form of moon jar the artist realizes the possibilities that had been inherent in the hidden side of history. In this way, her paradoxical work of quietly shedding light on the hidden side can be understood as a postmodern view that penetrates the trend of contemporary art – in that it holds the position of pluralism and relativism while helping people pay attention to the voice of minority and once ignored areas."


 Jun-kwang Lee. (2014). "Buncheong & White Porcelain: Shadow of the Moon." Leeum 10th Anniversary Exhibition: Beyond and Between, 2014 Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

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