Functional Ceramics by Potter Hyejeong Kim
Every so often I come across a potter, or maker for that matter, who really justifies my way of thinking. I discovered Korean potter Hyejeong Kim’s work a while back but I’ve been studying her inspirations since. Helped partly by her fantastic bio page which delves in to her background as an artist. Not only does she touch on Zen and Wabi-Sabi, Kim also poses some questions that I’ve never really contemplated before. One of those being the contradictory element to making objects out of clay, “fragile but strong, simple but complex, deep but light, soft but warm, a stony and cold object as if it timeless, subtle and tranquil …” Although Hyejeong’s thoughts are quite complex they’re paired quite closely with my own.
The pots she makes are modern and simple, classical forms with minimal decoration. Much of the aesthetic and functional elements take inspiration from Hyejeong’s upbringing. Brought up in equally Korean and Japanese cultures, she’s learnt to incorporate the traditional aspects of these two and implement the beauty of nature and elements of practicality in to her work.
One thing that interests me in particular is the idea of meditation, both having a meditative state whilst making and the fact that certain pots have a spiritual essence in their form. I think good functional objects bring awareness to the user, a sense of tranquility that inspires us to become more conscious of that exact moment in our life. I’m sure this is something we should all strive for, and is probably one of the main reasons we’re attracted to handmade goods.