Between Serenity and Dynamism; Korean Ceramics: Beyond Tradition
ROE Kyungjo

Jungwon Park | PhD, Curator
Korea Craft & Design Foundation

Constancy and Change in Korean Traditional Craft 2017
Between Serenity and Dynamism; Korean Ceramics
La Triennale di Milano, Italy
4 April – 9 April, 2017

ROE Kyungjo is well-known for the yeollimun (a kind of a marbling technique where different clay bodies are combined together) technique which is said to have been practiced during the Goryeo period and then disappeared around the thirteenth century because of its technically difficult nature. Roe is one of the first contemporary artists to revive this Korean tradition and he did this through research on past records and theses. Roe is interested in studying Korean aesthetics found in ancient Korean art, architecture and life style. His focus is in leading a life that enjoys the most finesse and sophisticated aesthetics human beings can offer through art, culture and etiquette. Therefore the foundation of his work is rooted in such concepts. Both as an artist and a teacher (in the university environment) he has pursued such qualities.

According to Roe his work is about the ¡°fruit of integration of environment and the passion of the artist.¡± He emphasizes that the making process of a work of art, after all, is the artist himself/herself and moreover life itself. The world of art that he has been pursuing is one marked by works in which life and art come together as a unity. His early days were spent absorbed in painting before practicing in ceramics. He was interested in monochrome paintings particularly in the Fauvist style.

Roe¡¯s objects are inspirational interpretations of ancient Korean ceramics through the excavation of shards. Roe not only creates art but he also collects. He has a large collection of ancient ceramic shards and he is inspired by them. Roe is known for making angular bottles and containers in the yeollimun technique.