Buncheong Landscape I Mountain_water W. 85cm, D. 46cm, H. 85cm
He shapes his jars by building up clay coils, and decorates them by finger imprints. Then, he applies a pale gray powder. The body of this porcelain is black because the clay is dark brown; the jars turn out as a buncheongware because of the powder applied on them. Lee uses 5-6 different shades of powder and paints it on in multiple stacked layers. His application of the powder is calculated to give certain textural effects and thickness.
His experiences are exacting. He uses his fingers or special brushes made of pine roots (that are usually used in weaving ramie fabrics), or sprays the powder on. He creates weeping traces by spraying the powder on the surfaces when he works on the standing walls of the pieces. In making ceramic works, there are three stages that need special care and attention: (1) when the shape is being built; (2) when the body is being decorated, and (3) when the object is being baked after being glazed.
“Transformation as a part of natural phenomena” is the eternal theme of his works. His porcelain expresses the cosmic circle of natural phenomena that are being born, vanishing but still existing. He listens to music when he applies the powder; it takes five to 20 minutes to draw designs with it. When the scene he is drawing is a quiet and static one, he uses his inner energy in meditative state without listening to anything. If the scene is dynamic, alive and impromptu he listens to Korean samulnori, an energetic combination of drums and gongs.
Born in Seoul in 1961, he graduated from the Department of Ceramics at Hongik University in 1983. Since his first solo exhibition in 2006 at Pucker Gallery, Boston, he has had five individual exhibitions. He has been invited to seven group exhibitions including Life in Ceramics in 2010 (Flower Museum at UCLA), 13 international workshops including Clay Push Gulgong 2013 Workshop in Australia, and five international art fairs such as Art Miami and SOFA (Sculpture Objects Functional Art + Design) in Chicago. His works are on display at ten esteemed museums of the world, such as the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum in the United Kingdom and the Musée National de Céramique de Sèvres of France.