Predream Series 1991 Stoneware with stamped and inlaid decoration using white slip under transparent glaze Reduction firing 37(ø)X39(h)cm

For the last 40 years SHIN Sangho’s creative journey has crossed boundaries in traditional ceramics and contemporary art, presenting a broad array of possibilities in clay while charting new paths in contemporary Korean ceramics. He began his career as an artist by making vessels, an attempt to re-interpret Korea’s traditional ceramics from cheongja to buncheong and also to baekja.

Today Shin is known for his innovative approaches moving between abstract painted surfaces to large monumental sculptures to installations using a number of different materials. He has devoted his entire life to ceramics — creating his work, teaching in the university environment and also developing the contemporary Korean ceramics field. Shin is best known for his “Predream” series on buncheong featured in this exhibition. His experience in encountering ceramic sculpture during his stay in the US as an exchange professor at the University of Connecticut in 1986 brought about a major turning point in his work.

In the initial stages of developing contemporary Korean ceramics, Shin repetitively made bold changes to buncheong vessels, which epitomize the uniquely Korean aesthetic sensibilities, with free-flowing and generous forms in order to instill a contemporary touch. He broke away from the conventional notion that forms should be practical for everyday use and that patterns should merely serve as a means of surface decoration. Shin focused on spontaneity to find organic linear qualities. Through repeated reduction-firing to ensure strong contrast of the glaze, and a series of inscription, incision, inlaying, scoring and scratching, Shin pursued unity of the vessel (i.e. the canvas) and the painting applied thereon. For Shin, tradition is not something to be merely passed on, but a stepping stone for new creations. His works of spontaneous and daring designs that pursue harmony are motivated by traditional materials and methods, but they continue to step forward into the future in terms of content and form in a world where traditions and creations co-exist in perfect unison.

SHIN Sangho

  • 2006Director, Clayarch Gimhae Museum (-2008)
  • 1981Professor, Department of Ceramics and Glass, College of Fine Arts, Hongik University (-2008)
  • 1976Established Bugok Ceramics, Yangju, Gyeonggi Province (current SHIN Sangho Studio)
  • 1976MFA in Ceramics, Hongik University
  • 1973BFA in Ceramics, Hongik University
14 Solo Exhibitions
  • 2016The Container, SHIN Sangho Studio, Yangju, Gyeonggi Province
  • 2014Vicissitude of Things, Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul
  • 2013SHIN Sangho, Final Frontier, Busan Museum of Art, Busan and more
Main Exhibitions
  • 2014Craft Festival ON(warmth)-KI(talent)(溫技), Culture Station Seoul 284, Seoul
  • 2013The 8th Cheongju International Craft Biennale, main exhibition, Cheongju City, Chungcheongbuk Province
  • 2012Ceramics Commune, Artsonje Center, Seoul
  • 2003Part 2, 100 Years of Contemporary Ceramics; World Ceramics, Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu, Japan
  • 2002Ceramic Modernism; Hans Coper, Lucie Rie and their Legacy, Gardiner Museum, Toronto, Canada
Main Awards
  • 2002Order of Service Merit
  • 1988Receive a Prime Minister’s Citation
  • 1980Minister of Transport Award, National Tourist Souvenir Competition
  • 1979Ceramic Prize, SPACE Group
  • British Museum (London, UK)
  • Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK)
  • Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Museums (Washington D.C., USA)
  • Le Musée national de céramique – Sèvres (Sèvres, France)
  • Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu (Gifu, Japan)
  • National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea (Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province)
  • Ho-Am Art Museum (Yongin, Gyeonggi Province)
  • Icheon World Ceramic Center (Icheon, Gyeonggi Province) and more