Buncheong Rectangular Bottle 2010 Stoneware covered with white slip and marks made with finger and duck decoration under transparent glaze Reduction firing 11.5X7X17(h)cm

CHOI Sungjae’s works are inspired by buncheong vessels of Joseon dynasty made between the late 14th century and the late 16th century. For Choi, ceramic creation starts from preparing clay and ends with the firing practice. In other words, the beauty of ceramic vessels is naturally formed in the process of handling ingredients, and only when the right balance is struck between clay and fire, he completes what he calls his own works.

His forms are simple inspired by traditional wares, for example, flat bottles, rectangular jars and rectangular vessels. They serve as a canvas opening up a spectrum of possibilities. Choi applies slip or engobe (liquefied white clay) onto his forms by painting, pouring and even dipping. Once this is done he paints and makes marks using branches, bamboo shoots, sorghum straw or his own fingers, depending on the effect he wishes to deliver.

These methods are referred to as “dipping” and “slip brushing,” and they have been adopted from the traditional buncheong or onggi making processes. Choi has cultivated his own voice to such decorative styles. He experiments with empty spaces, and he controls the different shades of slip on surfaces. Depending on his state of being, he creates serene and dynamic illustrations referencing traditional Korean landscape paintings originally done in ink and brush.

The exhibition presents his early and latest works including buncheong faceted jar and rectangular jar, which remain true to the qualities of traditional ceramic vessels with practicality, functionality and decorative styles, while communing with the contemporary sensibility.

CHOI Sungjae

  • PresentProfessor, Department of Traditional Arts and Crafts, Korea National University of Cultural Heritage Member
  • 1990MFA in Ceramics, Hongik University
  • 1985BFA in Ceramics, Hongik University
6 Solo Exhibitions
  • 2012Contemporary Korean Ceramics; CHOI Sungjae Exhibition, Kintetsu Department Store, Osaka, Japan
  • 2011CHOI Sungjae, Buncheong Ceramics and Time, Zien Art Space, Yongin, Gyeonggi Province and more
Main Exhibitions
  • 2017Buncheong, its Liberal Spirit, Clayarch Gimhae Museum, Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam Province
  • 2015Korea NOW! Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France
  • 2014Clay in Transcendence, Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2013Asian Contemporary Ceramics, 21 Century Museum of Contemporary Art Kanazawa, Japan
Main Awards
  • 2001Grand Prize, Gyeonggi Province Art Competition
  • 1996Grand Prize, Kukje Newspaper International Ceramics Competition
  • 1987Merit Prize, THO Gallery Ceramic Sculpture Competition
  • Chicago Art Institute (Illinois, USA)
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art (Pennsylvania,USA)
  • Peabody Essex Museum of Art (Massachuetts, USA)
  • Harvard University Museum (Massachuetts, USA)
  • Le Musée national de céramique – Sèvres (Sèvres, France)
  • Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK) Icheon World Ceramic Center (Icheon, Gyeonggi Province)
  • Icheon World Ceramic Center (Icheon, Gyeonggi Province)
  • National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea (Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province) and more