Ceramist Jongjin Park about his work…

What is it about Young Masters that you are most interested in?

Young Masters is a big opportunity for me to exhibit my work and engage with ceramics, which are highly valued in the UK.  One of the reasons that I wanted to study in the U.K. is to experience British ceramic culture.

Can you explain to us what your work is about?

My practice explores the remarkable ability of ceramics to deceive the eye. By using tissue paper and clay slip, I can make various materials looks like paper, wood and stratum. These effects meet with simple shapes and structures, contrasting with the straight porcelain. My practice asks us to think what is real? At the same time, you experience another deception ‘how was it made?’ I always enjoy the audience’s reaction to my work.

Which artist/s are you most inspired by?

The artist who gave me inspiration is KyungJo Roe. He was a supervisor when I was at college. He became my role model, teaching me how to reflect on the past, from traditional heritage to modern art. When I arrived in the UK I visited the V&A and The British Museum’s Korean Room, where Roe’s works are exhibited. Although Korea is far away and a different culture from the UK, his works tell a universal story. I have absorbed his many activities and artworks into my own work style and philosophy.

Can you tell us something about your background?

I was born in Korea. I decided to go to art college because of my interest in making. When I worked with ceramics for the first time, I felt it was old. After studying with ceramic history, I realized that ceramics are an important part of human history.

Also, my experience as a researcher at the National Museum of Korea gave me a direct understanding about traditional Korean ceramics.

If you weren’t an artist what would you be?

A psychologist.

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

I won the Grand Prize at the 1st GwangJu Porcelain competition in 2008. This was first prize in a major competition in my career.

What are your plans for the future?

I will keep trying to discover new expressions in ceramics and to become a potter who be remembered in 21st Century ceramic history.

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