Sunday, 30 March 2014

Yee Sook Yung, Blue Ceramics and Gold

Ceramic trash, epoxy, 24k gold leaf
Upon seeing this advert in an old copy of Art Review, I did a little digging on the artist.


Using what is thrown aside and normally thrown away by a ceramics master. An artisan who reproduces old Korean ceramics (Joseon Baekja or Celadon), the pieces deemed by the master as not up to a high enough standard are cast out.
After baking in a kiln by using the old method, these Korean ceramic masters break almost 70 percent of the porcelains, they don't reach up to their masterpiece standards. Then she takes over, putting 'the broken bits and pieces of ceramic trash together one by one as if I'm putting together a jigsaw puzzle. And I cover the seams with 24 karat gold leaf. The result was uncanny and bumpy objects. Each broken piece operates as a self forming into an infinite proliferation toward as unexpected fabrication-fictitious loquacity and stuttering discards from standard conventional masterpieces.' (Yung, 2014.)

Yung works with these pieces like she is forming a 3D collage, with cracks and raw or rough edges imitating the torn edges found on paper and card, and representing similarities with the sculptural forms of Henry Moor works, in terms of curved and bulbous shapes that look like their glooping in places and splitting by process of mitosis, a fantastic mess of what has been chucked. Busts and bodies and displayed limbs and creeping trunks that weave and wind and grow into obtuse shapes. These works give us a glimpse of a mastery that we may never really see again. Each piece is unique, and special in its present particular state, unlike the historical whole counterparts that are copied from - these have rebelled against their identities, their beautiful shapes becoming grotesque but then so brilliantly given lines of gold. Precious again.

Art Review. (2011) 'Yee Sook Yung 14.01.11 - 17.02.11', [Advertisement] issue. 47, January - February 2011, p.13.
Saatchi (2014) Yee Sook Yung. Available at: (accessed on: 3rd March 2014).
Y.S.Yung (2014) Translated Vase. Available at: (accessed on: 29th March 2014).