Sang Joon Park
COEXISTENCE curated by Grace Ji
APRIL 9 - MAY 7, 2020
Opening Reception | April 9, 2022, 1-5pm
Shatto Gallery is pleased to present Coexistence, an exhibition of ceramic sculptures by the Korean American artist Sang Joon Park. The show will be on view from April 9 through May 7, 2022.
Park is a bona fide potter who is devoted to the principles of ceramics; a sequential process that humbly begins with clay, then shaped by the artist's hands and forged by high fire. While Park remains faithful to the integrity of pottery, his latest body of work embarks on a new trajectory carrying out a suite of functional ceramic objects out of its context, – a conceptual intersection that has always fascinated the artist.
Park’s new work made its genesis from his long interest in converging pottery with the formal concerns of sculpture. The pursuit of conducting this new body of work took place in a forest, a space claimed to be his studio space. The forest serves as a stage and laboratory employing elemental forces as a material to imprint markers of time on raw clay. “New York Winter” for example, is a body of work that embodies the discourse of minimalist sculpture that lacks subject matter but instead highlights material truth before the beholder. Park deliberately leaves hundreds of unfired wheel-thrown bowls under the canopy of trees with the anticipation of marking the course of the season on these unfired bowls. Over the course of the winter season, as the unfired bowls start to disintegrate, alter in shape, Park strives to return clay back to its source of origin.
“Memory of Longview'', another installation performed in the forest, is an installation of ceramic bowls stacked on top of another, extending similarly to the height of the surrounding trees. The act of stacking bowls on top of another, illuminates the meditative practice of stacking rocks into a tower, commanding one to be steady, focused and still. Park elicits a material translation between the functional and sculptural, carrying out the ceramic bowls to manifest the physicality of forms with elegance.
Park’s extensive practice possesses both traditional and modern values of ceramics. The aesthetic style of his functional wares is adorned with meticulous embellishments of the traditional Korean techniques like - inhwamun: a stamping and inlay technique, and gwiyal: a slip glazing technique which manifests bold and expressive traits. Coexistence surveys both the conceptual approach of ceramics as well as the aesthetics of well-intended functional wares, rendering this medium in the expanded field.
Park Sang Joon currently resides and works in upstate New York. Sang Joon has been selected to participate in the most prestigious craft shows such as the Smithsonian Craft Show and Philadelphia Museum of Art and Craft Show.