USC Pacific Asia Museum

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From the Fire:
Contemporary Korean Ceramics

July 15 - October 16, 2005
Members' Opening Reception: 6:30–8:30 pm, Thursday,
July 14, 2005

Origins of Life, 2003
Porcelain clay body
By Sung Min An
Featured in the
exhibition From the Fire

This compelling exhibition brings together some of the finest contemporary Korean ceramics in one of the largest surveys of works to come to North America. From the Fire assembles Korean ceramic artists whose pieces blend traditional techniques with new influences and innovative methods to create both functional and sculptural works. The works, dating from the 1990s through 2003, reveal the adventurous spirit of Korea’s ceramic tradition developed through thousands of years. Tradition is the undercurrent that shapes most of the issues and dialogue in contemporary Korean ceramics. “What can the ceramics of the past teach us today, and how are we continuing with the ceramic skills passed down from our ancestors? How has function changed in ceramics in a time when our lives have become deeply influenced by Western concepts?” From the Fire looks at these issues through this synthesis of contemporary Korean ceramics.

This exhibition is curated by Ms. Chung Hyun Cho, ceramic artist and professor in the Department of Ceramics at the College of Art and Design of Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea. Her works are in major collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, United Kingdom; National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul; Metropolitan Museum of Art, Korea; and in the USC Pacific Asia Museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition is accompanied by a beautiful catalog, available in the Museum Store.

The national tour of From the Fire has been organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC, and made possible by the generous support of The Korea Foundation, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Mr. Nam Kil Yang, and the Korean Culture & Arts Foundation. USC Pacific Asia Museum would also like to thank the Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Robert Sunghyuk Sheen and Sookie and Michael Garrison for supporting the exhibit here in Pasadena. From the Fire will continue on to the Honolulu Academy of Arts and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco after closing at USC Pacific Asia Museum.

Related Events

  • Saturday, July 16, 2005, 2:00–2:45pm
    Curator’s Tour
    Exhibition curator Chung Hyun Cho will lead guests on a tour of From the Fire: Contemporary Korean Ceramics. Free with museum admission. Space is limited to 30 attendees. Please call ext. 31 to make a reservation.
    Letter of Paul to the Colossians, Chapter 3 Paragraph 2
    Letter of Paul to the Colossians, Chapter 3 Paragraph 2 2003-2, 2003 Sanchung clay body By Moo Keun Lim Featured in the exhibition From the Fire
    Saturday, August 6, 2005, 1-5pm
    Ceramics Workshop with Gil Hong Han

    Artist and professor Gil Hong Han will conduct a half-day ceramics workshop and demonstration. Participants will learn hand-building methods and techniques while working with ceramic materials. Includes a gallery discussion of Mr. Han’s work in From the Fire. Materials are provided. Cost of the course is $40. Space is limited to 20 participants. Please call ext. 31 to make a reservation.
  • Saturday, August 13, 2005, 1-2pm
    Masterpieces From the Fire: A Historical Overview of Korean Ceramics Lecture by Meher McArthur, Curator of East Asian Art
    This lecture will trace the history of Korean ceramics from the Three Kingdoms period (1st century BC – 668 AD) to the present. The unglazed burial ceramics of the Silla and Kaya kingdoms, the exquisite green-glazed celadons used by the court and Buddhist clergy of the Goryeo (Koryo) period (918-1392) and the folk wares and porcelains of the Joseon (Choson) dynasty (1392-1910) will be examined. It will also feature a selection of contemporary Korean ceramics from the exhibition From the Fire, some of which echo ancient Korean traditions, while others break new ground in ceramic art. For more information, please call ext. 19.  
Pulsation, 2002
Porcelain clay body
By Soon Hyung Kwon
Featured in the exhibition From the Fire