여백 ‘Yeo-baek’, Without Words

4 Masons Yard, St James’s, London

6 - 17 March 2019 

 

When an artwork is not described by its maker, it can offer eternal space for personal contemplation. One may ask after the artist’s thoughts, seeking reasons behind their work but it is within the silence that you often find the reasons, the answers that resonate. The artworks present in Without Words have been carefully selected to provide a space for contemplation inspired by exquisite craftsmanship, framing the beauty of contemporary Korean ceramics for personal interpretation.

 

Yeo-baek refers to the ‘blank space’ in Korean – the areas left untouched. Yeo-baek has played a significant role in the tradition of ink brush painting through the ages: artists would consider the unfilled space left clear of their inks as equally important as the brushstrokes themselves. For Korean ceramic artists practising today, yeo-baek remains a central part of creating even a modest vase or jar, and can be found in the simplified forms and decoration. In Korean philosophy, yeo-baek can be translated in more abstract terms as ‘words that do not need to be said aloud’. The Korean ceramic artists presented in the forthcoming exhibition Without Words do not tend to over conceptualise their work, often applying titles that are true to the materials of their artworks alone. In these wordless works, the artists have created space for restless minds to find their own clarity of meaning.

 

The exhibition presents three of the most inspiring artists in Korean contemporary ceramics today and their signature works. Discover: master ceramic artist Lee Soo Jong’s traditional porcelain jars where a single dark brushstroke brings life and vibrancy to the white surface; international artist Park Sung Wook's Buncheong ceramics where layers of white-slip create a subtle and calming palette and well-established artist Huh Sang Wook who uses traditional Parkji(sgraffito) technique to create drawings in negative on his Moon Jar sculptures.