Friday, August 28, 2009

Hong Soon Jung 홍순정

Perhaps it was preordained that Hong Soong Jung would be a ceramic artist since she grew up as the daughter of Cho Chung Hyun one of the most prominent Korean ceramic artists of her generation. But it was her mother who questioned Hong SongJung’s choice of clay at age 13. Certain of her own love of clay she entered Ewha Women’s University and commenced a career that has never failed to reward her. In 1993 after receiving her BFA and then her MFA from Ewha she went to Faenza Italy where she studied architectural ceramics at the prestigious Instituto Statale d’Arte per la Ceramica. It was in this new environment that she began to explore ceramic ideas which were quite different from the Korean traditions stressed by Ewha University. Primarily investigating surface applications for ceramics in architecture she produced slip cast and molded panels and tiles many of which sported colorful floral motifs.

The practical side of this learning is apparent in the bathrooms of the home which she shares with artist Lee Eunmee in Heyri Art Valley north of Seoul. Beautiful custom tile installations transform the bathrooms from mundane utility rooms into colorful places for enjoying water. The viewer friendly nature of her work is purposeful because Hong SongJung believes that ceramic art should be accessible beautiful design for everyone. She is serious about public access, devoting the entrance room in her house to a cafe where customers who order coffee get to drink it out of handthrown porcelain which she and Lee Eunmee produce for sale. “The stripes are my work and Eunmee does the spots and plain”. Besides being lined with shelves of functional ware, the cafe is decorated with some of Hong SongJung’s floral sculpture.

Patterns from trees and flowers are a recurring theme in her work and she has recently developed a body of work combining heavy steel wire with clay leaves or flowers. The wire is very thick almost rod like so that it has a strength and visual weight of its own. In an installation that she took us to see in Heyri the twisted wire was almost the dominant element in the piece. This movement towards the use of other materials contrasts with the purely clay installations of vast numbers of leaf forms of somber color or seed pods which she has exhibited in the past.

Hong Soon jung is in the middle of a fruitful career with evident enthusiasm for both purely functional work with playful decoration and strong colors and also for exploring stronger emotions in a range of ceramic and mixed media sculpture.


Instituto Statale d’Arte per la Ceramica, Faenza, Italy

M.F.A., Ewha Womans University, Seoul, SK

B.F.A., Ewha Womans University, Seoul, SK


2007 Gahjin Gallery, Seoul, SK

2005 Terra Gallery, Paju, Sk

2004 Terra Gallery, Paju, SK

2001 Tho Art Gallery, Seoul, SK

1998 Tho Art Gallery, Seoul, SK


Address: 1652-316 Heyri Art Valley, Tahnhyun-meun, Paju, Kyunggi-do, South Korea

Tel: +82(country code).(0)31.949.7879, +82.(0)10.7999.7619








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