Monday, August 3, 2009

Shin Kwang Suk 신광석

Shin Kwang Suk hands us the catalog of his latest work and explains that it is his 4th solo exhibition. He says that when he started his full time teaching he had intended to schedule a show every 4 or 5 years but the pressures of teaching (“my number one job!”) and participating in the affairs of many of Korea’s craft organizations meant that the interval between solo shows stretched to 9 or 10 years. Yet he seems excited about the new direction his work has taken and the energy of the cobalt surface decoration of the large flat panels seems to reflect the frenetic life in Jingdezhen, China where he worked on the pieces in a borrowed studio. It seems that this plunge into painting is a full circle return to his earliest interest in art.

As the son of a banker and midwife bought up in the comfortable surroundings of his native Seoul, he garnered much recognition for his talents as a painter. Yet parental pressure pushed him towards a more practical career choice, architecture, which he had little interest in pursuing. Compromising on a choice of design he entered Seoul National University and received his BFA in 1968 before continuing on to his MFA in 1973. Concentrating his attention on ceramics his early work was vessel oriented high fire stoneware and porcelain with subdued glazes which showed little evidence of his earlier fascination with drawing and painting. A short exposure to American clay at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia punctuated his steady progression towards the full time teaching job he now holds at Seoul National University. During the last 3 decades Shin Kwang Suk has developed a body of work both handbuilt and wheel thrown which uses the vessel as a departure point without being specifically functional. He usually covers the pieces with an all over glaze coat designed to enhance the form. As we discuss the philosophy of his work he muses on the traditional Korean roots of his work which he feels can also be simultaneously contemporary. “I don’t know why we have to cut a question into either A or B, its equally valid to see it as both A&B”.


1975 Summer Session, Tyler School of Arts, Temple University

1973 M.F.A., Graduate School, Seoul National University

1968 B.F.A., College of Fine Arts, Seoul National University


2007 Tableauz of Blue and White Porcelain, Gong Gallery, Seoul, SK

1999 Ritualistic Clay Objects, To Art Space, Seoul, SK

1983 Vessel-Oriented Clay Objects, Shinsegae Gallery, Seoul, SK

1975 Ceramics Show, Midopa Gallery, Seoul, SK

Present Professor, Seoul National University, Seoul, SK



Office: Seoul National University, Gwanak 599 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, South Korea 

Tel. +82(country code).(0)2.880.7502, 880-7505

Studio: 383-7 Jeungdong-ri, Yangseo-myoen, Yangpeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do , South Korea

Tel. +82.(0)31.771.1457, 774-2594


C.P. +82.(0)19.266.2599












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