1st April 2023 - 28th April 2023

Jaejun Lee - Embracing the Blue

Ceramicist Jaejun Lee exhibits a collection of 70 Celadon works that re-interpret celadon ware from the Korean Goryeo Dynasty (918–1392).

'Historically, celadon pottery has been regarded as the ultimate combination of technique and beauty. Celadon ware from the Goryeo Dynasty (918–1392) is a group of artifacts with significant historical value, but unfortunately its techniques and glazes were not passed down to later generations. In order to interpret such celadon in a modern way, I acquired a gas kiln for my studio 2 years ago, not only to create ‘pretty’ celadon, as people commonly describe it, but to extract something deeper - a depth that comes from the glaze that cannot be expressed in words. Although various fancy celadon effects and techniques are trendy these days, I wanted to show work that reveals its true presence, by visualising the glaze in my mind and applying it to forms that have kept their neatness.

Due to my initial lack of knowledge about glaze chemistry, and my imperfect firing system, I learned through continuous production, contemplation and experimentation. Over the past two years I have experimented with about 130 glazes of similar lineages, resulting in numerous failures. Among those experiments though, I carefully chose and applied various glazes and fired pots with them, and then re-fired them if they did not come out well. The blue of my celadon, which is emphasised by its dripping and its thickness, shows my dedication.

It has been a tough and challenging process, but even so I have tried to pursue novelty and bring changes to my work all the time. Working this way, I have carefully selected about 70 pieces for exhibition.

I am delighted to showcase my celadon at New Craftsman Gallery St. Ives. While my works may not compare to the richness of colour in nature, I hope that my work will look beautiful on show in Cornwall, a place that is full of beautiful blue.'

Jaejun Lee, 2023