Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Museum of Art + Design (MOA+D) will present Grafted Stories, a solo exhibition by Korean-born artist Sunkoo Yuh, from Nov. 30, 2016 through Jan. 15, 2017. The exhibition is curated by Guest Curator, Mindy Solomon, who will host a conversation with Sunkoo Yuh, Friday, Dec. 2, at 11 a.m.
The exhibition will include a selection of large-scale ceramic sculpture, porcelain tiles, and works on paper created during the last 12 years. It offers an opportunity for visitors to experience lushly glazed, totem-like porcelain sculptures that respond to a bewildering, multicultural, diaspora existence, and evoke the artist’s personal history, aspects of cultural integration, and spiritual discovery that creates order out of chaos.
“My work as an artist is to transform the images from my mind into tangible ceramic sculptures,” said Sunkoo Yuh. “The sculptures are sometimes monumental and then again sometimes small. My ceramic sculpture not only expresses physical realities, but psychological realities at the same time. The sculpture also reflects my relationship with people and life experience around me, encompassing front and back, inside and outside, present and past memories.”
Yuh’s work blends folkloric Korean iconography with tongue-in-cheek twists on politics, religion, and the family unit. He skillfully articulates these concepts through the expert use of stoneware and porcelain ceramic, defying the limits of what can reasonably be built and fired. Working in the round with a soft material offers a perfect medium for the artist to mix histories and clashing cultural influences.
The artist’s process is a painstaking one. Intuitive pen-and-ink drawings form the basis of his lively narratives and the ongoing dialogue he has with his day-to-day life. After working out ideas in drawing, he then moves to the process of rendering them three-dimensionally in clay, applying vibrant, multi-layered glazes reminiscent of historical T’ang pottery. Full of images from the Chinese lunar calendar, such as the pig, rabbit, and tiger, these dynamic, complex works reflect the depth of the artist’s cross referencing and invite the viewer to explore unique cultural perspectives through a byzantine narrative labyrinth.
Yuh’s work speaks to the combined confusion and delight of new beginnings coupled with the maintenance of cultural traditions. The cast of characters in Yuh’s sculpture and drawing create a bridge between his imagined universe and his travails as a bi-cultural citizen and artist. In essence, the work is the “residue” of his attempts to secure a sense of permanency in a fluid world.
Nov. 30, 2016 – Jan. 15, 2017
Conversation with Sunkoo Yuh, Friday, Dec. 2, 11 a.m. – noon
Museum Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Museum Hours for Art Week Dec. 1- 4: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
About Sunkoo Yuh
A first generation Korean-American, Sunkoo Yuh received a BFA degree from Hong Ik University in Seoul, Korea, and an MFA degree from New York State College of Ceramics in Alfred, NY. He has taught at the Korean University of Art, Seoul, Korea; and Western Illinois University, Macomb, Ill. Yuh has had numerous residencies and experiences as a visiting artist in institutions worldwide including Kent State University; The Haystack Mountain School of Crafts; Penland School of Crafts in Penland, N.C; and at California State University in Long Beach. He is currently an associate professor of ceramics at the University of Athens, Georgia.
Yuh has been included in numerous group and solo exhibitions around the globe since his first exhibition in 1988. Major group exhibitions include: SOFA New York, Nancy Margolis Gallery, New York, N.Y.; Poetics of Clay: an International Perspective (traveled to Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA; the Museum of Arts and Design, Helsinki, Finland; and the Houston Centre for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX); Regeneration, Los Angeles Folk and Craft Museum, CA: Life from Clay, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA.; Rendezvous 99, Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, NE; Cloth and Clay, Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA. His latest solo exhibition prior to the Museum of Art and Design at MDC exhibition was Chaos – Sunkoo Yuh in Seoul, Korea. Yuh has received numerous awards including the grand prize in the second World Ceramic Biennale International Competition. His latest award was the Albert Christ-Janer Creative Research Award in 2015.