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Artist: Yoonjee Kwak


Artist: Yoonjee Kwak
Yoonjee Kwak, NEW YORK
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Clay allows me to tell the story of my memories that are left behind from diverse and unpredictable relationships between others and myself. My memories are expressed by using precarious and fragile forms. These memories can be represented in my work through exploration of the duality between weakness and strength.
The body of work is composed of sculptural vessels. I use this form to represent human beings as iconic symbols of the Korean culture. In Korea, when people talk about someone’s personality, we often use “vessel” as a metaphor of one’s spirit of tolerance. For instance, when we talk about someone who is very generous or broad-minded, we say, “His vessel is big”. The structure of the vessel that gradually widens from a narrow base symbolizes human relationships; people can have deep or shallow relationships, or have both relationships at the same time. I explore this theme through forms that are derived from minimalism, nature and geometry.
I usually use hand-building techniques, because the marks left by the fabricating process is very direct and leaves evidence of my physical interactions with clay. When I work with clay, my interactive conversation with the clay is vital to the process. While I slowly build up clay coils from the bottom, my hand marks remain on the surface. It records elements of movement, time and my feelings. The attractive characteristic of coil- building is that it allows artists to observe progressive growth through the process of the work. The process is very similar to raising a plant from seedling to blossoming. As a plant needs water, sunshine and time to grow, my works need patience and time. The process of building up the blocks, memories of patience and time into the pieces, I am able to create a meaningful record of my practice.

Education
2014 Master of Fine Art, Ceramics Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester NY, USA
2012 Bachelor of Fine Art, Ceramic & Glass Hong-ik University, Seoul, South Korea
2007 High school Diploma, Fine Arts Kaywon High school of Art, Bundang, South Korea
Professional Experience
2017 Penland Resident Artist, Penland School of Crafts, Penland NC
(Sep. 2017 ~ Aug. 2020)
Featured Artist (Solo on September), Lillstreet Gallery, Chicago, IL
Artist Invited Artist (AIA), Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, Newcastle ME
2016 Archie Bray Foundation’s 2016 Summer Resident. Helena MT
Emerging Artist 2016’, Ceramics Monthly
Exhibiting Invited Artists in conjunction with Arrowmont’s National Symposium
: Utilitarian Clay VII: Celebrate the Object, September 21-24, 2016. (Upcoming)
2014~ Current
Artist in Residency in Ceramics department
School for American Crafts, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester NY
2015 Studio Assistantship for Michael Keighery
in Ceramic studio Summer workshop at Penland School of Crafts, Penland NC
(upcoming, June 6th-20th )
: Michael Keighery – Self Expression through Clay
Artist Assistantship for In-Chin Lee (Summer Ceramic Workshop Intern)
in 4-Week Intensive Studio Ceramic Summer workshop at Alfred University, Alfred NY
(upcoming, June 29th- July 24th )
: John Gill and In-Chin Lee
Teaching Experience
2016
Adjunct Faculty, Ceramic dept. – School for American Crafts,
Rochester Institute of technology, Rochester NY
Wheel form 3credit Elective class (Spring semester, 2016)
2014~ 2015
Instructor (Artist Residency), Ceramic dept.- School for American Crafts,
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester NY
Hand-building Elective class (Fall semester, 2015)
Utilitarian pottery (wheel-throwing) Elective class (Spring semester, 2015)
Undergraduate 3credit course
Slip casting (mold-making) Elective class (Fall semester, 2014)
Undergraduate 3credit course
: This course concentrate on the fundamentals of mold making and surface development on slip cast
ceramic work. The student primarily focuses on the technical experience and challenges of making multiple piece
complex molds. Supporting information relating to historical, cultural, and scientific concerns be provided to
broaden the students' perspectives of ceramic art and its relationship to the larger world of art. Students learn
how to prepare casting clay and finishing techniques for glazing and firing their work. The course also be
augmented with critique, digital lectures and videos to give both a historical and contemporary perspective on slip
cast and industrially designed ceramic works.
-Tile making project, Open and multiple mold making project, Making sculpture with
casted objects project
2012~ 2014
Teaching Assistant Positions, Ceramic dept.- School for American Crafts,
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester NY
Slip casting (mold-making) Elective class) (Spring semester, 2014)
Undergraduate and graduate students 3credit cours
: Course Description; This course concentrate on the fundamentals of mold making and surface
development on slip cast ceramic work. The student primarily focuses on the technical experience and challenges
of making multiple piece complex molds. Supporting information relating to historical, cultural, and scientific
concerns will be provided to broaden the students' perspectives of ceramic art and its relationship to the larger
world of art. Students learn how to prepare casting clay and finishing techniques for glazing and firing their work.
The course also be augmented with critique, digital lectures and videos to give both a historical and contemporary
perspective on slip cast and industrially designed ceramic works.
-Tile project(making box), Open and multiple mold making project

Hand-building and wheel Throwing (Fall semester, 2013)
Undergraduate and graduate students 3credit course
: Course Description; This is a class specifically designed for non-majors covering the fundamental
techniques and aesthetics of working with clay. Topics covered include the forming techniques, clay mixing, basic
properties of clay, glazing and firing techniques and fundamental understanding of historical and contemporary
practices and applications. The course includes prescribed projects based on the number of studio hours.
-Hand built vessel project, Building sculpture with solid technic project, Pottery project
Hand-building Elective class (Sep 2012 ~ May 2013)
Undergraduate and graduate students 3credit course
: Course Description; This course is an introduction to hand-building techniques in
clay. Students gain a basic understanding of several hand-building techniques in addition to surfacing, glazing and
firing techniques.
-Historical vessel project, Narrative cups project, Portrait project, Two vases for
restaurant project
Non-degree Education
2015 -Penland School of Crafts, Self Expression through Clay (Studio Assistantship,
: Michael Keighery)
-Alfred University, 4-week Intensive Ceramic Summer workshop (Artist Assistantship, : John
Gill and In-Chin Lee)
2014 -Penland School of Crafts, Evocative animals: Lyndsay Pichaske
2010 -Summer Intensive workshop, State University of Long Beach CA
: Professor Tony Marsh and Inchin Lee
: Participated artist; (Korean artists) Yundong Nam, Suny Yook
(American artists) Matt wedel, Ryan Labar, Gerit Grimm
2009 -Summer workshop, State University of Utah UT
: Professor Dan Murphy and Inchin Lee
2008 - Summer workshop, Alfred University NY
: Professor John Gill and Inchin Lee
-International Glass Workshop in South Seoul University, Cheon-An, South Korea
Exhibitions
2017 Featured Ceramic Artist Invitational, LillStreet Art gallery, Chicago IL
Salad Day Pottery sale Invitational, Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, ME
CLAYAKAR Yunomi Invitational, AKAR, Iowa city, IA
NCECA, Archie Bray Foundation, Resident artist exhibition, Lewis & Clark college, Portland OR
Liquor Harder Invitational, Roswell Art Center West, Roswell, GA
Women's work Invitational exhibition, The YARD, Rochester NY
Teapot Vlll, juried by Sam Chung, Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore MD
#MugshotMonday, Lillstreet Art center, Chicago IL
2016 The Cup, The Mug, juried by Peter Pincus, Main street Arts, Clifton Spring, NY
Marry Salon invitation, Cerbera Gallery, Kansas city, MO
Un-Wedged, Pottery Northwest, juried by Sandy Simon, Seattle WA Teapot Vlll
Kolva-Sullivan Exhibition - Archie Bray Foundation artist's show, Spokane WA
The Almighty cup - Gandee Gallery, Fabious NY
2016 Clay Cup: Vessel, Icon, Canvas Exhibition, George Caleb Bingham gallery, University of
Missouri, Columbia, MO
Recent Acquisitions to the Bray's Permanent Collection, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena MT
Invitational ceramic sculpture exhibition, White Bear Center for the Arts, White bear lake, MN
Strictly Functional Pottery National, The market house craft center, East Petersburg, PA
Prime Ceramics (invitational) , Harry Wood Gallery, Arizona State University Tempe AZ
CUP: The Intimate Object XII, juried cup exhibition, Charlie Cummings Gallery NC
UCVII: Celebrate the Object,Invited Artists Exhibition, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts,
Gaitlinburg, TN
2016 Visions In Clay; juror - Liz Quackenbush , LH Horton Jr Gallery, Stockton CA
Resident Artist Exhibition 2016, Archie bray Foundation, Helena MT
Beyond the Brickyard, Annual juried exhibition, Archie bray Foundation, Helena MT
2015 Common Ground: a ceramic arts invitational, Old Forge NY
Small works show, national juried show, in Main street arts gallery, Clifton Springs NY
Art in Craft Media 2015 at the Burchfield Penney's East Gallery, Buffalo NY
The KC Clay Guild Teabowl National 2015, Thornhill Gallery, Avila univ. Kansas City MO
The Hudgens 1st National Juried Cup Exhibition, Hudgens Center for the Arts, Duluth GA
Structurally Speaking, Main street arts gallery, Clifton Springs NY
8th Gyeongggi International Ceramic Biennale 2015, Icheon South Korea
Harper College National Juried Exhibition, Harper College Gallery, Palatine IL
2014 Small works: A national juried competition in Main street arts gallery, Clifton Springs NY
Mapping of Memories, MFA thesis solo exhibition in NTID Ohringer gallery, Rochester NY
Naked Glass: group exhibition, Studio 34, Rochester NY
2013 The 13th annual Fine Craft Show 'School for American Crafts at the RIT, Honors
exhibition in Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester NY
Student Showcase 2013, Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester, Rochester NY
2nd Annual Juried Graduate Student Exhibition-"Convergence", Rochester institute of
Technology (RIT), Rochester NY, Juror: Jackie Pancari
2012 The Creative Process: from ideation to realization, Gallery R, Rochester NY
The 12th annual Fine Craft Show 'School for America Craft at the RIT, Honors exhibition in
Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester NY
Transformation of Earth materials, Invited show, Ligak museum of art, Cheon-An, Korea
2011 BFA Graduation Exhibition (Hong-ik University), Seoul, South Korea
Korea and Macao ceramic exchange exhibition, Seoul, South Korea
Korea and Macao ceramic exchange exhibition, Macao
Art Auction (Hong-ik University), Seoul, South Korea
2010 24.7 (State University of Long Beach), group exhibition, Long beach CA
Craft Trend Fair (COEX), group selected exhibition, Seoul, South Korea
2009 Craft Trend Fair (COEX), group selected exhibition, Seoul, South Korea
The Mixer (State University of Utah), group exhibition, Utah UT
Awards and Scholarship
2017 Scholarship Award, AIA residency, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts
Juror’s Choice, #mugshotmonday, Lillstree Gallery, Chicago IL
2016 Rudy Autio Fund for Creative Initiatives, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT
2016 Windgate Summer Scholarship recipient by the Windgate Charitable Foundation,
Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT
2015 Purchase awards,
KC Clay Guild Teabowl National 2015, Thornhill Gallery, Avila univ. Kansas City MO
Honorable Mentions,
The Hudgens 1st National Juried Cup Exhibition,Hudgens Center for the Arts, Duluth GA
Honorable mentions,
8th Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale 2015’, Ichoen, South Korea
2014 Jurors’ choice
Small works show: A national juried competition in Main street arts gallery
Clifton Springs NY
2014 Partial Scholarship
(No work-study) in Penland School of Crafts
Summer workshop.
2013 the Jurors' Awards of Excellence
Student Showcase 2013, Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester, Rochester NY
2013 1st Place
2nd Annual Juried Graduate Student Exhibition-"Convergence", Rochester
Institute of Technology (RIT), Rochester NY, Juror: Jackie Pancari
2011 I-do Prize
BFA Graduation exhibition, gallery I-do, Seoul, South Korea
2010 Gold Prize
(Doll Competition, HAITAI Enterprise), Seoul, South Korea
2009 I-do Prize
Gallery I-do, Seoul, South Korea
Publication
2017 Art House Press 2nd issue
2016 Ceramics Monthly Year Book 2016
Emerging Artist 2016’, Ceramics Monthly May.2016’ issue. (Releasing Apr.12)
Post Magazine; Rochester, Things we love
Member
2012~ NCECA (National Council On Education For The Ceramic Arts)
2016~ Artaxis (an evolving independent network of artists)


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