I had to service 30 to 40 soldiers every day. One day I was really in pain, and when I didn’t respond to the demands of one officer, that bastard beat me with his fists, kicked me with his boots, took a long knife and held it up against my throat and cut me. The blood poured out and soaked my whole body, but that bastard officer went on to satisfy his lust.
Ahn Seongman – Digital Ceramic. 2015. 3D Printed onggi earthenware.
Ahn combines digital technology with the use of coarse iron-rich clay of the kind traditionally employed in the making of onggi wares. Onggi wares were used throughout Korea for cooking, storing and transporting food. By designing his forms on a computer and printing them with a specially modified 3D printer, Ahn has reinvigorated Korea’s onggi heritage by creating vessels specifically suited to contemporary ways of living.
Lee Seunghee – Tao Series. 2016. Porcelain, underglaze iron brown.
Lee reinterprets famous examples of porcelain from the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) in the form of ceramic tiles. Starting with a flat porcelain blank, he applies up to seventy thin layers of kaolin slip which are left to dry between each application. Lee shaves down the layered surface to create a low-relief version of the original vessel, which he then decorates accordingly.
Park Sohyoung – La Citta Blu 2016-03. 2016. Porcelain Paper
Park creates complex cityscapes of tiny buildings and other architectural elements that seem to made from cut, pierced and folded sheets of paper. Park uses porcelain impregnated paper, which, after wetting with water, can be manipulated without the risk of distortion. When fired, the paper burns away to leave delicate sheets of coloured porcelain.
Lee Kanghyo – Buncheong Landscape Series. 2016. Stoneware, slip.
Lee is well known for his reinterpretations of historical buncheong wares. These are a type of coarse stoneware produced between 1400-1600 characterised by the use of white slip to create carefree abstract designs. Lee’s depiction of Korea’s seasonal cycle uses a pallet of earthy toned slips. He follows the traditional East-Asian approach to painting whereby artists internalise the characteristics of a landscape and then depict them in the studio.
Cho Sinhyun – Flow of Lines – Rest. 2015. Pigmented porcelain slip.
Cho produces both utilitarian and pictorial works using pigmented porcelain slip. For the former, he begins by making blocks of leather hard porcelain consisting of thin layers of alternating coloured slip poured into a container. Each layer is allowed to partially dry out before the next layer is poured over it. Once a block is ready, Cho carves it into a vessel form with a sharply defined marbleised patterning. For his pictorial works, he similarly applies layers of porcelain slip to a gypsum board and then scrapes through them to create an image.
While I was at the V&A I took the opportunity to find out as much as I could about Juree Kim’s work and her residency. I found her studio up on the sixth floor and viewed the work she had displayed in the windows. It was interesting seeing the small pieces leftover from past work, of experiments and process.
Moving over to the Korean Ceramics exhibition I finally saw her piece and was surprised at how small it was compared to videos I’d seen online. Despite its size I was still fascinated by the level of detail in the piece, and spent a long while moving around it. It’s a shame it was surrounded by barriers, I felt they were quite ugly and boxed the piece in quite a lot.
If I need to put up barriers for health and safety reasons I’ll definitely be a lot more considered with what kind I choose. I felt the height of the rope being higher than the plinth the work was on was a poor curatorial decision.
Walking around the piece was my favourite aspect of the display, as most of the other items in the exhibition were in glass cases against walls and didn’t offer much of a surrounding view. I enjoyed having different views and more opportunity to really inspect the work as each side offered new crevices to look into.
I do wish I could see the piece actually in water. I’m not sure if the water had been added that morning and had evaporated or been absorbed by the time I arrived in the afternoon. I went in search of a staff member to ask but they were unsure.
On my way out I had another look into Kim’s studio space and found a sign with information about open studios for visitors to drop in – I think I’ll try and visit again in time for one of the last three dates.
Jill Shaddock – V&A Gift Shop.
A graduate from Manchester School of Art, Shaddock designs and makes her own ceramics by hand from her West Yorkshire studio. Fascinated by process, Shaddock’s unique pieces are created with multiple layers of a parian semi-porcelain slip, and a refined colour pallette is developed through a methodical, experimental approach. The pieces are high fired, making them waterproof even when unglazed, and suitable for food use.
Kiln Waster – Netherlands, Delft, 1655-70
These tin glazed earthenware dishes have collapsed and fused together during firing. Fragments and kiln furniture have become attached to them. Such ruined wares are known as ‘wasters’.
The Japanese began making high fired unglazed ceramics known as Sue ware in about AD 400. From the 12th century, kilns in Bizen, Iga, Siharaki and elsewhere produced stoneware that was not intentionally glazed, but was often partially covered in natural ash glaze.
The Seto and Mino kilns in central Japan, by contrast, made intentionally glazed stoneware, initially an imitation of Chinese ceramics but later in native Japanese styles.
The introduction of Korean ceramic technology in the 1590′s led to the establishment of stoneware kilns in many parts of Western Japan. As the Japanese economy expanded in the 18th & 19th centuries, kilns producing vernacular ceramics for everyday local use sprang up around the country.
Unglazed & Green-Glazed Stoneware 400-1500.
During the Three Kingdoms (57 BC-AD 676) and Unified Silla (676-935) periods, the majority of high-fired ceramics made in Korea were dark-bodied, unglazed funerary wares. Then, during the 9th century, Korean potters started making green-glazed wares, particularly at kilns near the south and west coasts.
Green-glazed wares from the first half of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) were often decorated with highly refined incised motifs. After 1150, black and white inlay, a uniquely Korean innovation, was used to create a rich variety of patterns. The use of inlaid slip continued into the succeeding Choson Dynasty (1392-1910) in the form of so-called punch-ong wares.
Qing Monochromes – 1662-1910. Yellow glaze for the Imperial Court. Various bowls and vases with lotus flowers, peonies, phoenixes, and dragons painted in underglaze blue.
When the kilns at Jingdezhen re-opened in the early 1680′s, numerous experiments were carried out with new colours and glazes. These took place under the supervision of specialist officers appointed by the imperial authorities.
As well as high fired colour glazes of supreme quality, the potters perfected the making of a striking variety of low fired glazes. These were fired on in secondary, low-temperature firings.
Green, turquoise, and opaque varients of turquoise, such as ‘robin’s egg’ blue, were derived from copper. Aubergine was made from manganese, and iron was used to produce several different shades of yellow as well as a distinctive matt red.
Photographer Jan Banning and writer Hilde Janssen visited Indonesian women who during the war were victims of forced sexual labor. In the exhibition, 18 of them break the persistent taboo against speaking out on the issue, thereby painting a gripping picture of this hidden history.
Hilde Janssen (b. 1959) is a journalist and anthropologist. For the past 15 years, she has lived and worked in Asia. From her base in Jakarta, Janssen traveled the Indonesian archipelago for two years searching for comfort women.
So after thinking more about how I can progress with my piece I decided I’d speak with Steve about giving the work a temporary home somewhere in the building, where I can add to the work over a period of time and keep it going. I didn’t like the idea of it stopping just because the public show had ended.
We discussed various locations, I decided I’d want it somewhere fairly prominent with a decent amount of light. Steve offered the concourse but I always feel like that space is visually very busy and can sometimes be a bit dark. We discussed placing it near another memorial – I remembered that I’d seen a war memorial in the school and Steve agreed it would work there.
I assessed what I’d need to include in a risk assessment since it was a public area and spoke with Steve and Christina to make sure I’d not missed anything.
With Beth’s help I moved the work over to it’s new location. Currently it’s sat on a dark wooden table, but I feel I may adjust this as it is very dark. I like the size of the table, and the fact that it has no corners as this eliminated some of the risks of the tank being knocked. Moving the tank meant that the sediment at the bottom moved around a lot and the water went really cloudy, next time I move it I’ll try and use something with wheels.
I’m considering moving the tank to this small ledge by the library, as it’s well lit and doesn’t have fire evacuation procedure posters behind it but I’ll trial it by the MA office first.
-Work on some form of publication to give the work more context
-Make title signage
-Remove bits of paint from the table 🙁
-Make more pots to add to the work every Wednesday at noon
-Document the work as it changes over time
Blog Assessment Feedback:
-Tag posts properly
-Link to journal articles and annotate acordingly
-Work centres around:
- women’s voices
-Need more reflection on research posts
-More feminist work research needed
-More materials research & reflection
Problems with current display:
– Terribly lit
– Work is in front of an emergency evacuation procedure poster
– Work sits on a poorly chosen table:
- too low
- too big for the work
- strange shape
- covered in paint marks & other blemishes
How can these things be resolved?
– Look at moving the work to solve the lighting issue as well as solve the problem of the emergency evacuation procedure poster.
Potential new locations
- The concourse
- Another hallway – Will need to look around this week
- Opposite its current location on the small ledge next to the door
– Construct my own table/plinth/stand for the work to sit on and get rid of the current table.
As the themes of my work revolve around recounting an almost lost period of history I feel it’s important to reflect that in researching appropriate methods of display.
The above were taken in the National Museum of Korea, affectionately known amongst tourists as the Museum of Pots for it’s vast collection of traditional Korean pottery on display as a method of storytelling through their history.
The display methods used throughout the museum were simple and effective, the lighting used was hard and utilised spotlights, something I feel sets the wrong kind of tone for my work. The use of minimal display cases was something I really enjoyed and would like to continue to incorporate with my own work. They serve a purpose while being the least distracting.
Above is an image taken in the Museum of Sexual Slavery by the Japanese Military, located in South Korea. On the left shows a military currency used to purchase time with ‘comfort women’. On the right is a condom used by the Japanese military when they raped the women in comfort stations.
The display cases used were surprisingly shoddy; the cases were poorly lit, taking a photo of them was difficult as the display was situated in a corner right in front of a poorly angled spotlight. The glass cases were quite badly scratched up and the one on the left had a bluer tint to it, possibly due to the glass being slightly thicker. The display tickets as you can see in the image were yellowed and discoloured. Additionally, the small bright pink dehumidifier at the back of the glass case was strange and distracting.
The most interesting part of the exhibition was the used condom, something that gave a lot more context to the stories of the women mentioned throughout the exhibition and it was disheartening to see it so poorly displayed.