I came across Jong-min Lee’s porcelain art very recently on Facebook. Instantly, I was filled with awe and wonder looking at the images of his work. The shapes and curves of his appealing objects seem perfect in balance and proportion. The white porcelain conveys a strong tranquil spiritual quality. Jong-min, a practicing Buddhist, plays with light and shadow by varying the angles he cuts. The observer sees different movements, depending on how light falls and the onlooker’s proximity.
His interesting carving patterns mimic different wave shapes and formations found in nature, which is his source of inspiration. He experiences directly and is influenced by the four distinctive seasons at his studio in Anseong, Korea. There he goes through meditative, transformative and creative processes carving his observations into the walls of his objects. An enormous amount of focus and patience is needed for this skill. Furthermore, his passion to create the extraordinary, help him struggle – always pushing his limits in his 10 hour working day!
He carves up to five times when the porcelain is bone-dry and uses strong, sharp, dental tools. He then proceeds to clean-up after which the objects go into the first firing called the flower of life. About 5 objects fill his kiln at a time. After the first firing they are dipped very quickly into clear, transparent glaze. Then another clean-up follows and into the kiln they go a second time. He has an exact burning curve he follows and has a success rate of 70 percent. Jong-min fires in a gas kiln and the reduction firing process produces a stunning white, slightly blue note.
Jong-min does not recycle his porcelain which is cut off while throwing, trimming or carving. He has to do this to avoid getting iron in his clay body. His objects stay purely white, producing the perfect canvases he needs for his carvings.
I heard via the grapevine (a birdy singing) that Jong-min might be exhibiting in Switzerland in the near future. That would be fantastic!
For more information about this inspiring artist and his works, please visit his web-site
I would like to thank Jong-min Lee for his permission to use his images and information and am very happy to be in contact with him as I am a great admirer of his works.