Wednesday 11 May marks the first day of the next dedicated exhibition to arrive at Sylvester Fine Art and it will showcase the work of Korean potter, Lee Kang-hyo. This is the first time that Lee’s work has been available to buy here in London and is therefore an opportunity not to be missed. Lee’s work can be found in major museums across the world, including Victoria & Albert Museum and The British Museum here in London as well as in public and private collections as far afield as America, France, Israel, Italy and Japan.
Lee is world famous for mastering the traditional Korean form called Onggi and the technique required to make them. Onggi are earthenware pots used in Korea for fermenting and storing food and are built from long coils of clay formed with a wheel and paddle; a process which Lee has mastered with skill and precision over the 30 years that he has been practising his craft.
Not only is Lee an Onggi master, he is also skilled in the use of Punch’ŏng; a form of Korean stoneware where the coarse dark clay body of the pot is coated with a white slip and then freely decorated using many different methods. The style emerged in the early Joseon Dynasty at the end of the 14th century. Lee is an artist who has taken traditional forms and techniques and made them relevant to a modern audience.
He says of his work, and indeed that of any artist, that it reflects his life. “The everlasting theme in my work is based on mountains, fields and sky. Everything that exists has its own reason and beauty. Making something with clay with the hands and then painting white over the surface is an expression of my dream. I am alive at this minute.”
Lee’s work is available to view and purchase from 11 May at Sylvester Fine Art and the exhibition will run for four weeks.