Contemporary Korean Artist’s First Solo Exhibition in Texas Opens at Asia Society Texas Center on October 10

Yeesookyung, Translated Vase (TVWG5) (detail), 2012, Ceramic shards, epoxy, and 24k gold leaf, Courtesy of the artist and Locks Gallery

Houston, Texas, October 8, 2015 — Asia Society Texas Center is excited to announce its latest exhibition, Yeesookyung: Contemporary Korean Sculpture, the first at the Center to exclusively feature a contemporary Korean artist. The exhibition will open to the public on October 10.

“Yeesookyung’s works cross-pollinate a variety of media, such as sculpture, installation, and painting; we’re pleased to feature both sculptural and video works in her first solo exhibition in Texas,” says Bridget Bray, the organization’s Nancy C. Allen Curator and Director of Exhibitions. “The exhibition spotlights the artist’s recombination of culture and use of repetition as creative process.”

The Seoul-based artist is best known internationally for her Translated Vase series, in which she reassembles discarded pieces from broken vessels to form new biomorphic sculptures. “Many of our visitors may be familiar with the rich legacy of Korean ceramics, which have been prized in Asia for centuries. Yeesookyung sources her raw material from ceramic production sites that still produce classical forms today,” explains Bray. “She creates entirely new forms that exist independently of their ceramic ‘DNA,’ translating her own experience and moving beyond boundaries of traditional culture.”

In the style of Joseon Dynasty white porcelain and Goryeo Dynasty celadon works, “the master potter was trying to create the perfect piece each time, and he would discard even the ones with the slightest flaw,” Yeesookyung shared in a recent interview with The Business Times. “I chose to create new forms from them, because perhaps, I don’t believe completely in that kind of perfection. To me, a piece of broken ceramic finds another piece, and they come to rely on one another.”

Her large sculptures are adhered together by epoxy, and the cracks are emphasized and embellished with 24-karat gold painted at the seams. The mending technique is similar to Japanese kintsugi, but is also a play on words since “crack” (geum) and “gold” (geum) are homophones in Korean.

Guests wanting to learn more about Yeesookyung’s works will be able to hear from the artist in person at her public talk on October 24 at 2 pm. The exhibition will be on view through March 27 in the Center’s Fayez Sarofim Grand Hall. Asia Society is open Tuesday – Friday, 11 am – 6 pm, and Saturday – Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm. Admission to the exhibition is free and open to the public.


About the Exhibition

Yeesookyung: Contemporary Korean Sculpture was organized by Asia Society Texas Center and made possible through major support from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Mary Lawrence Porter, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, Nancy C. Allen, Nancy and Robert J. Carney, The Clayton Fund, the Hearst Foundations, Reinnette and Stan Marek, and anonymous friends of Asia Society. Lead funding also provided by Leslie and Brad Bucher, Holland and Jereann Chaney, The Favrot Fund, Bebe Woolley and Dan Gorski, Olive M. Jenney, and Dorothy Carsey Sumner. Funding is also provided by the Texas Commission on the Arts and through contributions from the Friends of Exhibitions, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional visual art to Asia Society Texas Center.


About the Artist

Yeesookyung received a BFA and an MFA in painting from the National University in Seoul and completed notable residency programs at Villa Arson, Apex Art, and the Bronx Museum. Her work has been shown internationally, including in the recent exhibitions Women In-Between: Asian Women Artists 1984–2012 at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, the 2012 Korea Art Prize exhibition at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, Korean Eye 2012 at Saatchi Gallery in London, The Collectors Show: Weight of History at the Singapore Art Museum in 2012, and K.P.O.P.: Korean Contemporary Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei.

Yeesookyung’s works are in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Korea, the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, IFEMA ARCO Collection in Madrid, Echigo-Tsumari City Collection Japan, Saatchi Collection in London, and the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, among others. She lives and works in Seoul, South Korea.


Download the press release here.