Korea's Ceramics Exposition 2001 Takes Shape

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Korea's Ceramics Exposition 2001 Takes Shape

The schedule of the much-anticipated World Ceramic Exposition 2001 Korea has been announced by Kim Jong-min, president of the event's organizing committee. The event, to run from Aug. 10 through Oct. 28, 2001, will be held in three "ceramic belts" in Kyonggi Province: Icheon, Yeoju and Gwangju. It will provide an opportunity for those interested in ceramics to compare old and new masterpieces from Korea and around the world.

The size of the spectacle is indicated by its budget; Kyonggi Province is expected to spend 120 billion won ($107 million) on the event, with 70 billion won earmarked for a World Ceramic Center in hopes of attracting five million visitors.

Icheon City - already well-known for its ceramics museum and annual ceramics festival - will be the venue for a World Ceramic Heritage Exhibition, a World Contemporary Ceramic Exhibition, an International Ceramic Symposium and the 39th International Academy of Ceramics Council Meeting. But the event likely to top most visitors' lists is its World Ceramic Biennale 2001 Korea, to be held in a park constructed specially for the event. Prize money worth 140 million won will be up for grabs by ceramists. The function is scheduled to be held every two years.

The World Ceramic Heritage Exhibition will showcase masterpieces from around the globe, including 50 works from the China Palace Museum Beijing, 40 works from the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Japanese Government and Aichi Prefecture Ceramic Museum, 50 works from the National Museum of Korea, Ho-Am Art Gallery and Holim Art Gallery, and 20 works from other Southeast Asian nations. Ceramics from the West on display will include another 170 masterpieces from such institutions as the National Ceramics Museum - Sevres, France and the British Museum.

The World Contemporary Ceramic Exhibition will feature more than 80 masterpieces from 40 or more celebrated ceramists, including Peter Voulkos, an American potter.

Yeoju has reserved a space of some 100,000 square meters for a national tourist complex. Its World Folkloric Pottery Exhibition will focus on pure formative arts by Native Americans and artists from Africa and Oceania. The National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts Members' Exhibition will display works by 50 artists from ceramics groups. An Ongki Exhibition will also showcase Korean ongki pottery, glazed a dark brown and used to store kimchi and other vegetables.

Yeoju will also host a World Ceramic Plaza, which will illustrate a range of works from many nations and regions.

Gwangju is planning to set up a special culture district in Gonjiam covering some 520,000 square meters. The city will prepare a cultural fair to highlight the long history of ceramic development and exchange between China, Japan and Korea, the "cradle nations" of ceramics. The North East Asia Ceramic Heritage Exhibition of more than 200 old ceramic pieces will allow visitors to trace the influences on ceramic development. Other exhibitions will include the Korean Contemporary Ceramic Exhibition and the Korea Traditional Earthenware Exhibition.

"This exhibition will promote our own ceramic masterpieces throughout the world and at the same time promote interest in great works from abroad," said Mr. Kim. "The exposition will also help the ceramic belts in Icheon, Yeoju and Gwangju to rise as cultural centers of ceramic arts and the industry, and to become successful tourist attractions."

For more information, go to www.worldceramic.or.kr or call 031-237-4293 (English-language service available).

by Cho Hyun-wook

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