A fertile mind molds bodies of porcelain

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A fertile mind molds bodies of porcelain

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Seung Ji-min poses with her porcelain art. By Shin Dong-yeun

The joys of porcelain art are practically all Seung Ji-min can talk about.

The 44-year-old says she especially enjoys that the hobby combines firing the material and drawing on it.

Seung took up porcelain making in 1998 in Poland, while her husband was stationed there working for a Korean conglomerate. At the time she had just received her master’s degree in women’s studies and was looking to expand, but was frustrated that Poland didn’t offer any doctoral studies in her field. It was then that the mother of a friend of Seung’s daughter introduced her to porcelain art.

Her deep love for the hobby has prompted Seung to hold a series of exhibitions, the latest of which just opened on Thursday at the Insa Art Center in Insa-dong. The exhibition features a total of 150 porcelain pieces, including 40 by Seung, and ends on Tuesday.

Seung’s pieces are shaped like the female torso and bear her paintings. “The body of a woman is full of creativity. I wanted to express the fertility of the female body in my work,” she said. One piece bears a painting of a snake and golden eggs.

At the end of her husband’s stay abroad in 2002, Seung really dove into the world of porcelain, opening an art workshop in Seoul that later expanded to other cities such as Busan and Daegu, where she would visit to teach others.

The artist even won awards for her pieces at international porcelain painting competitions. Since 2003, she has donated the profits from her exhibitions to the underprivileged. A visit to a church that was taking care of unwed mothers convinced her to make the donations.

“I would say that it’s the joy of making a treasure that only belongs to you that is the greatest attraction of porcelain art,” explains Seung. “It takes several days to paint and several hours to fire the porcelain, but the wait is not boring but full of anticipation. I had a quick temper but with my hobby people say that I have gotten much more relaxed.”

For details on the exhibit call (02) 736-1020.


By Jung Hyung-mo [africanu@joongang.co.kr]
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“그리는 재미, 구워내는 재미, 기다리는 재미”


“여성적 감성이야말로 21세기를 이끌어 갈 화두라고 하잖아요. 여성의 몸은 창조의 풍요로움으로 가득 차 있죠. ‘다산(多産)’과 ‘비옥함’을 뜻하는 ‘퍼틸리티(fertility)’적 감성을 여성의 몸에 표현하고 싶었습니다.”

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