At exhibitions, no two pieces alike

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At exhibitions, no two pieces alike

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(Far left) A piece by Peruvian artist Kukuli Velarde; (above left) “Fragile” by Korean artist Maeng Wook-jae; (above right) “Little Boats” by American ceramic artist Jacob Raeder. By Shin Dong-yeun

The highlight of a ceramics biennale is its exhibitions, and there are many at the venues of Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale in Icheon, Gwangju and Yeoju.

At Cerapia in Icheon, the two notable displays are the International Invitational Exhibition, the main exhibition, and HOT Rookies, a special exhibition. With the theme “Community - with me, with you, with us,” the former show presents the work of 27 artists from 18 countries. Meanwhile the latter, with the theme “Paradoxical Aesthetics,” showcases pieces by 20 artists from eight countries.

One can go on and on about their works, but for average visitors to the biennale who are on a family or couple’s getaway, that’s perhaps all they need to know. They can just enjoy and interpret the art as they like. However, the JoongAng Ilbo - with the help of the biennale organizers - is presenting some of the works on display that might particularly interest visitors.

First up is an installation piece by Kukuli Velarde called “Corpus,” which won the grand prize at the International Invitational Competition. The contemporary Peruvian artist with American citizenship merged elements of traditional Peruvian culture and Western civilization.

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“Little Boats” by American ceramic artist Jacob Raeder really doesn’t look like it was made from clay. Live green plants cover his ceramic pieces, grown from seeds planted on their surfaces by Raeder.

The piece by German artist Rainer Kurka is quite shocking. Five teenage girls of different ethnicities have been recreated in their actual sizes, and they look just like life-size wax dolls.

Wilma Cruise, a South African artist specializing in sculpture, has spread 1,000 infant-shaped pieces of earthenware on the floor in her work titled “Cradle.” Another piece by Vipoo Srivilasa, a Thai-born Australian artist based in Melbourne, is only complete through interaction with the visitors. People can attach pieces of clay to a white piece of pottery.

There are also works by Korean artists. One is “Fragile” by artist Maeng Wook-jae. Bead-shaped ceramics fall down a rail and break along the way. A piece by Yoo Eui-jeong is quite approachable. On a pink wall he put up pop icons such as a pair of Nike sneakers and a Louis Vuitton bag, among others.

BY SON MIN-HO [hkim@joongang.co.kr]

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