Collect: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects starts today at the prestigious London Saatchi Gallery. Hosted by the Crafts Council, this celebration of cutting-edge, museum-quality craft in the UK has gathered 40 of the most well-known galleries together to show more than 400 artists, from 13 countries around the world. Among them, South Korea is definitely at the forefront of representing exceptional works that span the spectrum of modern craft and design practice.
For example, Sikijang - meaning "a craftsman who makes kitchenware and tableware" or "a cupboard for storing them" - is a gallery that has led the way in making contemporary crafts a way of life while keeping the essence of Korean traditions since 2005. Presenting works from a total of eight young artists, Sikijang's range of various materials and new aesthetics will make you feel the joy of the sheer pleasure in life. Our favourites would be Hyun Sung Kim's 'silly shapes' metal works that played with the concept of hard and soft and Yong Jin Chung's laser-cut metal bowls that brought traditional shape into the new and hi-tech era.
Silly Shapes by Hyun Sung Kim (T), metal bowls by Yong Jin Chung (B).
Based in Paju, Gyeonggi-do, Hyun Sung Kim graduated from Hanyang University in 2013 and has never looked back. Known for using sharp and cold metal to make warm and sentimental tableware, Hyun Sung was strongly influenced by his Professor Bohyung Koh while studying at university. During that time, he discovered the essence of craft, the humbleness and its close connection to our daily lives. Now, by handcrafting everything throughout the making process rather than using machinery, he has succeeded in creating his signature 'silly shapes' - essentially 'Kawaii' objects, a concept that we're too familiar nowadays.
Originally trained in metal making experiments, Yong Jin Chung starts designing his pieces through experimentations using paper cut-outs. The object that he makes is then rendered on the computer using CAD. This is then processed to be laser cut and then welded, applying modern advanced techniques. His work truly shows how delicate pieces can be made using today's 3D-printing methods.
Re-formed Vases by Jeong-won Lee.
At Korea Craft & Design Foundation's (KCDF) booth, contemporary jewellery takes centre stage. Presenting five exciting jewellery artists: Hee-jin Lee, Mi-na Kang, Ji-eun Park, Jong-seok Lim and Hea-lim Shin. Each of them succeeded in blurring the lines between jewellery design and contemporary art in South Korea today. Also not to be missed, are glassworks from husband and wife duo Annaliisa Alastalo & Hong Sung-hwan; ceramics from Jeong-won Lee and our previous Artist of the Month: Jong-min Lee.
A long time ago 1 by Kang Mi-na (L), Peking Euphorbia by Lee Hee-jin (R)
Contemporary jewellery artist, Kang Mi-na creates vibrant jewellery using a fine textile called Ramie. Ramie is made from natural fibers taken from the Boehmeria Nivea plant (part of the nettle family) and is known in Korea as a ‘noble’ and ‘ecological’ plant. It requires a multi layered process, skill and time to produce yet it is also as sustainable as bamboo.
Lee Hee-jin on the other hand, creates jewellery inspired by the wildflowers of Korea. Lee trained in sculpture and metalwork and first gained an interest in plants during an exchange programme at Gray’s School of Art (North East Scotland) in 2008. She carried her newfound passion back to South Korea where she is now a regular mountain walker, searching out rare species in the various wildflower sanctuaries of South Korea.
Sketch from paper by Pao Hui Kao (T), Water & Sand by Vezzini & Chen (B).
Taiwan's craftsmen and designers will also be making an appearance. Notably, there's Vezzini and Chen, represented by Ting-Ying Gallery in London and Pao Hui Kao, represented by Mint, also a UK gallery.
Vezzini, originally from Italy and Chen, from Taiwan, were both drawn to study in London by the rich heritage, traditions and knowledge of their chosen crafts within Britain. Their work is led by the designers' immense skill and attention to detail within their disciplines, the quality and craftsmanship being paramount. They will be making their debut appearance at Collect 2018 with a collection of functional and conceptual ceramics and glassworks.
Graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven in Contextual Design, Kao's works have shown great influences of innovated material, traditional crafts, social issue, ecorches. At Collect 2018, she will be presenting Sketch from paper, a collection that used water as an agent to redefine paper structures. The result emphasised on creating extraordinary aesthetics out of ordinary material.
Collect 2018 continues until Sunday 25 February at London's Saatchi Gallery.
Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
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