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First exhibition of contemporary Korean sculptor Yeesookyung in Texas opens
Yeesookyung, Twin Dance, 2012, Single channel video, Courtesy of the artist and Locks Gallery.

HOUSTON, TX.- Asia Society Texas Center announces its latest exhibition, Yeesookyung: Contemporary Korean Sculpture, the first at the Center to exclusively feature a contemporary Korean artist. The exhibition is now open to the public.

“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.

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 Prizeexhibition 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.

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