by Sun Ae Kim
Private View: Thursday 6th March, 6.30 - 8 pm
Exhibition: 6th March - 22nd March 2014
London-based Korean ceramicist, Sun Ae Kim, draws inspiration from 18th and 19th Century Staffordshire pottery and European ceramics to produce painted porcelain figurines and tableware.
Theatre, performance and the consumption of food, tea and alcohol are notable themes in Kim's work. Ceramic figurines were used traditionally in many European households as conversation starters at the dining table. Kim took this convention a step further for her Royal College of Art degree show installation, 'Since Eve Ate Apples, Much Depends on Dinner' (2010), where ceramic plates, bowls and candlesticks, whose surface paintings told stories of courtship and marriage, were presented in the style of a four-course banquet. Here, the two distinct purposes that ceramic pieces serve(d) during mealtimes – as conversation-starting centrepieces and as frames or containers for food and liquids – melted into one another. The consumption of stories became synonymous with the consumption of ceramics.
Mounted flatback ceramic figurines take centre stage at Kim's MOKSPACE exhibition, 'Quotidian.' The three-piece flatback series 'Three Sisters,' for example, which was inspired by a night-time scene that Kim photographed in London, documents the incapacitating effects of alcohol consumption on three young revellers.
These pieces playfully reinterpret the flatback ceramic style popularised by Staffordshire potters in the 19th Century, where three-dimensional figurines were traditionally made with a plain, flat back. Indeed, the backs of Kim's figurines are even more decorative than their sculpted front sides, adding a touch of intrigue and surprise to the humorous and satirical stories that her painted ceramics narrate.
About the artistSeoul-born ceramicist Sun Ae Kim is currently studying for a practice-based MPhil in Ceramics and Glass Art at London's Royal College of Art. She has lectured in Ceramics at Camden Arts Centre and has held residencies at the British Ceramics Biennial and at the University for the Creative Arts at Farnham (2010-2011). Notably, Kim collaborated with Alexander McQueen for Paris Fashion Week 2011/12, mosaicking thousands of pieces of bone china to make jackets, corsets and shoes, and in 2010 she co-founded Studio Manifold, a Shoreditch-based creative collective of RCA students and graduates.
Selected Exhibitions2013: 'Disruption,' Research Exhibition at the Royal College of Art, London, UK