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September 20, 2007 to December 30, 2007

SunKoo Yuh: Along the Way

The Philadelphia Art Alliance fall exhibition, Along the Way will include monumental and small scale porcelain sculptures in combination with drawings and sketches by the internationally recognized artist SunKoo Yuh.. A 44-page catalogue will accompany the exhibition with essays by internationally recognized curator Helen W. Drutt English and noted ceramic artists and educators Wayne Higby and Tony Marsh.

Regardless of scale, Yuh most often begins with a conscious thematic concept. Family life, friends, and daily events intermingle with added symbolic elements such as animals and birds, which are derived from his Korean background. By combining cultures, Yuh’s work achieves a sense of universality through the multiple possibilities of meaning suggested by the iconographic juxtapositions in the final work.

Yuh’s use of glazes, which are vital to the impact of his sculptures, also reflect the spontaneous nature of his working procedure. Acting as an overlay, glazes are applied both to create a specific impact to a certain parts of the sculptural form and is at times applied without regard to the structure, co-mingling color over multiple figures or objects. As Tony Marsh has noted about Yuh’s use of glazes, this level of experimentation comes from Yuh’s extensive understanding of high fire glazes after testing thousands of them over his career. Marsh states “he certainly has an empirical understanding of glaze chemistry that reinforces a strong intuitive approach to working with ceramic color.” It is in Yuh’s expertise and application of glazes that that his sculptures achieve the emotional intensity and vibrancy evidenced in the final work.

A first generation Korean-American, Yuh received a BFA degree from Hong Ik University in Seoul, Korea, and an M.F.A. degree from New York State College of Ceramics in Alfred, NY. He has taught at The Korea University of Art, Seoul, Korea, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL, and is now associate professor of ceramics at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA. Yuh has also served as a visiting artist at Kent State University, the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and at California State University in Long Beach.

SunKoo Yuh’s career began with his first solo exhibitions at Helen Drutt Gallery Philadelphia, who has supported and promoted the artist throughout his career. More recent solo exhibitions include: Microcosms in Memory: Recent Work by SunKoo Yuh, Parkland College Gallery, Champaign, IL; Korea International Art Fair Solo Exhibition, Tho Art, Seoul Korea; Recent Ceramic Sculpture, Len G. Everett Gallery, Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL; Mundane Expressions, Visual Arts Gallery, University of Illinois at Springfield, IL; Mundane Life, Western Illinois University Arts Gallery, Macomb, IL; and SOFA 2000, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL. Major group exhibitions include: SOFA New York, Nancy Margolis Gallery, New York, NY; Archie Bray International 2006, Archie Bray Foundation Gallery, Helena, MT; A Tale to Tell, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI; Excess, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA; World Contemporary Ceramics: Trans-Ceramic Art, Icheon World Ceramic Center, Ocheon, Korea; Asian American Ceramics, Kentucky Museum of Arts and Design, Louisville, KY; Craft 5, Maga Museum, Yongin, Korea; Poetics of Clay: An International Perspective (traveled to Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA, the Museum of Arts and Design, Helsinki, Finland, and the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX); Regeneration, Los Angeles Folk and Craft Museum, CA; Life from Clay, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA; Rendezvous 99, Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, NE; Cloth and Clay, Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA.

In August of 2001, the internationally respected sculptor returned to his homeland as an invited artist at the World Ceramic Exposition 2001 Korea (WOCEK). The invitation was based on his bronze medal award in the WOCEK international competition. He also received an excellence prize at the Seoul Contemporary Ceramic Competition in 2000. In 2002 Yuh was awarded the grand prize at the 2nd World Ceramic Biennale International as well as the Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder’s Prize, Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA. His work has featured in the collections of the Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC; Icheon World Ceramic Center, Icheon, Korea; International Museum of Ceramic Art, Alfred University, Alfred, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, CA; Pacific Asian Museum, Pasadena, CA; Houston Center for Contemporary Art, Houston, TX and the Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA, among many others.

Tags: ceramics, sculpture