Made in Korea (2017)

Min Soo Lee, photo by Bernard G Mills

Made in Korea is a cultural dialogue between ceramics and sound art that took place in the UK and South Korea throughout 2017. Involving 20 artists from Korea, 5 from the UK, and encompassing 4 exhibitions, 4 concerts, an international residency, and the launch of a unique audio guide, the project evolved over the course of a year in Brighton, London, Stoke-on-Trent and Seoul.

The phrase ‘Made in Korea’ is often synonymous with the mass production of ephemeral objects. Korean ceramic tradition stretches back several millennia, and the artists featured throughout this project reinterpret and rework this historic legacy. The displayed works combine contemporary references and highly individualised techniques, placing this impressive heritage within the world of globalised culture.

Following an Arts Council funded research trip to Korea in 2016, Kay Aplin curated an exhibition of Korean contemporary ceramics at The Ceramic House in May 2017, which transferred to Sladmore Contemporary in July, the first time a Ceramic House exhibition toured to a London gallery and an exciting new step for developing projects outside of the domestic arena.

A short documentary film about Made in Korea encompassing the various elements that make up the project.

The Ceramic House exhibition May 2017

The fifteen Korean ceramic artists selected represent some of the most exciting practitioners working in the ceramic medium today, who are based in South Korea, France, Germany, USA and UK.

Exhibition photographs by Bernard G Mills.

Exhibiting artists
Click on a name to reach each artist’s page.

Kyung Won Baek
Myung Nam An 
Jin Eui Kim
Jong Jin Park
Sun Kim
Jae Jun Lee
Sang Woo Kim
Wook Jae Maeng 
Jung Eun Han 

Veronica Juyoun Byun
Eui Jeong Yoo 
Chun Bok Lee
Min Soo Lee
Hye Mi Lee
Bo Kyung Kim

Made in Korea at The Ceramic House. An excerpt from the film Made in Korea focusing on the exhibition of contemporary Korean ceramics at The Ceramic House.

Made in Korea Sladmore Contemporary

In July the exhibition transferred to leading Mayfair gallery Sladmore Contemporary.

Made in Korea Residency 

Made in Korea further investigates the links between ceramic and sound art practice initiated in 2016 for Landscape : Islands and one of our key aims, facilitating collaboration between artists. Thematically, the residency explored hand-making and industrial techniques utilised in ceramic production in the UK and Korea.

Two Korean ceramists, Kyung Won Baek  and Jin Kim undertook a residency at The Ceramic House in summer 2017. They collaborated in creating a installation, Shadow Workers for British Ceramics Biennial (BCB), which was displayed opposite Kay Aplin’s installation Pavilion reflecting on her experiences in Korea, linked by a four-channel sound installation, Handmade Automation by Joseph Young.

More details about the residency here.

British Ceramics Biennial

Pavilion, Kay Aplin and Shadow Workers, Jin Kim & Kyung Won Baek, Made in Korea, BCB 2017 photo Joel Chester Fildes


Shadow Workers responded directly to the ceramic heritage of Wedgwood in Stoke-on-Trent, with which they drew parallels with Korean manufacturing industry, in particular the female-dominated labour force and positions traditionally held by women. Pavilion is inspired by traditional Korean architectural ceramic heritage.

The two installations were presented at the fifth iteration of British Ceramics Biennial and evoked a cultural conversation between UK and Korean ceramic traditions, further linked by Joseph Young’s Handmade Automation, composed of the sounds of hand-made clay making processes recorded in artists’ studios in Korea and industrialised ceramic production in factories in Stoke-on-Trent, creating a multi-layered soundscape.

BCB exhibition photographs by Sylvain Deleu

Celadonaphonic audio app

Three UK-based and three Seoul-based sound artists engaged in a sonic dialogue curated by Joseph Young on a GPS-triggered audio guide featuring compositions that use the ceramic making processes as its source sounds, with the sounds discoverable at iconic locations in Stoke-on-Trent and Seoul. It launched at BCB, offering visitors a unique 3D audio experience of Stoke and its historic manufacturing legacy. Download the app available on IOS and Android and search for Celadonaphonic. The sounds can be downloaded and listened to offline.

Sound artists
Joseph Young
Hankil Ryu
Sehee Choi
Jez riley-French
Young Eun Kim
Jason Singh

Jez riley French and pheobe Riley Law performed dissolves (Korea) from Celadonaphonic at British Ceramics Biennial. Photos by Sylvain Deleu.

Mullae Art Factory, Seoul

The concluding events for Made in Korea took place in November at Mullae Art Factory in Seoul, Korea.

These included Pavilion (Deconstructed), a condensed touring version of Kay Aplin’s larger installation created for British Ceramics Biennial, accompanied by Handmade, a two channel sound piece by Joseph Young, one half of Joseph’s original four-channel sound work at BCB. Handmade is composed of sound recordings Kay made while visiting the Seoul-based ceramic artists working in their studios who participated in the Made in Korea exhibitions at The Ceramic House and Sladmore Contemporary. 

In partnership with Seoul-based sound artist and curator Hankil Ryu, Celadonaphonic (Seoul) was launched in Seoul in November with a concert at Mullae Art Factory as part of Resonance Festival, where three of the sound artists featured on the app performed their compositions live: Joseph Young, Hankil Ryu and Sehee Choi. The documentary film by Tela Films about the Made in Korea project was premiered at the opening concert.

Photographs of the exhibition and the performances

Made in Korea Blog

Kay documented the entire Made in Korea project on a-n Artists Talking blog over the course of 13 months, starting with her research trip to Korea in October 2016 and came full circle, ending with the events in Seoul in November 2017. See blog here.

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