Sang Woo Kim graduated from Chonnam National University in 2004. Thereafter he developed his practice as an Onggi master in Boseong, Korea. From 2007 he worked in both Switzerland and Korea, completing his MFA from Seoul University in 2014. He is now based in France.
Sang Woo Kim’s smoked fired sculpture is globally acclaimed and is held in permanent collections including Musee Ariana, Geneva, Fine Art Museum in Slovenia and Amorepacific Museum, Korea. He has exhibited widely across Europe and Asia and is a multiple award winner in biennials around the world.
He describes his practice,
“In Korea, I had two years’ experience of physical labour and technical practice in a local pottery, making traditional Korean onggi jars. I still use this skill in my latest ceramic sculptural work and am inspired by the round shapes, that symbolise the ideal state of nature. I build simple shapes that open doors to contemplation and imagination. The polished naked clay communicates tactile properties and the addition of colours influences the perception of my work. The glossy surface has a haptic effect that encourages the viewer to approach and touch. I hope to awaken the senses by reinterpreting the traditions of my country.”
Floating clouds – The sky is blue ?
« Is there something else in the world that could give an impression of infinity such as clouds ?
Their form changes every second, they might look like a dancing ballerina or like an animal running in all directions. When we look at the sky in one direction, we can sometimes find a floating cloud coloured by the blue sky, while on the other side one red cloud is hanging over the hill, coloured by the sunset.
What are those smooth and rounded shapes that surround me? I would like to touch them.
They keep moving, changing their shapes in a mysterious kind of dance…
The music of the colours under the light together with the dance becomes a feast and sinks into my heart. »
« I lived in Switzerland in the region called Emmental, where the mountains are not so high and sharp like the Alps but more rounded. In winter, the snow falls and covers those smooth hills and their trees. From afar, the landscape looks like a sculpture. I go walking, following my way by random in this monochromatic environment. Up and down, left and right, still everything is hidden under the white snow. I lose my sense of orientation. »