10 Questions for Yoonjee Kwak
*PRODUCTS are at the bottom of this page
What was the impetus for becoming a ceramic artist?
I have been exposed to a creative, artistic environment under my mother’s influence since I was a child. I think my interest in art is inherited from her. I decided to go to an art high school and study fine art as my major. I had a chance to take a ceramic class when I was a freshman in the high school and my interest in clay started growing up from that time.
What inspires your forms and surfaces?
I use sculptural vessel form to represent human beings as iconic symbols of the Korean culture. In Korea, when people talk about someone’s personality, we often use “vessel” as a metaphor of one’s spirit of tolerance. For instance, when we talk about someone who is very generous or broad-minded, we say, “His vessel is big”. I explore this theme through forms that are derived from minimalism, nature and geometry.
Who are your favorite artists?
There is a handsome artist whose name is Namdoo Kim (My husband lol).
How did your current aesthetic style come to be?
I have started to make works that are approachable and tactile but still have similar languages with my lager scale of sculptural works. I believe that intimate relationship and memories are created when people touch and use my pieces. It feels like I become a part of their lives and indirectly share the same memories through my works.
What is your favorite form to make?
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
No matter how hard and difficult it is, if you think it is necessary, just do it!
Do you have other creative outlets/practices?
Not really… ? I like listening to music and practicing to take good pictures of my cat!
If you weren’t an artist, what would your dream job be?
Food stylist..? Traveler?
Any favorite meal/food?
What has been your most memorable trip/vacation/residency?
I had an unforgettable birthday trip to Yellowstone national park with my favorite artist (husband) while I was working at Archie Bray Foundation as one of Summer resident artists in 2016.