6 March – 2 May
Ree Soo-Jong (born 1948) has long been recognised as one of Korea’s principal ceramic artists. Vitally, he has always been engaged with painting and drawing, running this thread alongside his ceramic activity. He is the painterly draftsman par excellence, and in many respects, drawing underpins everything he does.
This exhibition comprises of a number of groups, each of which is an essay on the ancient, transcendent tradition of the moon jar. One of the artist’s great signature pieces is a tall white vessel derived from this iconic shape, with a single dramatic gestural black brush mark across its face. It is a spectacular, existential statement about the fusion of past and present, and a quintessentially Korean approach to the painted vessel. A sublime level of confidence brings thrown form and painted surface into unison.
The moon jar holds great spiritual as well as material resonance and having exhibited in a temple in Korea Soo-jong’s moon jars will now be shown in a different sort of ecclesiastic architecture, the 13th century tithe barn at Messums Wiltshire. The moon jars will be placed down the length of the barn, leading towards the Elisabeth Frink Studio and Lee Hun Chung’s clay sculpture, bringing together diverse histories, ancient traditions and shared understandings.