Galerie Greve, Köln, 19.6.–29.8.2020
Galerie Karsten Greve is pleased to present ceramics by Korean artist Young-Jae Lee in Cologne. On display are one hundred and sixty Spinach Bowls – dining and drinking bowls created over a period of almost twenty years. This series of works originated from her delving into the history of the tea bowl. The small, bulbous jars have their special aesthetic appeal due to their diverse glazes.
Born in Seoul in 1951, Young-Jae Lee moved to Germany in 1972, studied in Wiesbaden and ran her own workshop near Heidelberg. Since 1987, Young-Jae Lee has been head of the long-established Margaretenhöhe Ceramics Workshop in Essen. With Bauhaus principles serving as a guide, the ceramic artist is striving for perfection in the formal idiom and color range as used by her workshop in Essen. At the same time Young-Jae Lee questions the traditions and reception of Korean ceramics.
Trends in Korean ceramics influenced the development of Japanese ceramics and porcelain. In the 16th century, the golden age of Korean ceramics, Korean ceramists produced their own drinking and dining bowls exclusively as tea bowls for the Japanese market, thus supporting the development of an excellent new ceramics culture. Inspired by the masters of the Joseon dynasty (139–1897), Young-Jae Lee created her own aesthetically pleasing and simple pieces. She adopted the shape of the traditional Korean ceramic bowls and redefined it for her own drinking and dining bowl – the Spinach Bowl.
Presented by Galerie Karsten Greve in Cologne, Young-Jae Lee comes across as an artist who is a mediator between Korean and Japanese, Asian and European culture, whose works merge the ancient tradition of Korean ceramics with modern art Specifically European in character.
The publication Das Grün in den Schalen provides not only an overview over the delicately produced bowls, but also insights into the tradition of Korean ceramic making.