This winter Nara and I headed out to Insadong 인사동 which is this old amazing area of Seoul for mainly cultural activities, traditional tea houses, Korea related tourist goodies, and tons of galleries!  It is a really fun location that I need to feature here in the near future~ it is a bit far from my apartment so I do not venture out to it nearly enough!

The reason for today’s visit was to check out Dankook University’s Ceramic Arts Graduation Exhibition because Nara’s cousin Dahee had her thesis on display!   She decided to do some hanging fine art for this project vs functional pieces, the colors and textures came out so pretty! To roll ceramic so thinly like that must have taken some time *_*

♥ ♥ ♥

Ah I felt so old seeing her all done with school, when I first met her she must have been only 12 and we would play 가위-바위-보!  When she first started her ceramic major she made me a beautiful bowl that I keep on my dresser for jewelry!

The art overall from this graduating class was very cute, most likely because more than half of the class was actually female! I’m not sure if it is a coincidence or not, but most of the fine artists shows we attend are predominantly female here in Korea~ perhaps it is harder for men to have that kind of freedom to pursue arts here due to pretty intense social expectations that are placed on them in terms of education, income, and success….  ANYWAY, just a thought! So yeah, lets look at some pretty pieces we also happened to spot at the show!

Bunnies~ Some with rainbow heart eyes ♥

Another student made these beautiful teapots sculpted to look like pillows and rope.  The sculpting on the rope was extremely impressive, I had to get close to check if it was ceramic!

the whole set was a lot of fun stacked up, a really creative idea!

When we go to Doll Free Market we always see plenty of custom figures being sold, it seems to be a popular crafting pastime or even small business here. This student show had a few doll sculpts, but these are my favorite in terms of color and cuteness!

Another student had a wall of really beautiful horse figures all hand painted with fun designs.  My photo does not do these justice, I honestly wish she had just had them all out on a table in one massive cluster like the bunnies!

If she sold them piece by piece I think I would have bought at least 5 for my shelves… what is not to like about rainbow painted horses? Ah when I type “painted horses” all I can think about is “Silence of the lambs” now, dang.

 

Kitty Disney Princesses? Sounds good to me!

Garden buddies~

Really beautiful pine cone sculptures and a piece that I swear looks like the Krang Technodrome from Ninja Turtles.

Mermaid tea set! My Mother would love this one I think!

Really fun dot tea set that had pieces curved to fit into each other for display/storage

The whole area seemed to be rented out for small student shows that night~ so we spent a nice evening with Nara’s cousins just walking around and looking at all the work.

Spotted a majestic kitty just hanging outside of one of the old buildings.

Dahee hooked us up with an artbook they had printed for the show to sell and be a kind of yearbook for the class~ it was REALLY nice! Her page came out beautiful and they captured the spirit of the art so well. As you can see, she had her name also credited as “Diana” in the book too~she actually lived abroad till she was maybe 7 years old so she has an American name she likes to use for things like this in addition to her Korean one.  In Korea LOTS of people use western-style names as aliases when working, I’ve been told it is because it’s easier to remember for people, especially international ones.  I have a painting alias myself, so I understand the appeal of them.

I am actually so glad we got this because the location they had the show in was really hard to photograph and some of the arrangements looked a bit boring when I snapped them, but wow~ this book they had made is a really nice hardcover and each piece has been professionally set up and photographed. I’ll share a few more pages for the curious…

Nara and I love this cloud tea set! The plates and cups are especially fun ^^

All in all it was a very impressive student show, I did not expect to see so many things I actually wanted to own haha!  We are so proud of Diana and hope she goes on to do wonderful things and keep doing what she loves.

Have you been to any similar art shows before? What was your favorite piece from this show? Comment below!

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23 Responses to “Dankook Uni 2012 Ceramic Arts Graduation Exhibition”

  • Custom avatar Sophie:

    These students are truly talented.o_o
    I had a ceramic class in high school and I really liked it even though I was really bad.:-p I never thought people could make such beautiful things with ceramic, until I read your post! Everything was made with so many details. I was especially amazed though with the horses and how they looked realist. The dolls were adorable also, and their outfits were so cute.*-*
    Thanks for this post!:-)

  • Custom avatar JR:

    oh my..loved this article.
    Seoul looks like so much fun. I love the adorable teapots and the custom made doll sculpts….are these really for sale in a shop/gallery?
    God, i would love to go…LOL

  • Custom avatar Emily:

    Awesome post ^^ the tea sets are soadorable I wish they sold them!!! >.<

    • Elle:

      The students had to make molds as part of the final apparently, so we wanted to actually buy some but most did not expect to actually sell pieces I think lol! They really should though, the sets are adorable!!

  • OMG those bunnies with those eyes!!!!! gorgeous!
    i noticed something curious; nara’s cousin’s name is printed in both korean and english, and it has her anglicized name on there. i know another visual artist who is a hongdae grad and she also has an anglicized “artist” name that she uses when she’s abroad. is that a thing that artists do? or was she also raised in the states and had an english name? just wondering; i thought that was interesting. :)

    • Elle:

      Good eyes! I fixed the post a little today to explain it a bit (I was waiting for Nara to confirm something when he woke up lol) but yes, Koreans all seem to adopt a “Western” name at some point that some continue to use even outside of English study. Aliases here when working as artists or anything kinda public are extremely common, even the owners at cafe Co-Kiri we featured has names they wished to go by vs their Korean ones. People do this for a variety of reasons here~ to avoid using their full proper name for privacy, seem international, or to make the name easier to remember seem to be the major ones! In Nara’s cousin’s case, she lived in the states for a few years till she was maybe 6 or 7 so she had adopted an American name she uses sometimes on things like Facebook or when working in shows like this~ however I only know her as “Dahee” so I only learned this recently myself lol.

  • Wow, these are so cute I wish I’d practice my ceramics more. It’s like a cutesy exhibition! Which can never be bad!

  • Absolutely adore the cloud tea set and the pillow tea pots, combines two of my favourite things into one delightful afternoon. Dahee is really talented, I hope she goes on to do wonderful things :D

  • Custom avatar Eveline:

    ‘This student show had a few doll sculpts’ those dolls are amazing! Are the from ceramic?
    Is making dolls that popular in korea? Too they have classes or do they sell there custom dolls online? I like too know more about this ^.^ its so cute idea too make your’re own dolls!

    • Elle:

      Yes :) I believe everything in the show was ceramic since that was the major~ Dahee was saying many of the items on display are made from molds so that the student could make multiples if they wanted. I assume that was part of the class or something, the result was really nice and makes a lot of sense on sets like the teapots and stuff! Doll-making seems to be a popular craft, I run into a lot of people that make custom bases to actually sell here quite frequently at shows~ the results are really impressive! I’m not sure what sort of classes are offered, lots of crafty things can be taught at hangwon schools here but I have not looked into it myself! I plan on featuring a few custom doll makers in the future that I am really fond of here, so hope you will look forward to them :D

      • Custom avatar Eveline:

        Thank you for your’re nice reply ^.^
        How smart too use molds, that save a lot off trouble. And how awesome is that they learn something like that at school! The hangwon schools sound like amazing schools.
        How i would love too have such a schools here ^-^ when you see such amazing results the arts school in Korea must be amazing.
        ^-^ I am looking forward about that featuring!

  • Custom avatar Maeva:

    omg, that bunnie on the left, I know it’s an exhibition but if I saw this one, I would totally wan it *-*
    Like the pine cone sculptures, I like the colors and it make me wanna go back to Christmas haha

    All of these works looks impressive, I wonder how long did they work on these. Nara’s cousin work looks really great, it must be awesome in a house.

    It makes me wonder, does S.Korea have small courses (like few weeks or months) in college/uni for those who want to learn about arts or stuff like this ?
    I just discovered that UK have many of those and I was ashamed I didn’t know that while I was in Manchester. Since I’m planning to go to Korea, I wanna make sure to enjoy the most of it :)

    • Elle:

      I’m not sure, I think normally they spend a semester or less working on thesis~ that was pretty much the case when I went to school for my BFA as well…I’m pretty sure that is what she finished with since this was a University art program. Korea has lots of small classes for different hobbies at hagwons (like mini study schools) they teach just about anything it seems, I almost took one for calligraphy and another for soap making, but my Korean is not so great so I dont think I will be able to follow along so well! haha. As for University classes, we have lots of art schools, but I so not know about any short term classes that do not require you to be fluent in Korean or enrolled in the actual school! A hagwon would most likely be a better (and prob cheaper) option if you are able to communicate in Korean enough to follow instructions.

      • Custom avatar Maeva:

        hahaha I asked and forgot I should speak korean for this classes uugggh. Oh I heard about hagwons on french tv, they said that korean parents puts their kids in these classes when they lack in some classes so they will be better at schools, I’m not wrong, am I ? Those kids/teens don’t even have free time sometimes. That’s amazing how they study hard while in France we’re just happy when a teacher is not here. We should learn from them.
        Soap making must be great, everytime I go to Lush I’m amazed by all these soap and smell so I think it’s the kind of interesting classes.

        No, seriously, I completely fell in love with that bunny, I literally want it *-*

  • How beautiful it all! * O *! I love pottery and I especially like the eyes of rabbits rainbow. I also enjoyed the work of your friend, the Orientals have a sense of aesthetics awesome <3!
    Kisses!

  • Custom avatar Kitty:

    I love the tea set that fits together and the cloud set!
    I’m a sucker for tea cups and pots! I have so many!

    Everything is so incredible, it’s hard to believe they’re hand made!

    I love this post!

  • Custom avatar Anh:

    Hi Elle , I just want to let you know that I enjoy your blog very much . Reading it makes me want to take a trip there myself :) .

  • Oh my goodness! The custom dolls are so cute.

  • I am in love with those little ceramic ghosts!

  • Custom avatar Suzanna:

    Oh wow, these are all so lovely I don’t know where to begin! From the bunnies to the ghosts to the owl matryoshka dolls. I love the inherent whimsy in everything. It manages to be kitsch and comfy but also chic which is something that I adore.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  • There are a lot of nice pieces but I think my favourite is the pillow tea pot set, because it’s beautiful AND useful!!

    Congratulations to your cousin in law :)

    I’ve been in 2011 to the Taipei Int’l Design Expo, so I could see a LOT of stuff like this made by designers and so and it was just amazing! A pity my camera ran out of battery almost at the begining… ( Could only blame myself for not checking it ^_^)

  • Custom avatar Danielle:

    I absolutely love Nara’s cousin, Dahee’s beautiful art piece. Just absolutely gorgeous. I would love that on my walls!

    I never looked at ceramics like an art form. Well I knew it was, but now I have a whole new respect for it. :)

  • Custom avatar ShuJun:

    I think if they are for sale, I will totally buy them! They all look so adorable and so intricate. You can totally see the efforts and love they put in the ceramics pieces. If I see any of them in a store, I will literally ask for the price and bring them home almost immediately.

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