London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Korean Ceramics: Arts and Techniques. Or, Why don’t people talk to each other?

Asia House


Thursday 25 May 2006, 6.30-7.30pm at Asia House

Dauphine Scalbert is a distinguished French potter who, having spent 6 years studying pottery and restoring antique ceramics in Korea, has Korean pots in her blood. Her copiously illustrated talk at Asia House last night was an interesting overview of the history of Korean ceramics. Of particular interest was her description and step-by-step studio pictures of the different decorative techniques in action. She also showed some images of some modern Korean ceramics. Scalbert tries to bring some of the simplicity and style of the Korean tradition to her own work. Her talk was extremely well-timed, in view of the contemporary Korean ceramics exhibition at the Air Gallery next week as part of the London Korean Festival.

I was therefore shocked and disappointed that she seemed to be totally unaware next week’s show. I am, naively, ever-hopeful that, in the very small world of Korean cultural promotion, the different organisations who bring all the different Korean delights to London will one day work together, or at the very least talk to each other. I thought that the juxtaposition of the Asia House talk with the special exhibition next week was a rare example of cross-organisational collaboration. Boy, was I wrong. Even when someone from the floor asked if there was anywhere in London where one could see some contemporary Korean work, the talk was all of the old work at the British Museum, the V&A, the Ashmolean and the Fitzwilliam, and whether the BM’s prize exhibit, the moon jar once in the possession of Bernard Leach and Lucie Rie, was in London or Seoul at the moment (the BM’s curator, who was in the audience, was able to confirm that it was in Seoul, though the speaker wouldn’t believe her). Stephanie, you will be pleased to hear that I plugged your show, which prompted Betty Yau from Asia House to mention she had two (only two?) leaflets about it.

Please support the exhibition at the Air Gallery next week. I’ll be posting an article about it by its curator, Stephanie Seungmin Kim, this weekend.

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