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LEE CHANG HWA

ABOUT ARTIST

Lee, Chang Hwa graduated from Ceramic Department of College of Fine Arts in Hongik University. He also holds a master’s degree in Industrial Arts from the same school. Since 1999 he introduced his white porcelain and jinsa works through various solo and group exhibitions. In 2004 and 2006, he won awards in the Korea’s beautiful pottery public call competition. His works are part of the permanent collection in the Icheon World Ceramic and Gyeonggi Ceramic Museum.

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THE PROCESS

Lee, Chang Hwa likes to play with earth. Just like kids focuses on playing without any pressure or constraints, Lee likes to play with earth. Sometimes folding it, sometimes stacking it up or punching a hole in it… in the process of playing and having fun, the creator strives for precision or aim to create functionality. But the important point is that even playing needs to have some sort of order. This becomes a source of stress or constraint but his goal is to play with earth while managing his stress level. The reason why he actively manages his stress level is because of his concern that stress might be reflected in their work. Lee wants people to find the fun and creative spirit of play in his works not his stress.

WORK PHILOSOPHY

“Pottery reflects not only the potter’s thinking but also the emotion.”

Because of this belief, he claims that his works are greatly reflected by his surroundings. He believes that to bring diversity and positive improvements to his works he must not only change his mind but also change his surroundings, the system, his tools, the way he works and other factors that will lead to change in his emotions.

Lee, Chang Hwa sometimes frequently engages in ‘random creations.’ He does this when he is stuck and unsure of what to make. He lets his mind wonder off and he creates anything that comes to his mind. After his process, he carefully observes each piece and selects which ones can be his and which ones does not reflect his direction. Those that are not selected are destroyed without remorse. The works that have been selected are fine-tuned are finally given his signature on the

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bottom. Whenever he feels weary or worn-out he engages in this type of creation. Creating with an empty mind can sometimes lead to fresh and innovative works. One may say this type of creation based on luck but luck also comes to those who are ready.

Lee strives not to look at other people’s work. He says the afterimage may linger in his head and get reflected in his own works. This can ultimately lead to unconscious imitation. This is a distraction in finding identity in his work.

He claims that imitating and taking the easy route dampens creative thinking and invites idleness. The reason why imitating artists never seem to establish an identity of their own work is because creative thinking has not become a habit and they keep referring to other people’s work. If one does not unceasingly train their creative thinking capability or become idle in contemplation, one cannot create works with depth.

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