Touch the Conversation – Two Selves ExhibitionSeptember 27, 2019
Yvonne KustecSeptember 27, 2019
Exhibition runs September 24th to November 23rd, 2019
Closing reception: November 23, 2019 from 2-4pm.
East meets West.
Old meets new.
Strength meets delicacy.
In two separate but related solo exhibitions at Medalta, artist Grace Han synthesizes these contrasting forces. Viewers are invited to “touch the conversation” by interacting directly with the work in both exhibitions.
Placing large Korean fermentation jars on the historic site where Canadian fermenting crock pots used to be produced has significant meaning for me, and is something I have been envisioning since I immigrated to Canada. In Korea, these types of jars are called Onggi and people use them for fermentation of foods such as Kimchi and rice wine (Mak-geol-li). When I was first trained in South Korea, I learned a great deal of unique Korean traditional techniques, including how to make Onggi. Those traditional Korean techniques and culture are deeply embedded in me. Although I have been living in Canada for almost a decade, the core of my work still comes from that culture. Having these Onggi jars around me growing up, learning the techniques of how to make them, and then actually creating them in my new home here in Canada, becomes a reflection of who I am – traditional vessels made with Canadian resources by using Korean traditional techniques. This New-Old style of work represents the current me, which feels somewhere in between two cultures.
When audiences enter the installation space, they are surrounded by the sounds of fermentation that I recorded when Korean traditional rice wine was fermenting in these Onggi jars, which were created in a beehive kiln during the residency here at Medalta. Viewers are welcome to touch the vessels as they listen to the sound of the transformation that occurred inside these jars.
Grace Han is a ceramic artist originally trained in Seoul, South Korea. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Dankook University where she specialized in traditional Korean Ceramic techniques and skills. She then worked for several years in one of the largest ceramic companies in Korea and built on her ceramics knowledge and experience outside of academia. She immigrated to Canada in 2011 and received her Master of Fine Arts from University of Manitoba. Now she is pursuing her career as a ceramic artist in Canada – her new home.