Searching for the Smoothness, 2021

part of Reconfigured Chairs

glazed ceramics
90 x 52 x 66cm

Notes taken while making this sculpture

“[..…] I am seeking ambiguity, but an ambiguity with a familiar outlook. I’m certainly not aiming for a shock. I want to stay gentle and cautiously bring in familiar things. Inviting you confidentially, I hope you will find something else. […..]”

“[..…] I am fascinated by the realm of in-between-ness as it manifests itself as a nondescript space in between two or more objects. […..]”

“[..…] I observe my thoughts by moving my hands. Without an exact plan or clear image of where I will go, I start putting some clay on the kiln shelf. After roughly deciding the size, I just start building it up from the bottom. As I continue adding new layers, the form generates itself. The last layers of clay tell me which direction to go. Of course, there are moments when the clay is mute or indicates so little that I have to intervene. Then I step back to observe the situation. It allows me to hear the voice from within the lump of clay, proposing a certain way to go. I love this process because it’s about shifting roles. I feel like l am only a mediator who just brings the voice of the clay out into the world. [..…]”

“[..…] Which properties of clay tell me where to go? The traces of fingerprints, the shape of curves, the angle of faces, or the overall thickness and volume of the clay? Some parts evoke certain things. All the different properties show me the imaginary outline of an image. […..]”

“[…..] I once watched a TV show in which there was a wooden rocking horse in the home of a single woman. People asked her why she had a rocking horse despite the fact that she didn’t have a child. Her answer: she had it as a decorative object and sometimes she sat on it and contemplated. It reminded her of the sense of innocence from her childhood. Her story made me think this isn’t so odd after all. [..…]”

“[..…] Sometimes I feel remorse. But then it leaves me again. In the past, when I was building the lower part of an object, I only followed the directions the clay gave me. And as I gradually built it up, I would sometimes hear a voice say: “You should have built it in a different way.” Then I regret my interpretation and I regret my actions. But at the same time: by then it is too late because it’s too dry to mold it differently. Too hardened to change! Then I accept the situation because there’s no choice. I just move on. That’s it. […..]”

“[…..] As soon as I see something, I try to find something familiar in there. I try to become comfortable with what I am seeing. I only seek satisfaction by denying any confusion. I know it is destroying me, but it’s hard to resist. Of these disturbing and comfortable sentiments, which will I ultimately have to choose? [..…]”

“[…..] I love simplicity. I hate simplicity. It’s a constant conflict inside me. Perhaps I should choose the fixed stance between the two conflicting emotions? I feel the need to do it. But it’s really hurting me. […..]”

“[..…] Today, Hella Jongerius stated she’s mainly interested in finding out how to remain autonomous within the system. Would that be possible? I guess not. But at least we can try […..]”

“[…..] What I realized when I reached quite a height with one sculpture in progress is that I prefer curves to straight lines, but gentle curves, not radical curves. […..]”

“[…..] How wonderful would it be if I could spend my whole life making things with clay all day long – just like I’m doing right now? […..]”

“[…..] Is purely creating without any preconceived concept not an artistic act? When exactly is meaning generated? When people ask me the meaning of the things I have made, most of the time I haven’t even thought about it, to be honest. When I say it like that, people are disappointed. If there’s no single meaning that can be attributed to it, should we then conclude that it’s not art? Does that imply all art is about meaning? I don’t know the answer yet, but I might agree. As I am writing this down, meaning is generated automatically. So, if I keep writing, meaning will grow progressively. Food for thought! […..]”
© Sunwoo Jung