Yoon Seok-hyeon

16 October 2021 - 8 May 2022
Ott / Another paradigmatic ceramic
Yoon Seok-hyeon

Yoon Seok-hyeon

Ott / Another paradigmatic ceramic

This autumn, the Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics in Leeuwarden presents a design exhibition with work by Yoon Seok-Hyeon (South Korea, 1992). Glazed ceramics are generally not recyclable and usually end up in landfills. In his search for a sustainable alternative to toxic glazing, Yoon Seok-Hyeon came across an ancient technique from his native country, ‘Ott’. The wood resin from the lacquer tree is traditionally used in Korea to lacquer wooden utensils. Yoon applies the technique (also called ‘Ottchil’) to ceramics. His Ottchil lacquered bowls, vases and dishes can be seen in his solo exhibition Yoon Seok-hyeon: Ott / Another paradigmatic ceramic in the Princessehof, which also provides the visitor with an insight into his working process.

The traditional Korean technique has been used for 2000 years and is known for its high quality. Treated with Ott, objects become antibacterial, water- and insect-repellent. The resin of the lacquer tree dries in the air and does not need to be fired, and it has the special property of evaporating when heated. In this way, pure clay can be recovered and the ceramic recycling process is completed. The ethical and aesthetic vases, with a natural coffee brown/orange shine, will be exhibited on the second floor of the museum. The museum is also making a short film about Yoon Seok-Hyeon and his working process.

Yoon _ Photo by RonaldSmits 복사본.jpg

Design and environment

Yoon Seok-hyeon graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2019. The innovative use of the traditional Ott lacquer technique earned Yoon the René Smeets Award for the best Bachelor of Arts project. He received a talent development grant from the Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie for his Ott series. The South Korean designer works from his studio in Eindhoven. Materials and objects in his surroundings inspire his design projects: ‘I observe and analyse them and try to make the link to design, environment, society and industry.’ This exhibition by Yoon Seok-hyeon is supported by the Stimuleringsfonds.

Korea year in the Princessehof
This autumn, the Princessehof will be devoted to South Korea. In addition to the design exhibition by Yoon Seok-Hyeon, MeekYoung Shin will be showing work in a new EKWC@Princessehof exhibition. The museum’s extensive autumn exhibition also revolves around Korea: visitors will discover Korea’s rich past and age-old culture through themes such as food culture, ideals of beauty and rituals. The enchanting celadon from the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392), pure white porcelain from the Joseon period (1392-1897), musical instruments and costumes, are interspersed with works by contemporary artists Yee Sookyung (1963), Juree Kim (1980) and Kyung-Jin Cho (1987), who underscore the enduring importance of ceramics in South Korea to this day. Treasures from the National Museum of Korea in Seoul will travel to Leeuwarden especially for the exhibition This is the first time they will be exhibited in the Netherlands. The Princessehof is creating this new exhibition with a sounding board group consisting of Dutch Koreans and Korea specialists.

The exhibition is also a perfect opportunity to celebrate the 60th anniversary of trade relations between the Netherlands and South Korea.

Partners of the Princessehof: Ottema-Kingma Foundation, Society of Friends of the Princessehof and Club Céramique.

The Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics is co-financed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Municipality of Leeuwarden.

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