I am delighted that the opening for British Ceramics Biennial was a wonderful event and our work has been very well received.
The two installations, mine and the Korean artists-in-residence’, sit very well together in parallel conversation. The idea (thanks to Barney Hare-Duke, artistic director of BCB) of slanting the walls they are mounted on, was a stroke of genius, as it very successfully links the two pieces together, both intimately and across the vast space of Spode Works. And indeed, the two pieces are in dialogue, about the ceramic making cultures of the UK (specifically the Potteries) and Korea, the handmade and the industrial, ceramic manufacturing in the studio and factory. Both pieces involve repetitive labour; the Koreans’ piece was made using hand finishing techniques that would have been employed in the Wedgwood factory, which the artists chose to do rather than use a more modern process which would have made the work easier. My tiles always involve repetitive casting or press moulding, and the traditional Korean roof tiles would have been made in the same way. Both pieces involve mass-production (on a small scale!) through hand-made techniques.
Joseph Young’s sound piece, Handmade/Automation, is a four-channel sound work which presents a sonic dialogue between two making cultures featuring field recordings from artists’ studios in Korea and ceramic production lines in Stoke-on-Trent. The sounds of hand-making in the Korean studios emanates from my Pavilion, and the sounds recorded in Johnson Tiles Factory come from the Korean AIRs Wedgwood piece. Joseph has carefully composed the sounds so that you stand in between the two walls and can discern the different sounds beautifully. It is a big success! Well done Joseph! It provides a beautiful, evocative soundtrack that very effectively links all the work.
We are also proud of the mobile audio app, Celadonaphonic. This is a GPS triggered soundwalk that accompanies the installations and is an innovative and ambitious element of the Made in Korea project where the focus is sound and ceramics.
CELADONAPHONIC is a conflation of two words ‘celadon’ – a type of clay used in traditional Korean ceramics and ‘phonic’ meaning of sound.
Curated by Joseph Young, and assisted by his co-curator Hankil Ryu, six sound artists (3 Korean, 3 British) have been commissioned to make new sound works about ceramics – some have used field recordings as the basis of their work, others have evolved more conceptual processes. The works, taken together, explore the nature and practice of two very different making cultures.
The mobile app that hosts the soundwalk can be found at echoes.xyz and is available for both iOS and Android. The locations are six of the BCB sites, starting at Spode Works and continuing to Emma Bridgewater and into the main hub of sites in Hanley: Airspace Gallery, the Potteries Museum, Bethesda Chapel and the Library. The sounds can be listened to remotely, from anywhere, but obviously it is best to do the trail! The sounds will automatically start playing as soon as the area is reached.
The same sounds will be sited in six sites around Mullae, in Seoul, to coincide with the culmination of the project, at Mullae Art Factory in November.
One of the sound artists on the app, Jez riley French, did a wonderful love performance of his piece ‘dissolves’ that is on the app, together with Pheobe riley Law. This took place at the end of the curator’s tour, when Joseph and I presented the project to the group.
Glazed porcelain tiles
An installation inspired by roof tiles that feature on traditional Korean architecture
Jin Kim and Kyung Won Baek
Porcelain, mirrored acrylic, custom designed wallpaper
An installation inspired by Wedgwood Jasperware with a focus on the female labour force employed in the Potteries
Four-channel sound work
A sonic dialogue between two making cultures featuring field recordings from artists’ studios in Korea and ceramic production lines in Stoke-on-Trent.
The three pieces of work will be exhibited together in the China Hall at Spode Works in Stoke-on-Trent. British Ceramics Biennial continues until 5th November. http://www.britishceramicsbiennial.com