Hun Chung Lee
Hun-Chung Lee (b. 1967) is widely recognized for his mastery of 15th century Korean celadon glazing techniques, which he uses to create stunning ceramic works that embrace and blend the formal vocabularies of sculpture and functional design. Born and based in Seoul, Lee earned his BFA and MFA in ceramic sculpture from Hongik University in Seoul, before moving to the United States to obtain a second MFA in sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute. He then pursued a PhD in architecture in Korea. The range of Lee’s education speaks to his diverging aesthetic and conceptual interests and his vision to merge the seemingly distinct disciplines of art, design, and architecture into a singular whole. Over the course of his career, he has created a vast array of functional design works, large-scale, multi-part installations and smaller ceramic objects.
Lee’s approach requires significant engagement with and knowledge of his materials and process. He hand-sculpts each of his pieces and paints the layers of glaze over several days, exerting the expertise he has honed over 30 years, while also embracing the mystery and surprise of the process. Lee is often inspired by nature, which is evoked through his delicate color palettes and organic forms. In instances, he seamlessly incorporates concrete and steel into his works, making these “cold materials” appear softer. At the same time, the inclusion of such media adds intricacy and depth to the texture and surface of his sculptural objects.
Hun Chung Lee’s work is found in the permanent collections of the Archie Bray Foundation Center, Helena, MT, Dae-yoo Culture Foundation, Seoul, South Korea, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea, Jinro Foundation of Culture, Seoul, Korea, Niagara Gallery, Melbourne, Australia, and more. He currently lives and works between Seoul and Los Angeles.