CM: How do you build your hybrid forms and create the detailed surface textures?
KO: My work has been strongly influenced by the elements of nature. Nature is the unifying subject in my carved porcelain objects; through depicting it, I am able to express the emotions and experiences of life. I unite the opposite qualities of fullness and emptiness by using positive and negative space, and use graceful, flowing lines to reveal a harmonic balance. To capture the sense of the movement of nature, I use celadon glazes; specific hues and tones function to heighten the expression of feeling in my work.
In the past, water was the main subject matter for my work, then I added form and texture. Inspiration comes from forms such as the Pitcher plant, Turban squash, and Aristolochia. I add coral texture for detail. Anything that catches my attention in new environments adds to my work. All of these elements are combined into new forms and textures.
I use wheel throwing to make a form and alter it by adding to it, cutting it, and tapping it. Once a new form is created, I draw lines and hand carve the surface decoration. Organic, flowing lines and pooling glaze emphasize the movement of water. For surface detail, I repeat patterns to create a realistic texture. For example, poking the surface of a piece with one pin tool for hours creates a coral texture, which is left without glaze to keep the detail. This surface depicts the contrast between shiny and matte, smooth and rough—like Yin and Yang. In making my work, I hope to express the combination of traditional Asian values and modern Western society.