Image: Installation View of Han-soom, 2023, exhibition at the Art Gallery at Evergreen. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.
Han-Soom: Grace Han & Gloria Jue-Youn Han
November 26, 2022–February 5, 2023
Han-soom presents the bold yet delicate art of Grace Han and Gloria Jue-Youn Han. Korean ceramic vessels contrast with clay objects that are simultaneously familiar and unexpected, occupying the gallery from floor to ceiling. The two artists’ evocative pottery—exemplified by Grace Han’s seemingly weightless quilted jars and Gloria Han’s intricately carved bottles—is put into conversation with installations of Grace’s interactive hexagonal forms and Gloria’s relief-carved baseboards. The artists draw on the technological and artistic traditions of Korean ceramics through the teachings of elders, working with a distinct visual iconography and the legacy of form and colour. Both artists grapple, in different ways, with Western concepts of “contemporary” and “traditional,” which fail to encapsulate the complexities of their art and lives. Grace Han, originally from South Korea and now living in Canada, and Gloria Han, a first-generation Korean Canadian daughter of immigrants, find inspiration in their personal diasporic experiences to create striking artworks that assert the strength of ceramics and its makers. Together, their creations speak to the transformative power of clay as a material and a means for communication.
About The Artists
Grace Han is a ceramic artist originally trained in Seoul, South Korea. She immigrated to Canada in 2011. Han makes art to express her feeling of betweenness that comes from her experience living and making art in two homes, two cultures and two languages. Han uses clay as an opportunity to share her story with audiences.
She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Dankook University, Seoul, where she specialized in traditional Korean ceramic techniques. She then worked for several years for one of the largest ceramics companies in Korea and built on her ceramics knowledge and experience outside of academia. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. Grace Han lives in Winnipeg and teaches at the University of Manitoba in the School of Art.
Gloria Jue-Youn Han makes art that investigates how traditions are altered, adapted and created anew by diasporic peoples. She draws connections between her experience as a first-generation Korean Canadian daughter of immigrants and the ways in which traditions survive through tumultuous events in history. In this connection, she is able to use craft to communicate moments of extreme care, commitment, intimacy and love.
Han received the BC Arts Council Early Career Development Grant to partake in a mentorship with master potter Clay Jung Hong Kim and potter Sylvia Kim to increase the rigour in her ongoing studies in traditional Korean ceramics. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, and her Masters of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Gloria Han lives in Coquitlam and teaches at Langara College, Vancouver.