Since 2001, Korean artist Yeesookyung has taken shards of discarded porcelain and reconfigured them into impressive abstract sculptures. Called Translated Vase, these bulbous forms feature a myriad of colors, shapes, and surface designs whose separate parts all converge into single towering pieces. Despite their mismatched elements, Yeesookyung’s work feels cohesive because of their adhesive; she uses 24-karat gold leaf to line the cracks, recalling the Japanese art of kintsugi—a repair method that celebrates the artifact’s history by emphasizing its imperfections.
The Translated Vase was inspired by Yeesookyung’s interest in a tradition held by Korean artisans—they destroy porcelain works that have minor defects in order to keep the rarity and value of surviving vessels. Saving these fragments, Yeesookyung puts them back together in “the manner of three-dimensional jigsaw puzzles.” She explains, “From the moment of destruction, I obtain a chance to intervene and fabricate new narratives with my own translation.” The pieces reemerge as hybrids that preserve the past while celebrating a beautifully unconventional future.
All images via Locks Gallery.