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Artist Gives New Life to Shattered Porcelain Fragments By Fusing Them with Gold

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.

Yeesookyung: Website
via [Colossal]

All images via Locks Gallery.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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