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Brooch: Plum Blossom, 2015

Wood, rice, silver, lacquer, 8 x 2 x 14cm

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Brooch: Blue Thistle, 2015

Hanji( traditional korean paper), rice, ebony, water color, porcelain pigment, nail polish, 9 x 6 x 11 cm

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Brooch: Hide and Seek, 2015

Hanji(traditional korean paper), rice, found glass, amethyst, oxidized silver, water color, acrylic color, 6 x 5 x 8cm

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Brooch: Eat It or Wear It, 2015

Hanji( traditional korean paper), rice, ebony, oxidized silver, brass, nail polish 4 x 4 x 11 cm

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Brooch: Lotus, 2015

Rice, paper, found wood, aventurine, oxidized silver, water color, 6 x 4 x 10 cm

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Brooch: Untitled, 2015

Hanji( traditional korean paper), rice, beans, silver, wood, lacquer, 11 x 6 x 10 cm

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Brooch: Black with Black, 2015

Hanji( traditional korean paper), rice, ebony, oxidized silver, lacquer, obsidian, 10 x 5 x 7 cm

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Brooch: Pink Daisy, 2015

Hanji(traditional korean paper), rice, oxidized silver, purple heart wood, acrylic color, 6 x 3 x 9 cm

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Brooch: Rutile Vase, 2015

Rice, purple heart wood, coral, rutile quartz, oxidized silver, keum-boo (24k Gold Foil), water color, 6.6 x 5 x 10 cm

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Brooch: Untitled, 2015

Hanji( traditional korean Paper), rice, wood, oxidized silver, nail nolish, 10 x 2 x 15 cm

Born in Seoul, South Korea. In 2005 studied Bachelor of Arts at Hong-Ik University, Metal Art and Design in Seoul, South Korea. In 2012 studied Bachelor of Arts at Fachhochschule Düsseldorf, Applied Art and Design, Germany. In 2015 graduated Master of Fine Arts University of Applied Sciences Trier, Gemstones and Jewellery, Idar-Oberstein. Lives and works in Pforzheim, Germany.

Every day we are surrounded by and interact with countless objects. What are they and why they are so commonplace that we sometimes not notice them? Although we neglect them easily, they help us to live our lives more comfortably, easily and elegantly. They are so intimate with our daily life, that we often loose recognition of their existence. We become aware them only by our needs or by sense of absence when they are gone.

Beyond the consideration of preciousness and non-preciousness, we need to question how the material can act storage of ideas. The ideas might not only be focused on gold and silver, but also can be with things that surround us daily and how these materials can be alternatively considered. Without the restraints of high value materials there is the freedom to face the common perceptions about jewelry. Jewelry itself has a great value, but mostly this value depends on what materials it is made of.

But I think jewelry can be made from any other materials such as natural and man-made materials, wood, stone, glass and metals and so on. I am from the culture, where the jewelry is just focused on money. People generally don’t perceive jewelry conceptionally as a tool of expression but as financial property. The people’s imprinted thinking is that jewelry is supposed to be made of precious metal and decorated with gemstones. This has made people hesitant to explore the use of various ingredient within material.

For that reason, I was always questioning if the material is not conventional how can it create a value in the eye of the wearer or viewer? If a piece of jewelry is not ‘precious’ in the traditional way, then what is it that attracts us to it and still are thy valuable?

For example, when people think about rice and beans, the first thing that comes to mind is food-not adornment, not gold or silver. These grains are important for our nourishment and survival. To me, they have a sort of beauty to them.

The purpose of my pieces are for viewer or wearer may appreciate values beyond the material. My practical works are made with rice, beans, found objects, paper and silver. One is clearly perceived as more valuable than the other. This will indeed lead contrasting combination to the wearer and everything that is valuable or not, in our perception, becomes valuable in a variety of way. - Saerom Kong

Saerom Kong

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PaperBricks Pallet 2016, paperbricks

Using the PaperBricks, the PaperBricks Pallet series were created to show how the PaperBricks could be used constructively. The series consists of two coffee tables and a bench.

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PaperBricks Pallet Coffee Table Detail

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PaperBricks Pallet Bench , 2016

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PaperBricks Pallet Series, 2016, paperbricks

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Alchemist’s Furniture 2017, newspaper, wood glue, wood

The Alchemist’s Furniture is series of furniture which explores the transformation of a material into another element through the application and the technique. Paper is sculpted into branch like structures which has the aesthetics of a marbled stone, while having the tactility of both rough stone and soft paper. Just like an alchemist would, a lifeless material from old newspapers have been given a new life as a furniture of another element.

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WAXED 2015, paraffin wax, wood

Wax is a material which gradually disappears over time. With this project, I wanted to use the wax to freeze the time and also hold the construction together.

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PaperBricks_Sculpt series 2017, paperbricks, paper, wood glue, wood

PaperBricks_Sculpt series is an exploration into the material and its contrasting characteristics. Paper can be both soft and hard, rough and smooth, systematic and irregular which can be seen in this series. The soft surfaces, rigid shapes in contrast to rough and natural forms. The contrast is also in the way of working. The mould manufactured bricks to freely sculpted legs.

WooJai Lee is Korean - New Zealander designer based in Eindhoven, Netherlands. He likes to work with different materials, experimenting and exploring their hidden potentials. He works in both constructional and sculptural ways, mixing the qualities of the two to create unique style of works. They are highly influenced by his interest in materials, craftsmanship, drawing and sculptures.

WooJai Lee

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According to Lee, colors of celadon are more varied than those of white porcelain. He likes to experiment with different shades of celadon depending on the form and usage of his works, rather than being confined to the traditional celadon color. His favorite Goryeo celadon patterns are the early ones with clear drawings using the sanggam technique. He strives to create sophisticated celadon works with vibrant colors that balances simplicity and touch of drawings.

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The colors, forms, and expression methods of the Goryeo celadon are indeed superior but it is equally important to evolve that style into a new direction that people of our times can relate to. Therefore, Lee’s tableware works have developed in its color, form and patterns in a way that fits naturally into our modern lifestyle. By combining the understanding of traditional potteries and its techniques with that of the modern lifestyle, Lee, Eun Bum is creating the contemporary celadon works of our times.

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He also frequently visits old celadon remains throughout the Korean peninsula to study the broken pieces and how they differ across the regions, continuously studying the different effects of clay & glaze combinations.

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Lee is a superb engineer who advances the techniques of the traditional celadon but he is also a designer who creates objet that blends well into our modern lives. He aims to create the new celadon of our times that combines the sophistication of the lines and elegance of pure celadon. He constantly updates and improves his celadon works, treating it as a living entity that grows and matures.

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I like works that have been created with a great deal of care and effort. I also find witty works interesting, but I prefer works that make me want to keep them by my side because they reflect so much of the love and sincerity of the person who made the work. I am always thankful to the works that are made with love and warmth for the viewers and users.

I hope that my work does the same and try to place my utmost efforts at every moment. I often stroke my daughter’s head, just like my mother did for me. When doing so, I realize that the touch of my mother is the same as mine. I create works with the same heart and the same hands, as if I am praying.

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“Beop Go Chang Sin (法古創新),” the four-character idiom, refers to the spirit of creating the new, based on the old. One must learn the old, yet learn it thoroughly, and one must create what is new, yet it must not be solely new.

If the old is not learned thoroughly, then the essence cannot be ascertained and therefore becomes a fabrication. If the new is created yet is not beneficial, then it becomes trash. I always promise myself to become neither a fabrication nor trash. I also believe that this work must be that of joy. I believe the most important thing as an artist is to work joyfully, for the sake of a happy life. In that way, the positive energy will likely be reflected in my work.

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Lee Eun Bum graduated from department of Ceramics at Hongik University in 1992 and started training in Onggi making. He has been introducing his works in five solo exhibitions as well as many other group exhibitions such as ‘Design & Color’ at the International Ceramic Center at Icheon and “Croisements vers la communication” in Paris hosted by IAC.

His works are part of the permanent collection at Chosun Hwanyo Museum in Gwangju as well as Korean Cultural Center in UK. Today, he is back in his hometown in Eumsung, working away in his self-made studio to create works that are contemporary while respecting and borrowing from the traditions and heritage of Korean pottery techniques.







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