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The white oil lamps created by this Korean ceramist Sung Chul Kim are the result of working with maximized precision. The specimens in his Moon series are based on semi-spheres crafted from wheel-thrown porcelain. Sung Chul Kim deliberately crafts one half larger than the other and then joins the two parts so as to form an oval.

Only after the firing process, when the two parts have fused into one piece, does he remove the projecting material using sandpaper. When lit, Kim’s lamps change their appearance, radiating cozy warmth instead of cool elegance, and their austere shapes take on a soft and flowing quality.

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Oil Lamps, 2014. Porcelain, half matt glaze.

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Oil Lamp Moon, 2014. Porcelain, half matt glaze, 17 × 2 cm.

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Oil Lamps, 2014. Porcelain, half matt glaze.

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Oil Lamps, 2014. Porcelain, half matt glaze.

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Dodecagonal Oil Lamp, 2012. Porcelain, half matt glaze, 9 × 2 cm.

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Dodecagonal Oil Lamp, 2014. Porcelain, half matt glaze, 10 × 5 cm.

Sungchul Kim’s most notable works are oil lamps in the style of Korean moon lamps, which use the reflective properties of glazed porcelain and the structure’s shape to magnify the luminosity of a small flame. Kim’s lamps are made of two wheel-thrown halves placed one on top of the other to create an egg-shaped form.

To ensure a near-perfect appearance, he makes one half larger than the other and sands it down after firing so that it fits the smaller piece exactly. Kim strives to capture the qualities of a river-worn stone in these objects, so that they are various in appearance but perfect unto themselves.










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