Moon Jars by Kwon Dae Sup

Johyun Gallery – March 2021

Moon Jar installation, 2021

Do you like moons? Do you find them aesthetic? What if you can keep them in your room?

A moon Jar is a white porcelain created from the late 17th to the 18th century during the Joseon dynasty in Korea. Only high-quality kaolin is used to create it in which fine impurities have been removed. The process of manufacturing these delicate moon jars and its royal energy have also been inherited. These porcelains, however, are not just the copy of the Joseon’s. Artist Kwon Dae Sup uses his own modernity in his 2 exhibitions of Wonho (or Hwanho 圓壺) and Ipho (立壺) in accordance with their morphological types. The circular arcs of these china give these porcelains name ‘moon jar’ because of its white round shape that resembles the full moon. This very white china with a hint of blue and grey are quite similar in their sizes and shapes, and this particular exhibition carries a very soft, oriental, and heavy atmosphere. As seen by the seam at the middle part of the china, the artist integrated two hemisphere-shaped bowls. Although these porcelains are not perfect circle, there is balance and comfort from its almost round shape. The textures also, differ as some parts are not as shiny or as cloudy as others. 

While there is a special technique in making these moon jars, an artist’s product may differ by his or her choice of controlling heat temperature in a kiln. In addition, his work is clearly different from the moon jars of the Joseon Dynasty in regards to different textures and shapes. What is also interesting about his work is that the image of the full moon limits the scope of imagination and interpretation, due to the physical appearance of these jars that evidently resemble a full moon. 

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