By Tracy Solimeno
SUU College of Performing and Visual Arts
CEDAR CITY–SUU’s Department of Art & Design welcomes ceramic artist, Sam Chung, as an Art Insights speaker on Thursday, January 25, at 7 p.m. He’ll speak at the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA). His ceramic pottery incorporates design, aesthetics, and function to translate natural motifs into works of art. Admission is free and open to the public.
For Chung, the historical framework of a piece provides a visual and cultural source of inspiration. His vessels incorporate stylized shapes, line work, and unique glazes. Chung utilizes both wheel-thrown and hand-formed elements to create organic vessels with a touch of historical fantasy. While pieces are functional, their clean, abstract design becomes the dominating element.
Chung received his Master of Fine Arts from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Art from St. Olaf College. He has taught at Northern Michigan University and Arizona State University. His work has been featured at Greenwich House Pottery-Jane Harstook Gallery, Lawrence Arts Center, AKAR, Plinth Gallery, and Lacoste Gallery as well as numerous group exhibitions both nationally and internationally.
“I am interested in the way that pots have the unique ability to serve a multitude of roles and functions,” Chung said. “They can create nostalgia, reference history or places, bring attention to more tactile or ergonomic concerns, and of course, serve a utilitarian role.” Chung’s most recent work features clouds, a symbol depicted in traditional Korean art. He said, “I am interested in the way in which clouds represent a phenomenon that is constantly in flux. Their nature to morph and adapt is similar to the way in which I relate to my own floating sense of identity. These cultural references are intended to serve as an anchor to point towards my own ethnic lineage, but also question my perception of belonging within or outside of it.”
Susan Harris, Professor of Art at Southern Utah University, said, “Chung’s unique, beautifully crafted and conceived art work, which references cloud imagery and pottery forms, originates from traditional Korean art and design. Because of this, his vessels are sculptural in form and are of interest to both ceramic vessel makers and ceramic sculpture students.”
Art Insights is hosted during the fall and spring semesters by SUU’s Art & Design faculty. Students and community members meet to partake in presentations and discussions by visiting artists and art educators from around the nation who share their work and insights.
Come enjoy the transitory beauty of clouds through Sam Chung’s designs and contemporary ceramics. For more information, please visit www.suu.edu/pva.