Vases by and with Young-Jae Lee from the Keramische Werkstatt Margaretenhöhe in Essen
Wed, 13.04.2016–Sun, 26.06.2016
MAK DESIGN LAB
The Korean ceramicist Young-Jae Lee comprehends the vases, originating over the course of the last 30 years as practice pieces
of the students in the Keramische Werkstatt Margaretenhöhe in Essen, which Lee has headed since 1987, as a “declaration of
love to the terribly normal, light-hearted, and not necessarily perfect.”
In this presentation the artist applies herself to the imperfect and thus very personal vases that document the learning process
of her students while “pulling up” ceramic vessels.
These practice pieces are normally discarded, but not in Young-Jae Lee’s studio: it is especially the imperfect and yet individual
character of the works, the effort that remains apparent in these vases, that has been and remains reason enough for her to
keep the ceramics, decorate them simply, and fire them when there is enough room in the kiln. Hundreds of vases have accumulated
in this way over the decades, in which the history of the workshop, of Young-Jae Lee herself, and the personal histories of
her students are held.
Young-Jae Lee continues a long tradition of craftsmanship with her international staff in the more than 90-year-old Keramische
Werkstatt Margaretenhöhe in Essen. The East Asian view of ceramics as an art form with many interfaces between series production,
craft, and work of art is united with traditional German language of form in the workshop.
Curator: Johannes Wieninger, Curator, Asia Collection
The MAK Asia Collection consists of around 25,000 objects from China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam dating from between the Neolithic
period and the present; these represent a wide range of artistic and artisan output from Asia and simultaneously provide insight
into the centuries-long reciprocal relationship between Asia and Europe. Like other collections of its kind, the MAK Asia
Collection is itself a work of Orientalism: all of the objects collected here were selected by Europeans and thus represent