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The ceramic sculpture of SunKoo Yuh, who was born in South Korea in 1960 and immigrated to the United States in 1988, is composed of tight groupings of various forms including plants, animals, fish, and human figures. While Korean art and Buddhist and Confucian beliefs inform some aspects of his imagery, his work is largely driven by implied narratives that often suggest socio-political critiques.
“The process of my work is a means of transformation from interior images to tangible sculptures. First, I draw images intuitively and spontaneously with ink and brush. I believe that these two dimensional images contain not only an unconscious concern of my life but also come from my heart. Then, I closely study my drawings and select a few images from which to make three-dimensional clay sculptures. I want my work to express my inner emotions as well as to communicate to others.”
Yuh has been Associate Professor at the University of Georgia, Athens since 2005. He is an artistically ambitious ceramic sculptor and has exhibited extensively, in Korea, China and across the United States.
“Each of Mr. Yuh\'s sculptures is a gnarly, gorgonlike aggregate of caricatural heads and figures, with animals and flowers. Fangs or horns are not unusual. The effect is of a disassembled totem pole that mixes the personal with a broad range of cultural references. Roses and lotuses signal the East-to-West reach. A recurring stocky bird or orange mottled hound could be household pets. The poured three-color glaze of (again) the Tang here evokes everything from drool to ritual dousing, as does the blue stream covering the woman (possibly a spouse) who lords it over the pile of beings in \"Anniversary\". The antic, leering vehemence of the tangles can also bring to mind the German Expressionism of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. This show should startle even Chelsea\'s most seasoned denizens from their appointed rounds.” Roberta Smith, New York Times.