Ji-Sook Lee’s recent works: from scholar’s accoutrements from the past to female objects in the present

Ji-Sook Lee, a Korean ceramist, newly appropriates an old Chaekkado (Scholar's accoutrements)1 by using acrylic paint on terracotta. A pile of sorted books and Obangsaek2, using the traditional five colors in Korea, draw our attention to stuff easily found around us, rather than the old item. Chaekkado is the landscape of the male study room. Scholars of the Joseon dynasty boasted books and precious items collected for their richness and the perspective gained from them.

In addition, they eased the desire for reading by lightening the mood in literary circles, a pastime considered as highly as studying. The study is full of male desire and taste, as well creating an illusion, based on the period’s original thinking that society needed men at that time. Ji-Sook Lee’s Chaekkado does not have the connotative signifiers that are often seen in old paintings, but instead the political ideology of the Joseon dynasty, and the scholars’ ardor for study. She has chosen to express the small joys of daily life and a preference for the commonplace in a female’s life.

The works do not display any gender problems such as the burden of doing the bulk of housework chores and child care, or women's social and economic disadvantages in the workplace.