Swaying Vessels in Space/time: Recent works by Lee Jong-Min
Lee Jong-Min’s works clearly demonstrate how closely correlated materials and tools used in crafts are to the senses, and attitudes of, the artists who use them. Lee’s use of tools are not the category of brushes1 and wood or metal carving knives that potters use to decorate their works. He uses a dental instrument, a diamond knife, a motored grinder, and an absorption booth. Lee aspires to achieve concise and precise depictions using unfamiliar tools that far surpass those made by wooden ceramic knives. He sits alone in a small space, grasping a foreign tool and wearing goggles and a dust mask like a diver about to enter into the deep sea. Grasping a solid vessel, shaped out of white clay, he averages 10 hours of work without rest, a day. I have advised him to take breaks in the middle of his work or to take a day off in fear for his health, but he always replies, “As a practitioner’s breaths and ideas are all documented in materials and the use of a knife, taking time off entails suspension, a pause, or alteration.” The reason why he does not allow for any gap of time or indolence in his work and daily life is because he does not wish for his artistic expression to become irregular or inconsistent; he hopes it will become as flexible and natural as the wind blows, and water flows.