Three Manchester art institutions come together to present a city-wide celebration of Korean ceramics

Castlefield Gallery, Manchester Art Gallery, and Manchester Craft and Design Centre present SUBI 수비, a programme in three parts located across the city of Manchester.

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 3 December 2018

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The programme features artists, designers and makers from Korea and the UK working with or inspired by clay, its uses and materiality.

SUBI 수비 is presented to be timed with Asia Triennial Manchester which runs between 5th-21st October 2018. The city-wide exhibition will run from 14th September until mid-November 2018.

The Korean word SUBI 수비 has a particular meaning in the context of ceramics, relating to the refining of clay; whether purifying the raw material or the processes needed to rehydrate and filter dried clay so that it can be reused.

The SUBI 수비 programme has been informed by a series of international artist exchange residencies* that have connected the artistic communities of Manchester and the North West of England with those of Busan and Gwangju in South Korea.

As a result, cross-cultural influences are apparent in many of the exhibited works. The participating artists involved in the SUBI 수비 programme, who have travelled between the UK and Korea, are Sam Buckley (UK), Joe Hartley (UK), Eunji Briller Kim (Korea), Hyun Min Shin (Korea), Gae-Hwa Lim (Korea), and Gyung-Kyun Shin (Korea).

At Castlefield Gallery, SUBI 수비 brings together a diverse group of experimental artists, product designers and master makers. All are highly skilled as a result of either formal training, self-teaching, or passing down from one generation to another.

The exhibition will feature traditional ceramics alongside works which explore the materiality of clay with ceramic costumes, film, and sound. Visitors to the gallery will also be invited to add their own handmade clay objects to the exhibition.

Visitors to Manchester Art Gallery will be able to view its 500-year-old Korean Dragon Vase, the importance of which was discovered thanks to a visit to Manchester by Shin Gyung-Kyunin 2017. The vase is now understood to be a rare example due to its particular decoration and origins.

Manchester Art Gallery will also be exhibiting its small but fascinating collection of Korean ceramics amongst the European ceramics in the Granada Study Room, including recent acquisitions by Jin Eui Kim, Jungwon Park and Jung Hong Park. The joint displays highlight the influence of Korean ceramics, both ancient and modern, on international studio pottery.

Eunmi Kim: A Journey Home will be at Manchester Craft and Design Centre (MCDC) which will be Kim’s first solo exhibition in the UK. With her work, Kim considers why people continue to admire the art of imperfection, asymmetry and emptiness which have long been important aspects of traditional Korean art.

An example of Kim’s work will also be placed amongst works by the other participants at Castlefield Gallery, highlighting the shared concerns as well as the different approaches to clay as a material found in SUBI 수비.

Kim’s exhibition will be available at the Manchester Craft and Design Centre between 13th September and 17th November.

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