“Artist Kim Yikyung draws inspiration from Korea’s ceramic past in her work, particularly the pristine white porcelains of the Joseon period (1392–1910). This moon jar, a signature shape of late-Joseon pottery, was created by throwing two large bowls that are then luted together and completed with a strong foot. Typical of Kim Yikyung’s practice, it is graceful but substantial, somehow elegant without being delicate.
The moon jar does not mask its making. It is not a perfect sphere, but slightly elongated, with gently sloping walls and just enough surface texture to emphasize the material qualities of the clay and how it has been handled. These subtle variations of proportion and contour are central to Kim’s practice. She has spoken of how individual details in a work are not meant to stand out alone, but to harmonize with the whole. Everything is held in balance: as if the vessel were born of the material, not made from it.”
—Jeannie Kenmotsu, Japan Foundation Associate Curator of Japanese Art and Interim Head of Asian Art
Kim Yikyung (Korean, born 1935). Moon Jar, 2017. Porcelain. Museum Purchase: Funds provided by Asian Art Auction Proceeds, 2017.53.1