Introducing Korean potter Jaejun Lee

  • We have long been admirers of the work of Jaejun Lee. There is a purity in his moon jars that...
    Jaejun Lee in his studio in Cardiff
    We have long been admirers of the work of Jaejun Lee. There is a purity in his moon jars that we were seeking for our 'Into the Night' presentation for the London Art Fair. So much thought and emotion goes into his making which is evident in every piece he creates and we love the soft quality of light that is reflected from the porcelain he uses.
    Jaejun is a Korean ceramicist who has been working in the UK for the last five years. He studied at the Seoul National University where he completed his bachelor degree in Fine Arts and Masters in Fine Art in Ceramics. Since graduating, Jaejun has exhibited extensively across Korea and Europe (UK, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland), gaining international acclaim for his work. He moved to the UK from South Korea in 2018 and is currently working in the UK with an Arts Council 'Exceptional Talent' visa. Last year in 2022, Jaejun was a finalist for the BKV Prize in Germany.
  • Moon Jar 2, 4 and 7 by Jaejun Lee on show at the London Art Fair 2023 - featured on Wanderer Bench by Craig Bamford - image Robert Chadwick
  • Talking about his work on show with Cavaliero Finn, Jaejun said:
    "I actually had hesitated to make moon jars for many years as I believed the sensibility of my work is aimed at a much more modern taste. As a Korean potter, I felt like there were many rules for moon jar-making.
    "The moon jars we treasure most, are all from hundreds of years ago and many makers still want to get close to them. I love them, too, but I didn't want my work to be close to the old moon jars. So, I borrowed the name and the feeling of it to make my own one.
    "The plan for making moon jars started through exploration of my identity. When I first tried a moon jar in 2019, Korean culture was in its early stage of being recognised world wide, but most people still had very limited experiences of it. As a Korean artist working in the UK, drawing upon the moon jar form and reinterpretating it as a symbolic vessel was pretty essential.
    "When I came to the UK, I tried to explain my identity as a Korean first rather than show my own character. In my case, this tendency was strongly related to the medium I use. I thought my porcelain should be understood with the knowledge of Korean porcelain history, as I am in that context and working with that history.
    "Through making moon jars, I hoped people would get interested in Korean porcelain history as well as my work. There were still many concerns of how I would transform the traditional moon jar to the modern moon jar, but when I started to draw the form it was totally different. From the prejudice and restrictions, I found infinite possibilities. In the hearts of Korean potters, they all have their own images of moon jars and now I think I have my own one. It will be the future treasure made in the UK in the 21st Century and I hope it can leave the same legacy as the much loved moon jar from the Joseon Dynasty (Former country of Korea)."
  • Moon Jar 1 in situ at the London Art Fair alongside 22.38, 18th March 2022, Near Lienz, Austria, 2022 by Catherine Knight - image Robert Chadwick
  • Available work by Jaejun Lee