I make figurative and abstract forms that function as records of the present. Through the manipulation of clay, I create abstracted versions of the human form. Bent, wavy clay slabs are layered, implying bodily gestures and representing a wide array of emotional states. The abstracted elements of my clay figures create voids, allowing for many viewpoints, interpretations, and differing perspectives. In these forms, I capture a realistic portrayal of what it means to be a layered, complex individual.
I see and understand people as huge entities beyond their physical appearance. Valuable identifiers like feelings, ideals, beliefs, and complex narratives from life experiences inform who we are. There is so much beneath the surface of the form. For a long time, I suppressed my queer identity out of fear, so much so that it began to feel insignificant. Through my engagement with the human figure, I have been able to give meaning to that suppressed side of myself.
Installed on a pedestal and placed under lights, the abstract human figure becomes an object to be looked at. The figure is only a stand-in for the actual being, existing as an aesthetic tool for the restoration of a complex, broad humanity. My sculptures can exist as the last piece of the puzzle that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere, instead advancing towards its own category.
Ambiguity or uncertainty can generate unease. In my creative process, my animal nature invents categories based on a supposed clarity of language and sustains the belief that all information can be neatly classified. This methodology can be very convenient and also violent at the same time. I see the various conflicts, discriminations, and hatred that our generation is experiencing as a result of this process of endless categorization. Language will never be a suitable tool for explaining uncertainty as it relies on certainty and security for the economic benefit of the majority. For this reason, I believe art can play a more expansive role.
Ambiguity is often unexplainable using only written language, and for that reason I want to record it as art and commemorate it. In my work, I hope to position ambiguity positively. A true look at my own weaknesses, and imperfections can be very uncomfortable, but ultimately necessary for the expansion of my creative practice.
Jinsik Yoo is a figurative ceramic sculptor and painter from Daejon, South Korea. He received his BFA in graphic design from Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. He then worked as a graphic designer for 3 years before returning to Konkuk University as a special graduate student studying ceramics. Yoo then moved to the United States in 2017 to pursue his MFA at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He has exhibited and presented nationally and internationally. His studio practice involves translating photographs into paintings, which are then spliced and reassembled into three dimensional forms.
MFA, Ceramics, Alfred University, Alfred, New York
Special Student (Graduate Level), Ceramic art, Konkuk University
BFA, Communication/Graphic Design, Konkuk University, Seoul, S. Korea
Adjunct professor, Ceramics I, New York University, New York, NY
Resident Artist, The clay studio, Philadelphia, PA
Instructor, hand building, The clay studio, Philadelphia, PA
NCECA’s Emerging Artists Fellowship program
Ceramic Fabrication Assistant, Simone Leigh Studio LLC., 2020-present
Instructor, Decorative Tile, Wellsville Creative Art Center, Wellsville, NY
Resident Artist, Wellsville Creative Art Center, Wellsville, NY
Resident Artist, Wellsville Creative Art Center, Wellsville, NY
Teaching Assistant for Kahling Irving (Wheel Throwing), Alfred University, Alfred, NY
Teaching Assistant for Linda Sormin (Junior Ceramic Sculpture), Alfred University, Alfred, NY
Glaze lab Technician for Alfred University Ceramic Summer School, Alfred University, Alfred, NY
Teaching Assistant for Shawn Murrey (Sophomore Wheel Throwing), Alfred University, Alfred, NY
Teaching Assistant for John Gill (Sculpture Foundations), Alfred University, Alfred, NY
Instructor, Big data and social marketing-graphic design class, Job academy (Ministry of Employment and Labor & Human Resources Development Service of Korea)
Trophy Design and Production(Ceramics), 3rd Wildflower Film Awards, South Korea
Trophy Design and Production(Ceramics), 2nd Wildflower Film Awards, South Korea
Trophy Design and Production(Ceramics), 1st Wildflower Film Awards, South Korea
The Chairman Of The Committee, The graduation exhibition of communication design department, Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea
Graphic designer, 2011 FW(Textile design), M.L.B Korea
Graphic design, 2007 Color Design Expo in COEX, main booth
Promotional production, I.D.T.C (International Design Trend Center), South Korea
Visiting Artist, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK – April 2024 (forthcoming)
Instructor, summer workshop: hand building, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village, CO
2021 NCECA Emerging Artists presentation, NCECA Virtual conference
Artist presentation, Wellsville Creative Art Center, Wellsville, NY
Clay as Foundation, Museum of Modern Art of Medellin, Colombia
Clay as Foundation, Museum of Arqueology, Bogota, Colombia
10th Ceramic Forum, Grand Valley State University, MI
Artist presentation, Alfred University Ceramic Summer School, Alfred University, Alfred, NY
2023 “500 Degrees” NCECA – Cincinnati Art Academy, Cincinnati, Ohio.
2022 “Dirty work” Jane Hartsook Gallery, New York, NY.
2022 Ceramics Synthesized Blumenfield Projects, Santa Monica, CA.
In the woods, Private studio Brooklyn, NY
“Lions, Tigers & Bears, OH MY!”, Trackside Studio Ceramic Art Gallery, Spokane, WA
Cluster, Ohio University, virtual group show
Convene, Eutectic gallery, Portland, OR
NCECA, Grand Valley Forum, virtual group show
NCECA, Emerging artist show, Eutectic gallery, Portland, OR
The Clay Studio National 2020, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
WCAC resident artists show, Wellsville Creative Art Center, Wellsville, NY
Mirror-man, Wellsville Creative Art Center, Wellsville, NY
Juried Clay National V, Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT
Gestures, Fosdick‐Nelson Gallery, Alfred, NY
Kilns of Alfred: Transactions with Fire, Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Alfred, NY
Trestle Draw, National Council of Education for the Ceramic Arts, NCECA Concurrent Exhibition, Pittsburgh, PA.
Small Scale Bake Shale, NCECA Concurrent Exhibition, Pittsburgh, PA.
Konkuk Ceramic Art Exhibition, KCDF (Korea Craft & Design Foundation), 1 gallery, Seoul, South Korea
Art and Crafts Show, Create Space Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
823 Illustration Group Exhibition, Multi Art Space Ga-Hwa, Seoul, South Korea
Ga-Hwa Drawing Project 2010, Multi Art Space Ga-Hwa, Seoul, South Korea
2021 NCECA’s Emerging Artists Fellowship program
Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Alfred, NY
Museum of Modern Art of Medellin, Colombia
A Participation Prize, The 50Th National Competition, Korean Industrial Artists’ Association
A Juried PRIZE, The 2014 Korean Ceramics Competition, Incheon City cultural association
A Juried Prize, The 33rd Seoul Modern Ceramics Competiton, Seoul Sinmoon Newspaper Co., Ltd
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