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Korean pottery featured in international exhibition in River Falls

The work of South Korean ceramic artist Lee Byoung-Kwon will be featured in the River Falls Public Library Gallery through Jan. 20. Lee is an adjunct professor of ceramic art engineering at Myongji University in Seoul, South Korea. Photo courtesy of River Falls Public Library

The River Falls Public Library is pleased to announce an upcoming collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-River Falls this winter. As part of the Year of South Korea at the UWRF, the River Falls Public Library Gallery (140 Union Street, Lower Level) will host an exhibit of Korean pottery in a special international exhibition, Meet the Beauty of Korean Pottery in River Falls, from Dec. 29 through Jan. 20.

The work of South Korean ceramic artist Lee Byoung-Kwon will be featured in the gallery. Lee is an adjunct professor of ceramic art engineering at Myongji University in Seoul, South Korea. According to Lee: "It is tea that motivated me to ceramic art. [...] My work is a reflection of the Korean tradition and nature. Tradition is embedded in the design, materials, and finishing touches on each and every piece of mine."

Lee's ceramics are very traditionally Korean. According to Docheon Hanbong Cheon, Master of Korean Ceramic Art, "[Lee] sees, thinks, designs, and makes inimitable clayware with unique colors and shapes. His expertise of Dahng-sahm- chay, the harmonious mix of red, blue, and brown can only be realized through arduous work of burning wood for two days in the Korean traditional kiln of mahng-deng- yi, a handcrafted clay brick. His excellence has been recognized domestically and internationally. He won numerous awards at art fairs and expos. He has also earned the prestige of having exhibitions at renowned historic art galleries in China, Hong Kong, America, and Japan. It is said that his tea bowl has enchanting beauty making people forget about passing of time. The mastery expressed in his artwork shall be treasured for long."

In 2013, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls initiated the "Year of" program as a way to increase global education and engagement for both UWRF students and the greater community. The "Year of" program has allowed faculty, students, and community participants to break down stereotypes and connect across cultures, and 2017-2018 is the Year of South Korea.

The Kleinpell Gallery at the RFPL serves to meet the creative, social, and educational needs of the entire community. Past gallery exhibits have included artifacts from NASA, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Wisconsin Historical Society; additionally, the gallery organizes annual community-driven exhibits that specifically engage local artisans, local business leaders, students, children, and families.

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