“La Divina Commedia”: ceramic artist Lee Yun Hee

“Lee Yun Hee weaves Eastern and Western influences to offer a contemporary re-interpretation of both aesthetic and literary traditions, constructing a fantasy world that speaks of hope, strength and determination.

“Young ceramic artist Lee Yun Hee (b. 1986, South Korea) majored in Ceramics at both BFA and MFA levels at Seoul’s Hong Ik University. Lee calls herself a collector. What she collects are everyday stories of the common people, about their desires and wants, their fears and anxiety, and ultimately ‘the cure’ they seek to overcome the challenges and difficulties of life. There is much that she can relate to during her collections, for she is after all also human. Yet, it is not the hardships she clings to, but those ‘cures’ that each person resorts to. [. . .]

“Lee created her latest series entitled ‘La Divina Commedia‘ in 2013. Her inspiration came from Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy), the renowned 14th century epic poem by Italian poet and writer Dante Alighieri. The literary work recounts Dante’s travels through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. In Lee’s contemporary take, the heroine of the story is a young girl who runs against all odds to overcome the trials and tribulations of life.” [. . .]   —Art Radar, August 11, 2015.

To view more of Lee’s ceramic artwork, you can visit her website.

Contributed by Anita Verna Crofts.

Emerging Artists: Dante and Ceramics (2014)

cracked plate jesus vasquez inferno ceramics

“It was a cracked plate that almost ended up in the scrap heap.

“Instead of throwing it away, 17-year-old Jesus Vazquez fashioned it into an award-winning piece of ceramic art.” [ . . . ]

“Rather than discard the slightly cracked plate, Vazquez broke it into multiple sections. He applied different surface decorations to each piece. Using metal wire, he sewed the pieces together again, recreating the original plate.

“For one section, Vazquez took pages from Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy, burned them with a blow torch and glued them on the plate.

“Vazquez said he was seeking a literary reference for hell, fire, evil and associated concepts. ‘There’s a video game called “Dante’s Inferno,” and I had read parts of the book as well,’ he said. ‘What intrigued me the most is how it explains evil. It’s not that I like evil. It shows the extremes that people are willing to go.'”   –Stephen Wall, “Riverside: Student’s broken plate wins art award,” The Press Enterprise, May 18, 2014