Winners of KICB International Competition

Excellence Prize of the KICB 2019(Ceramics as Expression)

Wookjae Maeng, Korea

  • Wookjae Maeng received a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. in ceramic art from Kyunghee University, Korea in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Years later, in 2008, he received an M.A. in ceramic art from Gothenburg University in Gothenburg, Sweden. In 2015, he received a Ph.D. in ceramics from Kookmin University, Korea. In 2018 his works were presented at exhibitions worldwide including Humanistic Return at Yingge Ceramics Museum in New Taipei City held during the Taiwan Ceramic Biennale, Humanism-Poem of Earth for Human held at Clayarch Gimhae Museum in Gimhae, Korea, Humanistic Return held at Yingge Ceramics Museum, New Taipei City, Taiwan, and Open Stal Oldeberkoop held at Kunstroute Oldeberkoop, Netherlands. In 2016 his work was shown at Coree, Pays Invite d'Honneur, an exhibition hosted by the International Biennale of Vallauris, France.

A Secret Forest / 2015~2019 / Porcelain, gold, paper, wire, frame, elastic band, light, sound

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A Secret Forest sheds light on the complex relationship between animals and plants. Through his works, Wookjae Maeng explores the reality of diverse creatures that living in the human-centered environment and what we humans should not do. Sneaking a peek the reality of the ecosystem from which we humans have turned away, viewers come to realize the reality to which we have been indifferent. The viewers are exposed to the ecosystem neglected and hidden in a natural environment that has been shifted into a human-centered environment and to the coexistence of creatures that has nevertheless continued.

“Secret Forest” is metaphor for the global crisis of deformity and mutation of natural creatures due to humancentric thinking and behavior and the resultant pollution of the natural environment. Inside the peaceful forest dogs and rats playing with squirrels with two heads and mutant frogs with wings flying peacefully together with birds. In order to ‘illuminate (light) and let the audience hear (sound)’ things hidden, the artist created a multi-sensory experience and piqued the viewers’ interest. And at the same time asks them to wake to their consciousness and become aware of their indifference to today’s issues.

International Committee KICB 2019

Misun Rheem
Former Head of Craft Division, Korea Craft & Design Foundation