In 1978, DaeSup Kwon had a fortuitous encounter which entirely reoriented his artistic practice: ‘I was studying painting when I came across a white porcelain moon jar from the Joseon Dynasty at an antique shop in Seoul. I was enthralled by its graceful beauty, it was love at first sight, that jar, so simple at first glance. It left me with so many different impressions, I decided right there and then to become a potter instead of a painter’ (D. Kwon, Taste Contemporary, www.tastecontemporary.com/dae-sup-kwon/). Originally trained as a painter, Kwon has since only produced moon jars. Originally made during the 17-18th century, the shape of the moon is echoed in the spherical form of the sculpture, suggestive of the lunar cycle and the circle of life. The surface is decorated solely in the milky white glaze evocative the glow of the moon, exemplified in the present work, Moon Jar, 2014.
The process behind the moon jars is arduous and complex, requiring long firing time and high heat; accordingly, Kwon only creates 4 to 6 works a year, and despite their seemingly uniform shape, each is a marvel in white. As the artist explains, ‘To appreciate a moon jar properly you should look beyond its simple shape. Although it is a plain porcelain jar, with no decorative elements whatsoever, it will seem different every time you look at it. Depending on the circumstances it will look quite different when you feel good or when you feel gloomy, when the weather is sunny or rainy and cloudy’ (D. Kwon, Taste Contemporary, www.tastecontemporary.com/dae-sup-kwon/). Kwon received his BFA from the Hongik University in Korea. His work has been widely exhibited at the Seoul Museum, Seoul, and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, among others.