Hakgojae Gallery Curation Team
“The nobleman fills himself with yellow and masters reason(黃中通理, Hwang-Joong-Tong-Ri) to stand in the middle of the right place.
Developing beauty within and spreading it out throughout his body, he expresses it in his works.
This is the perfection of beauty!”
The above is a phrase from K’un in I Ching. The theme for the fourth edition of Hakgojae Gallery’s ‘Spring and Autumn’ exhibition is Hwang-Joong-Tong-Ri (黃中通理; the ideal state of mind). K’un is a hexagram that symbolizes the earth. In terms of humans, it represents women and mothers. With its immeasurable warmth, the earth carries and nurtures all nature – mountains and streams, grass, and trees. A mother gives birth to and nurtures her child with endless love. The I Ching called this love, comprehensive yellow.
Yellow is the true color of the earth. Hakgojae Gallery believes the Jung Ho tea bowl (Ido tea bowl) from the early Joseon Dynasty in the 16th century bears the color of infinitely profound and endlessly warm Mother Earth. The mother’s virtue - solely caring for her children while keeping herself behind, is embodied. It is a pity that we have not been able to grasp the value of the mother’s virtue. Perhaps due to neglectful treatment, not many Jung Ho tea bowls from this period survived to this day. Even those that survived belong to the Japanese; there are none in Korea. The kiln site and definite purpose of the tea bowls are yet to be agreed upon, without an established theory. We still need to research and designate its place. We could not present Jung Ho tea bowls from the golden age in this exhibition because it was impossible to have them on loan. We only take consolation that we were able to include three relevant works.
Tradition’s merit is that it becomes the foundation of creation. Ceramist Kim Jong Hun is a man who lit a light in a place of the ceramic world that remains as darkness in our times. He has studied and created Jung Ho tea bowls since he set foot in ceramics 20 years ago. He physically inspected significant Jung Ho tea bowls in Japan, frequently visiting like its next door. Any exhibitions relating to tea bowls, he never missed one wherever, whenever it was, to observe the works in person. These endeavors were the means to ruminate the hidden honey in flower, the Jung Ho tea bowl. Kim transformed the alimentations accumulated within from repetition of these journeys into approximately 70 essential works in this exhibition. I believe that the viewers will affirm the amassed vestige of time and profundity of his developed thoughts from the works. He translated the meaning of Hwang-Joong-Tong-Ri into ceramics.
If the earth’s true color is yellow, the color that embraced the Joseon Dynasty is white. 18th century white porcelain jars are white ceramics, representing the disposition of Joseon. In this exhibition, an 18th century Moon jar, resembling the dependable eldest daughter-in-law and six pieces of Kim’s white porcelain jar that are like the white snow on a back hill in the countryside are on view. We aspire to light up the lamp that will lead the contemporary using the oil drawn up from the well of traditions.
Our yellow tea bowls and white jars are not acute colors like frost columns or gimlets. They are warm, like heavy snow slowly falling on the warm red field on a winter day. Their colors are blessed ones that will embrace today and open up tomorrow.