MFA Thesis Exhibit

Ara Koh

Ceramic Art


Artist Statement

I speak Korean, English, and Clay. My studio practice is a form of translation. Working with clay is a vehicle for memory, honesty, reflection. I translate the invisible and the amorphous into something visible and solid. A balance between polarities; light and heavy, dense and loose, ephemeral and concrete.

There is room for awe and even for childhood trauma, fading or relived. My sculpture encapsulates the dialogue of internal memories and external landscapes. Making is reliving fading traumatic memory as a landscape painting.

Landscape made in clay links to geologic time and metamorphosis. Questioning how architecture and landscape hold humanity, I think about my body contained in the spaces, my body as a container, and the space being contained in the larger body of humanity. Experiencing body and reasoning what that experience does is questioning self in relationship with space.

This body of work claims my position of authority; a space that is my own space. Physically imposing enough to envelop the viewer, intensity of the labor, repetitiveness, and palliative obsessiveness manifest as understanding of the universe. It asks about my identity as an artist, a daughter, and a human in the most honest and genuine way.