Ji Sun-tak

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Portrait of Ji Sun-tak. Image courtesy Icheon Ceramic.

Ji Sun-Tak is often referred to by his pen name ‘Do-am'. The literal translation is 'potter's hermitage' or 'potter's refuge'. He explored all of the traditions within Korean ceramics, creating his own interpretations of classic forms. His works can be categorised into five groups: celadon porcelain, iron-glazed celadons, old-style porcelain, buncheong ware or white porcelain. He sought to improve his own skills as a potter by working at kilns and researching different clays and glaze components, such as tree ash. An important breakthrough came when he discovered that bracken ash was a key ingredient in the Goryeo celadon glaze.

Han Collection

Ji Suntak is a key figure in the history of Korean ceramics. He was born on 30th April 1912, during the period when Korea was occupied by Japan.

As a youth, Ji filled his spare time by crafting objects from wood and visiting antique shops to look at furniture and porcelain. Although wooden objects were his first love, he came to believe that the essence of Korean beauty was best embodied in its porcelain.

 

His interest in Korean ceramics deepened after he met Asakawa Noritaka in an antique store in 1928. Ji met the leading Korean experts and scholars, deepening his knowledge and appreciation for Goryeo celadon wares and the white porcelain of the Joseon dynasty. He sought to improve his own skills as a potter by working at kilns and researching different clays and glaze components. An important breakthrough came when he discovered that bracken ash was a key ingredient in the Goryeo celadon glaze.

Han Collection

In autumn 1944 he produced an incense burner that matched Goryeo celadon for its colour and brilliance and in 1957 he established the Goryeo kiln at Icheon, where he produced not only celadon pieces, but also white porcelain of the Joseon dynasty. In 1968, he received a Citation from the Minister of Home Affairs. This was followed by many other awards, culminating in his appointment as one of the Intangible Cultural Properties by the Korean Government in 1988.

Ji Suntak explored all of the traditions within Korean ceramics, creating his own interpretations of classic forms. His works can be categorised into five groups: celadon porcelain, iron-glazed celadons, old-style porcelain, buncheong ware or white porcelain.

Media, techniques and areas of interest

Buncheong, Korean traditional ceramic technique, round shape, moon jars, vases, home decor, tea bowls, celadon

Ye Studio; Han Collection

Literature: Ceramic Works by Artist Chi Soon-Taik (Do-Am), Art News Publishers, 1990