RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: July 2012

MYUNG URSO: IMAGINATION TRANSFORMED

South Korea-born Myung Urso’s journey through life has taken many turns along the way; and she has taken something from each of those bends in the road to arrive at the place she now finds herself – a master jewelry maker with a unique style all her own.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“Necklace – Amabile”
Red freshwater pearls sewn on hand dyed loofah. Fabricated sterling silver wire forms. Photo by Tim J. Fuss

In Seoul, Myung Urso worked as an editor and reporter at the Monthly Art & Craft magazine (Design-House Ltd.), and spent time as a museum curator, also in Seoul.  In 1998 she opened ‘Hand and Mind’ contemporary craft gallery in Seoul, which operated through 2005. She spent five years in London, where she studied museum and gallery management at the City University; and worked for the Visiting Arts division in the London headquarters of the British Council.

As a curator and art director, Myung Urso organized more than 50 contemporary craft exhibitions throughout South Korea, France, the United Kingdom and United States.  She has served as a juror for numerous craft competitions and as an advisor for the Korean Ministry of Culture & Tourism, the Korea National Museum  Foundation, and the Korea Craft Promotion Foundation.

One might wonder: What does all of this have to with becoming a jewelry artist? On the surface, probably not much; but look below the surface, take all of those life experiences into account, and you find an artist who has developed her style by watching, learning and experiencing – something she has done her entire life.

CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES HELP FORM THE BASIS FOR WHO SHE IS TODAY

“My imagination transforms itself from memories and personal stories,” says Urso.

“Assisting my elderly mother with hand-sewing and the traditional ways for the preparation of food helped to shape my hand skills,” she adds. “The shaping of rice cake and arranging vegetables for winter storage enhanced my visual aesthetic. My previous work experience as an editor/reporter and art curator has broadened my knowledge and interpretation of contemporary jewelry.”

“Necklace – Amore”
Two different patterned silk fabrics, sewn over sterling silver wire oval necklace structure. Lacquered for the beauty and durability. Photo by Tim J. Fuss

Calligraphy and sewing serve as Urso’s fundamental techniques, two things she has practiced throughout her lifetime. “Calligraphy has always fascinated me in how the brush stroke touches and enlivens the surface of a paper or fabric,” she says. “Black ink lines and patterns often reveal meaningful symbols, letters or poetic landscapes.” The influence of this ancient art form is evident in her work.

“The collaboration between metal and various fiber materials enhance my ability to create,” she adds.   “Materials have their own character and offer many unique shapes, colors, patterns and textures.”

Urso challenges herself to “emphasize the special characteristics and beauty of materials while expanding the boundaries in creating an original identity” for her jewelry.

Urso sells her work primarily at fine craft events and gallery exhibitions around the country.  Earlier this year she had her second solo show, ‘Myung Urso – Signature’, at Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco; the International Fiber Art Biennale at Snyderman-Works Gallery in Philadelphia; and the American Craft Council’s Baltimore Craft Show. Upcoming events in include the Westchester Fine Craft Show, in White Plains, NY and the Washington Craft Show in Washington, DC.

“Necklace – Greetings”
Hand-dyed w/calligraphy on cotton fabric, sewn over fabricated sterling silver wire oval forms. Lacquered for beauty and durability. Photo by Tim J. Fuss

Advertisements

Bongsang Cho: Connecting The Past and Present

South Korea-born metalsmith Bongsang Cho (b. 1979) combines traditional techniques of forming metal with new technology to create innovative work.

Beautiful, strong and textural, his jewelry displays the contrast between structural forms and the natural beauty of the various materials he uses to create his one-of-a-kind work.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The young artist earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in metals and jewelry from Hanyang University in South Korea, and early influences from Korean art and design are evident in his work.

He moved to the United States in 2005, where he worked with professor and metal artist Komelia Okim, while acting as her assistant at Montgomery College and during summer workshops at Penland School of Crafts. He also worked as an assistant to Namu Cho, a well-known jeweler who specializes in using damascene technique in jewelry.

Techniques learned from both of these artists have helped Bongsang Cho develop an aesthetic style of his own, which he incorporates into his work.

Over time, Bongsang developed a passion for teaching and continued learning, which led him to enroll at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s jewelry program, where he is currently a Master of Fine Arts candidate.

His most recent work is inspired by the combination of contemporary and traditional metalworking techniques. In explaining his artistic philosophy, he speaks of the importance of embracing new technologies and keeping an open mind in the creative process. “Technology drives innovation,” he says. “Freely experimenting with traditional materials allows me to express a new vision. By juxtaposing traditional smithing with advanced laser welding, I connect the past and present, build intriguing designs, and exceed the limitations of convention.”

To view more recent work by Bongsang Cho, visit http://www.bongsangcho.com/Gallery.html. You can meet the artist at the 25th Annual Washington Craft Show, November 16-18 in Washington, DC.