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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.

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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.

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