Forum – May 17, 2019

Drew Ippoliti

Conversations With Here & Not Here

The economic forces and rapid shifts of the 1970’s and 1980’s created many changes in Korean society. Unlike the other rapidly developing economies of that same period: Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, modernization led to a refreshed, more important societal view of traditional cultural arts like Korean ceramics. By exploring driving trends and attitudes that led to Korea’s contemporary view of art and craft, this research will consider if such a shift is reproducible or wholly unique to Korea.

Arts Education often avoids discussion of economic trends and the larger view of artistic output as a luxury. The goal is both to maintain and discuss the field on its aesthetic merit rather than its investment potential. This approach both protects participants from the gritty notions of money and hinders them without a sense of how artistic endeavors are valued and how realpolitik views them. Employing an outsider’s perspective, this research seeks to understand the growth and exploitable potential that arises when an art material is imbedded into cultural identity, while exploring issues of the economics that surrounds the art world.

Relying on interviews with Korean economists, art curators, art collectors, and craftspeople for information and reference material this project will develop an aggregated view of how the contemporary landscape has developed. Findings of this research will be constructed around a tactile exchange of objects and ideas, focusing on how ceramics will continue to be vital to cultures inside and outside of South Korea. This lecture and conversation will cover preliminary research findings, the development of material research and the field of visual research as well as profiling possibilities of future developments.

Drew Ippoliti is an American artist, researcher and educator; he currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Ceramics, and Department Coordinator at the University of Akron in Ohio (USA). As part of the Fulbright Scholars Fellowship Drew is stationed at Kookmin University’s College of Design in Seoul.

Drew’s artwork investigates how ceramics explores and explains the regions where both culture and craft collide. Drew’s work has been exhibited internationally and is held in multiple public and private collections internationally in Denmark, Holland, China, Taiwan and Korea.