To Follow our “Meet the Potter” series, we started with Minna Graham in Daylesford, we would like to introduce today Minhi Park, a Korean ceramic artist based in Carlton working and experimenting with ceramic in her “Old house studio” as she likes to say.
Minhi was born and raised in Seoul, Jongno District, in the neighbouring of old palaces “Kyongbokkung”, ancient temple and historical place. Site and monument she enjoyed exploring in her childhood and a future inspiration for her career of ceramic artist.
After a year of studying industrial design, she decided to change to “Craft & Art” and then studied ceramic for two and half years at Kunkuk University, followed by ten years of travel through Europe and Australia working in multiple industries.
In her third year of travel in Australia, the opportunity arose to do ceramics in Melbourne as an apprentice at “North Carlton ceramic” Studio and gained valuable experience. And then in late 2019, Minhi set up a small studio in her house and worked independently.
Quickly starting to collaborate with hospitality venues such as Super-Ling and Vue de monde to create exclusive plate-ware, reinventing the Korean wooden Soban for the iconic Korean dining experience Chae and starting her tea-ware journey for Yugen Tea Bar.
Minhi has a deep admiration and great affection for Korea’s history, tradition, and cultures, deeply influenced by the surrounding of her childhood.
“I am especially fascinated by natural line, imperfection, and naive forms that can be found in old Korean cultures such as heritage buildings, monuments, crafts, or even ordinary old items that were used for the necessities of life in the old days. I also like the shapes of Hangeul (Korean alphabet), old songs and poems. Therefore, I often try to put my affection and respect for those traditions in my pots. Sometimes I remake the existing forms; sometimes, I write poems on the pots. Sharing my work with people is my way to appreciate my culture and connect me to other cultures” Minhi.
After multiple months of research, testing, and creating sample, Minhi created various pieces for the tea bar, such as our water cooler, cardholder, and one of our signatures teacup (Photo below). The Jingak teacup represents a true and deep relation between Minhi style, origin, and the art of tea.
Each teacup was hand-painted, with the poem of the National Preceptor Jingak Hae Shim, reminding is the connection between present and past while sipping tea
바위산 높고 높아 그 깊이를 알 수 없네
그 위에 높은 누각이 있어 하늘 끝에 닿았네
북두칠성으로 은하수 길어다 차를 달이는 밤
차 끓는 연기가 달의 계수나무를 감싸네
The rock mountain is higher and higher I cannot understand how deep it is.
There is a high castle on the mountain, It touches end of the sky.
The night I make tea Drawn from the Milky Way with the Plough (the Big Dipper)
Steam from the boiling tea surrounds big laurel tree on the moon.
- National Preceptor Jingak Hae Shim