As part of the London Craft Week 2022, the Korea Association of Art and Design returns for London Craft Week 2022 with a panel of experts in the area of ceramics, glass and crafts.
The virtual event will take place 9 May 2022, at 11:00 AM . Professor Brownsword will give a talk on:
Thinking through the Past for the Future: Neil Brownsword, Artist, Researcher, Professor, Department of Ceramics, Staffordshire University, UK
Registration is at:
Abstract is provided below.
Conversations in Contemporary Korean Craft
Thinking through the Past for the Future.
Throughout history, ceramics have played an important role in the phenomenon of cultural transfer. For centuries China, Korea and Japan have influenced each other’s aesthetics, practices and technologies. Subsequent trade with the West, and the imitation and assimilation of East Asian goods and styles in the late 17th and 18th centuries greatly influenced the development of new ceramic traditions in Europe that were to gain historical prominence.
Since 2015 artist Neil Brownsword has explored this historic cycle of knowledge exchange, via performances staged in South Korea and the UK which have addressed the cultural hierarchies and value systems aligned to their ceramic traditions.In his work Factory (2017) staged at Icheon World Ceramic Centre, Brownsword re-choreographed the indigenous ceramic practices of two ex-factory personnel from Stoke-on-Trent and four Korean artisans to question established hierarchies of cultural production and reassign value to people and practices displaced by global economics.
By reactivating obsolescence via non-commercialised production, Brownsword revealed a shared language of haptic intelligences developed through ethical modes of exchange between East and West.
Performing FACTORY in Korea enabled the actors of marginalised immaterial heritage to renegotiate their value in a context where similar embodiments of knowledge are culturally protected. Its tour to the British Ceramics Biennial 2017, furthered UK/Korea cultural exchange, strengthening Stoke-on-Trent’s regeneration ambition as a global centre for ceramics. This presentation examines the context and development of Brownsword’s collaborations and his exploration of heritage as a ‘living process’ that can be constantly reimagined for the future.
Neil Brownsword is an artist, researcher and educator who holds a professorial position in ceramics at Staffordshire University. Brownsword began his career in ceramics as an apprentice at the Wedgwood factory in the mid- 1980’s. His practice examines the legacy of globalisation in relation to Stoke-on-Trent’s ceramic manufacturing sector, and the impact this has had upon people, place and traditional skills. Using film and performative installation Brownsword deconstructs complex craft knowledge within industrial production to pose questions surrounding the value of inter-generational skill. His work is represented in public/private collections internationally, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Korea Ceramic Foundation, Yingee Ceramic Museum Taiwan and Fu Le International Ceramic Art Museum China. In 2009 he was awarded the ‘One Off Award’ at the inaugural British Ceramic Biennial, and the Grand Prize at the Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale, South Korea in 2015, and Whitegold International Ceramic Prize in 2019.