TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese artist Cho Ming-shun (卓銘順) has been awarded a Gold Prize at the 2021 Korean International Ceramic Biennale (KICB) competition, the Korea Ceramic Foundation announced in a press release on Aug. 12.
Cho competed against 1,182 artists worldwide, who submitted a total of 2,503 ceramic artworks, and was selected as one of the two winners of this year’s Gold Prize. He is the first Taiwanese to ever win the award.
Cho’s work, “Homunculus-LR,” transforms a teapot from just a “functional” object into an interactive experience, demonstrating that “the connection between organic matter and inorganic matter enriches the existence of each other.”
In a video introduction, Cho demonstrates how the teapot is used. First, leaves are put inside and hot water is added to brew the tea; then the teapot is lifted with the back of the hand and marched across the table on the fingertips to be poured into a cup.
This year's submissions to the KICB, one of the four biggest ceramic biennials in the world, were judged with particular consideration for current issues such as COVID-19, climate change, and political statements. Judges described the Gold Prize winners’ works as a “reinterpretation of ceramics as not just a decoration but rather a tool as well.”
The competition did not award its Grand Prize this year, “as no work matched the criteria,” and instead gave out two Gold Prizes. Gold Prize winners receive 20 million Korean won (US$18,000) in prize money, in addition to a trophy, certificate, catalog, and an invitation to the KICB opening ceremony.
Cho’s teapot will be displayed at the Gyeonggi Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art in the KICB exhibition from Oct. 1 to Nov. 28, along with works by other artists.
Born in New Taipei’s Yingge District, which is famous for being Taiwan’s ceramic art center, Cho grew up helping his family with farm work, which later inspired him to create nature-themed art. He has received numerous awards over the past few years and curated various personal exhibitions in Taiwan.