Sam Chung lives and works in Tempe, AZ. He is a ceramic artist and Professor of Art at Arizona State University. As a second-generation Korean-American, he explores pottery that reframes historical ceramics from a cross-cultural perspective and explores the metaphorical role of the vessel. In his current work, he references traditional Korean cloud motifs and pottery shapes while juxtaposing past with present through his vivid, graphicly painted imagery. The clouds represent a phenomenon that is constantly in flux and correspond to his own questions of belonging within or outside of a culture.
Sam was born and raised in St. Paul, MN and received his BA in studio art from St. Olaf College and his MFA from Arizona State University. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally at Duane Reed, Harvey Preston (f.k.a. Harvey Meadows) Ann Linnemann Gallery (Denmark), ClayAKAR, Greenwich House Pottery, Sherry Leedy and Lacoste Gallery. Sam’s work is in several permanent collections including The Crocker Art Museum (CA), Icheon World Ceramic Center (Korea), Guldagergaard (Denmark), San Angelo Museum (TX) and Everson Museum of Art (NY).
"I work within the context of the vessel to exploit its universal identity and impart my own vision of merging historical, contemporary and cultural influences. I am curious about finding relationships between various forms of creative expression ranging from art, traditional craft to design. When I combine these oftentimes disparate relationships, they bring forth a new object that is intended to provoke one’s perception of what is familiar versus what is new.
My most recent work draws influence from Korean art and design. Clouds are a ubiquitous symbol depicted in traditional Korean art. I am interested in the way in which clouds represent a phenomenon that is constantly in flux. Their nature to morph and adapt is similar to the way in which I relate to my own floating sense of identity. These cultural references are intended to serve as an anchor to point towards my own ethnic lineage, but also question my perception of belonging within or outside of it." - Artist Statement