Buncheong style is a broad categorization that covers most stonewares made in Korea. It carries no strict prescriptions- it allows for the free expression o f the artist. It is a reflection of their humanity.
This style is common throughout the southern tip of the peninsula where kilns once littered mountain sides. Buncheong is characterized by rough, textured, natural clay flourishing under thin, soft, shinny glaze that usually only partially covers the gritty clay beneath.
Buncheong presents a dichotomy of elements that are resolved in its whole.
Buncheong style values the beauty of cracks, holes, and asymmetry- natural beauty. Like the artist, its creator, who gave birth to it, and like the one who sips tea from it now- it is imperfect.
It silently teaches us the beauty of imperfection.
Clay finds gaps in thin white glaze, taxed to its limit under the heat of the kiln, delicate cracks are formed. Air and grains of sand trapped within disperse, forming black spots. Large stones housed within the reddish glaze rupture under the intense heat and bleed through the delicate white glaze creating large pink blotches like flowers that bloom under the warm spring sun. Surprisingly these aren't the work of paints. Only the magic of the kiln can create such wonders as these!
When the tea bowl is removed, it is something that it was not before entering.
This bowl's true beauty cannot be full appreciated until powered tea is whisked within. At this instant, the hues of bright greens pull at the pink blotches contained on its walls. They seem as though to come alive fighting for attention over the tea in the bowl- both pinks and greens complementing each other, adding to each others beauty.
In the powdered tea ceremony, one must give their full attention to the preparation and drinking of the tea itself. It isn't until after the tea is mindfully consumed that ones attention shifts to the bowl- then covered in frothy green residue. In this way, this tea bowl by Lee Kang Hyo strengthens ones mind. Only a strong mind can resist the allure of this bowl- how difficult it is to walk down the path of a wonderful spring garden without looking at the flowers?
Lee Kang Hyo says that in the thirty-five years of making pottery, he is most satisfied with this single tea bowl.