Travels in California, part 5: surprise Korean ceramics

Images of gallery exhibition spaces
I was bowled over to discover that – unique among airports – the airport at San Francisco operates an accredited museum within its terminals and, what’s more, our visit coincided with a show of contemporary Korean ceramics, co-curated with the Asian Art Museum.

We were on our way from the aircraft to the baggage carousel at this point, so I could not spend nearly as long as I would have liked. There was a plentiful selection of work by each of the eight artists and I lingered especially over the pieces by Park Young Sook (b. 1947).

These included a set of nesting bowls in buncheong – a technique from the 15th and 16th centuries, in which white slip is applied to stoneware, then decorated using techniques such as inlay, stamping and incising; several exquisite porcelain vessels, including a version of the classic Korean moon jar; and a porcelain recreation of a traditional Korean wrapping cloth (bojagi). This display was an unexpected treat - I wish they could come up with something like this at Heathrow!

Dual Natures in Ceramics: Eight Contemporary Artists from Korea
SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, CA
17 May 2014 to 22 February 2015 (now closed)

Above: Park Young Sook, buncheong inlaid bowls with lid, 2002-03. Stoneware with stamped and slip-inlaid decoration. Asian Art Museum. Image at

Below: Park Young Sook, selection of porcelain vessels, displayed at SFO Museum in February 2015. Photo: STF.
park young sook porcelains
Below: Park Young Sook, porcelain recreation of traditional Korean wrapping cloth, displayed at SFO Museum in February 2015. Photo: STF.
park young sook wrap cloth v2