the fields of our aesthetic conditioning are certainly great and vast, and i specifically use the word conditioning since their is in my mind no definitive aesthetic knowledge or fact. we assimilate our ideas of beauty from birth, period. besides the fact that there is a fraction of our own sensibilities connected to the appreciation of different kinds of beauty, for the greater part i prefer to think rather of movements of beauty rather than individual tastes and fancies.
keeping this in mind, it is a fairly accurate assumption that the classic shapes of ceramics have been challenged through various degrees of rebelliousness throughout art history. by classic shapes i here refer to the eastern as well as the western traditions, in both practice and decoration. besides the purpose of these vessels, it is important to remember that the nature of the materials and process also have it’s own set of constraints. what makes steven young lee‘s rebellion so revolutionary to me, is the delicate explosion of the classic inherited beauty of porcelain that he manages in his jars and vases. lee’s work aims not only to draw comparisons but also to reflect on alternative realities, the modern mythological landscape and other pre-conceived social values. his works contain all the properties, yet in a renewed form; combining old patterns with new concepts and questioning traditional aesthetics while elevating those elements into a different context. thereby succeeding in expanding rather than contravening the spirit of the antique pieces. this measure of respect for the past is something that i’ve always been drawn to, not to throw the baby with the bathwater, but rather to investigate and experiment with existing ideas and create a new dialogue to engage with different meanings of beauty. it might be a remnant of my scientifical background that has trained me to exercise a certain measured restraint, or it may just be my passive aggressive nature, but the fact is that although these pieces are wonderful metaphors of deconstructed intervention, they remain to me carefully created objects of beauty.