Sam ChungTempe, Arizona

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Sam Chung received his MFA from Arizona State University and his BA degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Between his undergraduate and graduate programs, he worked as a special post-bac student at the University of Minnesota. He taught at Northern Michigan University from 1998-2007 and is now teaching at Arizona State University in Tempe where he is an associate professor of ceramics. Sam has presented numerous lectures and workshops both nationally and internationally.

I would like my pots to reveal a reverence for the history of the pottery making tradition as well as present themselves as functional objects that make light of our own rituals. I envision my pots residing in more formal environments where their use may lend more towards special occasions. The pottery from the Koryo Dynasty in Korea and the Song Dynasty in China reflects a refined elegance where beauty could be found in utility. The pots from these periods are amongst my favorite; there is both a visual and tactile preciousness to these pieces that inspire my own forms. In addition, I have been interested in the architectural potential of pots both in terms of their relationship to geometric forms and ideas of containment.

This historical framework provides me with an abundant variety of visual and cultural sources which are the building blocks of my creative process. I also rely on an intuitive process when translating the information from these individual sources into pots. It seems difficult to re-invent the immense history of ceramics, but not so difficult to re-invent perspectives on function. I enjoy making pots in the context of these opposing limitations because of the possibilities it presents in creating work that can contain both a sense of timelessness and contemporary relevance.