Yoon-Young Hur was working as an architect in New York City after receiving an architectural degree (B.Arch) from Cooper Union, The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in New York and a Fine Arts degree (B.F.A) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
" Many years into working as a full-time architect in New York City, I started to miss making work with my hands so I began to take these short weekend ceramic classes. I loved it so much that after a few sessions and a deep reflection, I decided to take a break from NYC and Architecture (as it was my 11th year in the city) and spent some time in Korea to focus on this new medium. Clay’s flexibility, tactility and surprises from the firing began to open a whole new creative world for me that felt very natural. Also, ceramic’s deep historical ties with Korean traditional arts became a gateway into my own heritage and anchors my practice in a meaningful way. At the moment, I try to split my time between the two cities because not only does it offer this critical distance that brings new perspectives, I always discover amazing artifacts and contemporary works and people in Korea. Immersing myself in my own culture that is both familiar and unfamiliar has been nourishing and strengthening my spirit. And while in New York, I am exposed to other types of cultural diversity, creatives, and parameters that challenges my work. "
She views her work as a form of art when asked about being a great craftsman.
"That’s a hard question for me to answer as I do not consider myself as a craftsman but more as an artist who works with clay and is inspired by craftwork from the past. I admire craftsmen who have a deep understanding and respect for material and tradition yet are not afraid to try something new. "
Yoon-Young has multi-cultural background and dual work experience she believes it ignites her creativity as she understands parallels between different cultures.
"I recognize the overlaps and differences amongst the various disciplines whether that is architecture, painting or ceramic. My attitude has always been to stay open, curious and learn about the wide range of creative languages to make unique dialogues/connections. "
New projects always requires inspiration sources. Yoon-Young draws inspiration from various symbols and philosophies.
The influences change depending on the project types but they are often rooted in the following elements:
Photography by Yoon-Young Hur, Martino Di Napoli Rampolia and Toby Mitchell for Francis Gallery