Mimi Joung with iDeath, casting slip, 2018/19 (photo credit Micheal Harvey)

Mimi Joung

Mimi Joung, originally from Korea, gained her Masters in CERAMICS and Art from the Royal College of Art and is currently based in London, UK. MIMI has also been awarded membership of the Royal Society of Sculptors.

SHE has made site specific and project-based exhibitions inspired by her interest in exploring ideas surrounding her materials (clay) and their history.

SHE completed AN Artist in Residence program at the Banff Arts Centre, Canada, which celebrates conceptual art in Canada and allows international artists to explore the future of their ideas And also received various arts grants and commission from Korea, England, Wales, and other countries. 

Joung is an award winning artist and exhibits her works internationally.  

I trained as a ceramist and artist at the Fine Art department in Wonkwang University, South Korea and the Royal College Of Art, United Kingdom. Since then, I have developed a range of work through installations, artist residencies and private commissions in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia.

Much of my works are installation and situation/relational projects. They are suggestive of landscapes and stories, combining clay or glass sometimes bundled together with mundane, found materials such as elastic bands, knitting wool, silk thread, a needle box, objects found in charity shops, the natural environment or through people and conversations.

I focus on issues of "Displacement", with objects addressing a wider discourse, beyond origin and usage, to reference human situations and experience. I am a long way from home and the important influences there. I have become a commentator, observer and historian reflecting the important cycle of roots and change.

Process is all important to me. My hands instinctively seek to resolve ideas through the act of making and follow a playful approach, reflecting my own life, what I read and what I learn from other people and situations. I feel that my comfort with materials and techniques allows me to seek a deeper meaning in the historical context of ceramic materials, forms and colour.

A major body of my work developed from my response to a simple birth mug (Sarah 1775) that has been on display at the V&A since my time at the RCA. I imagined the life of Sarah, born in the midst of Britain’s industrialisation, and created my own story, ‘A letter to my mother’ (2003) in response. Since then I have created a wide range of site specific, often unfired and unglazed pieces, that build on story-telling and sense-making. 

Recently, my work has evolved as I begin to create more sculptural pieces based on a slim novel called ‘In Watermelon Sugar’ by the American writer, Richard Brautigan. I Create these sculptures by tracing and taping each chapter of Brautigan’s surreal landscape which are reflections of displacement within imagined utopias and dystopias. 

Awards and grants

  • Oriel y Parc Resident artist selected by Cardiff Museum and Safle, Arts Council Wales, 2010

  • Banff Arts Centre, Scholarship, Future Idea of art residency, Arts council Canada, Sept 2006 

  • Grant for Arts, Art council North East, individual development grant, March 2006

  • Rootstein Hopkins Foundation, Project Grant, 2006 

  • NCSP Grant, Symposium support, July 2006

  • Grant for Arts, Art council North East, Travel grant, March 2006

  • Designed and Made Industry Bursaries, European union, Northern rock foundation, 2006

  • British Craft in Japan Travel Grant, Crafts council, UK investment & trade, 2006

  • Next move, Craft council UK, Sunderland university, Arts council England, 2005 - 2007

  • Faenza international Ceramic Art Competition, 2004/5

  • Oversea student Bursaries, Royal college of Art, UK, 2004/5