The fluid glazes flowing across the surface of Sunkoo Yuh's ceramic sculpture elicit an unsettling feeling. Green and blue skinned figures suggest a fabricated reality, perhaps a science fiction tale; the pigtailed character's red-streaked cheeks hint at violence or suffering.
Facing outward, the grouping's individual components look at us rather than each other. What do they want to communicate? Perhaps the two tallest forms want the viewer to choose sides; arranged back to back, they might be ignoring or opposing each other.
This menagerie springs from a shared base; could each creature represent one of an individual's many feelings and roles? Our personalities vary depending on emotional states; anger, sadness, or joy can make us seem like different people. Likewise, a person who enjoys being silly with friends might be all business at work.
Ecclesiastes reminds us, "There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens" (3:1). But recognizing the appropriate time and knowing how to respond in the moment are elusive skills.
Be My Guest invites us to recognize what remains unsaid, unknown, and uncomprehended. Will we make sense of ourselves and our world? We certainly won't if we don't try.
By Jerry Bleem, O.F.M., a priest and artist who teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
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|Title Annotation:||eye of the beholder; Sunkoo Yuh's ceramic sculpture|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2019|
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