This brass tableware was handcrafted in Anseong, Korea, a region with a very long history of brassware production. The artisan, KIM Soo-Young, utilises traditional skills handed down over many generations. His skills have been listed as important Korean cultural property, and he received the award of YEOL Craftsman of the Year 2013 (a society for Korean cultural heritage). The objects were designed by Korean product designer, GIO Kisang.
KIM Soo-Young was associated with brassware from a young age, and learnt the skills needed from his father. Even when brassware went out of fashion in the 1960s, the family business continued to practice the art. Through generations and generations of learning, the ancient skills were passed down. His collaboration with GIO Kisang has given contemporary relevance to the traditional craft.
This brass tableware represents contemporary international concerns for the preservation of intangible cultural heritage - skills and knowledge involved in traditional craftsmanship. Globalisation has presented many challenges to the survival of traditional artisanship. This work represents a recent wave of international designers who are involved in cultural preservation of traditional skills and craftsmanship through contemporary design.
References: Min-Jung KIM (Ed) (2011), 'Spirit of jang-in, treasures of Korean metal craft', Powerhouse Museum Publishing, Sydney, Australia