What to Value

Date of Award

June 2018

Degree Type





Margie Hughto


art, ceramic, ceramics, object, studio art, visual art


What to Value is an exploration of creating a visual language based on seeking a bal-ance between my cultural heritage as a South Korean and western contemporary art. From this perspective, the project perceives a certain flow from western contemporary art such as deskilling, materialism and abstraction while emphasizing the values of skills from ceramic art history. I argue that even though ‘deskilling’ has become a trend in contemporary art, having or perceiving fundamental skills are still necessary to plan out the art work for effectively communicating the concept to the audience. I researched artists who have worked in this spectral: Ai Weiwei, Neil Brownsword, Steven Young Lee, John Chamberlain and Sol Lewitt. The artists either present their work with their articulate skills or sources and the cul-turally rich tradition of art history to their political/personal perspective through the lens of contemporary art. I quote from the writing Tradition and the Individual Talent by T.S. Eliot. The author argues that the understanding of tradition and history is essential for making con-temporary artwork. In my practice of this project, I seek an equilibrium between my new ex-perience in America and my cultural understanding of the ideas and skills of past artists. I give a contemporary voice and sensibility to traditional elements through the preservation, deconstruction and transformation of historical patterns and shapes. I reclaim and re-purpose my failures, breathing new energy into the collected salvages and reinterpreting their value.


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