The other day I was visiting the International Ceramics Biennale, which took place in three small towns around Seoul with great ceramics tradition. I could not believe that such great works of art displayed there were made purely of ceramics, which is a very fragile material.
But then, my group came across the winner of the ceramic competition. We were speechless – not because of the innovation and creativity of the artist who received the main prize, but for a quite opposite reason. The workmanship of the piece was simple, traditional and for our taste, very boring.
“What do you understand about this, you bunch of expat-ladies?” – some reader specialized in ceramics must be asking.
Well, even being experts in other fields (not necessarily in the art of ceramic making), we still reflect public opinion. Being an artist myself, I know well enough what really counts – it is the opinion of the public, because only public approval will be able to satisfy my ego.
This bunch of experts who call themselves “market owners”, seem to miss the whole point of art. These guys, who want us to swallow something we don’t like, care only about their profit, but don’t understand that what an artist wants the most is to impress the general public, so that his/her work would become a topic for discussion and will eventually become an inspiration for new art creators.
The public is king, I always say, sometimes distraught about the lost possibilities for some real talent around the world in the fields of ceramics, literature, music, dance, among others, who might give up doing what they do best for the fear of being rejected by the so-called “market owners”.
It is a fact that the public is and will always be the one who determines the success (or otherwise) of an artist. Therefore the public should take this matter in their own hands and make a difference, offering to those very special individuals the possibility of true recognition.
But how will we do that? What about launching independent and non-profitable websites that give the artists the chance of getting judged by those who deeply understand their work – not in terms of techniques, but in terms of feelings? The most voted ones could raise their voices and demand some attention from the “market owners”.
Is it not through feelings that any work of art is born? We, public and artists, should rise against the empire of the “market owners” and assume our position of skilled judges.
Luciana B. Veit