Bae Young-Whan's Frozen Waves For A Hot Summer Day

Bae Young-Whan's Frozen Waves For A Hot Summer Day

Tess Wilson
Jul 5, 2012

On a recent visit to San Francisco's Asian Art Museum, I happened upon the most cooling, calming work of art I'd ever seen: three lit cabinets full of tiny, crashing celadon waves. We might not get a real summer here in San Francisco, but if you're suffering through a heat wave, these frozen waves are for you..

Bae Young-Whan is an artist from Seoul, and his work is currently featured in the Asian Art Museum's Phantoms Of Asia exhibit. He has a dark and peaceful little room to himself, with an artist's cabinet of waves on each of the walls, and Terra Incognita-Theta- an amazing oak mountainscape- in the center. I was ready to move into that room, it was all just so perfect.

His work also made me want to run home and start pinching little waves out of clay, but without access to a kiln, I knew I'd never have my own ocean's worth of waves. But it would be so fun to make a-wave-a-day! Any ideas on how to do something like this with minimal equipment? Or perhaps those paint-a-pot places would fire your tiny pieces for you? I think this would be especially fun to do with kids, a soothing, low-key activity to do together while you talk or don't talk.

Oh, and wouldn't Bae Young-Whan's waves go perfectly with Marianne Nielsen's mountains?

(Images: 1.-3. Tess Wilson 3. PKM Gallery)

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