top of page

LEE Eunbum


Celadon is pottery that bears a blue hue. The intricate colour is not achieved through artificial dye, instead, it is from the delicate process of applying a glaze and baking at a high temperature in a kiln that gives deep natural blue colour.
Colour is the single most important element in celadon.


Lee Eun-Beom, one of Korea's leading celadon artists, reestablishes once adored Goryeo celadon in his contemporary style. His process of producing such celadon is virtually alike that is from the Goryeo Dynasty. Lee was the artist to be filmed as a documentary by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco for his nonpareil exercise of reviving the signature Goryeo Dynasty style celadon.
Lee recently nestled in his hometown and set up his home studio with a kiln for the convenience of having his own space. “I lived in Seoul since a young age because of my father but I never got used to the place. Boys at the time did not get along so well with me and the water there gave off a bad odour. So I asked my dad for a portion of his land in my hometown so that I can comfortably work
with a kiln and a spinning wheel.” He explains.


The country-bred boy who couldn’t adapt in Seoul joins the art club in high school and he continues studying ceramics at Hongik University in Seoul and becomes one of the most celebrated celadon artists in Korea.
"The celadon was a blue ocean. I could learn white porcelain or Buncheong from anyone, but there was no senior in my school who did celadon. So I had to find a teacher who could teach me both celadon and white porcelain. Celadon for me looked like a jewel. From then on, I thought I'd do it right if I wanted to be the celadon specialist.” He recalls.


However, the road to master the Goryeo Dynasty Caledon did not come easy. It is the colour that defines the original style of Goryeo celadon but also the most difficult one to recreate. He says: “The Korean style celadon vanished during the Joseon Dynasty. it partially revived in modern times but the style was distorted for the taste of Japanese clients. There are crack marks on the surface of a
celadon but there was no crack to be seen in the original Goryeo Celadons. Also, the colour was different.”


Lee’s journey to revive the original celadon continues for over 10 years. After innumerable experiments and failures, he makes a successful celadon that meets his satisfaction by collecting clays in Gangjin, Jellanam-do where the clay in the Goryeo celadon was originally collected. It was not easy for an individual to transport clay soil from the distant countryside, the original kiln site in the
Goryeo era. It also requires laborious works of not just collecting clay but also drying and processing it. The process is so demanding that he has a genuine concern about who would be able to follow his steps in the future.


“The work begins with processing clay,” Lee explains. “The exquisite quality of the Korean celadon is achieved when the unique grey clay surface blends with the turquoise coloured glaze. The clay is the most important material and It is blended with clay from Gangjin a portion of Kaolin (also known as the China clay), and a portion of Alumina. I also make special glaze from Feldspar(Na(AlSi3)08) from Gangjin.I like to form clay with a spinning wheel first then I form it with my own hands. I use the technique of making walls with layering thinly rolled doughs. since celadon is sensitive to the thickness of the glaze so I pay particular attention."

It requires exceptional skill and concentration to bake in a kiln for a long time while preventing clay from collapsing and glaze from flowing down. This demanding technique of baking clay for over 60 hours gives elegant depth to the grey hue of the celadon. Lee believes the duration of baking deepens the colour of clay. A grinding process comes after plasticization and it is also a vital step to perfect a celadon. Lee applies delicate griding with sandpaper and this has the effect of adding thousand years of time to freshly baked pottery, giving it a timeless look like Goryeo celadon in a museum. Lee is one of the very few celadon artists who undergoes all the timely process of bringing the Goryeo celadon to the present.

Lee Eun Beom's celadon has developed into a modern form while retaining the colour and texture of the classic. His lotus blossom bowls, beloved by numerous Michelin restaurants, expose modern lines and forms and colour. colours of his celadons show variations ranging from cerulean to deep turquoise, unlike any contemporary or classical celadon. Lee exhibited a head ornament piece in his recent solo exhibition in 2021 that he was deeply influenced by his personal experiences with his grandmother. Lee is constantly expanding his artistic realms from crafts to fine art.

Unlike his sublime and elegant artistry, his life is remarkably simple. Lee begins his daily routine by taking a relaxed stroll, observing nature. Only then he spends more than ten hours with clay. After concentrating on the work, he eats dinner and then goes to bed.

Lee injects the positive aura he receives from nature into his pieces. He believes that all the environments surrounding have a profound impact on people. His ceramics constantly emit positive energy to people and make the space vibrant wherever the pieces are placed.
























Solo exhibitions:
2021 9th solo exhibition "Naturally" (Jiso Gallery) Selected

          group exhibitions:
          The Story of Celadon in the 2020 Multicolor Tea Culture

          (Gyeonggi Ceramic Museum/Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do)
2019 Beopgo Changsin Tea Bowl and Drinking Bowl

          (Space Yena / Jeju Island)
2017 The 41 st Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art CONTEM-

          PORARY CRAFT SHOP (Pennsylvania Convention Center

          / U.S.A)
2016 Korean NOW/ Korean craft & Design in Munich 2016

          (Munich, Germany)
2015 9th Cheongju International Biennale/HAND+ Expansion

          and Gongjeon(formerly Cheongju Tobacco Manufacturing

          Plant/Cheongju) and many others

Gwangju Guanyo Museum, Gyeonggi-do
Korean Culture Center UK
ENSA Limoges-Ecole nationale Superieure d'Are de Limoges (France)

이은범 작가_20454.jpg

© 2020 by l'er Korea created with

bottom of page