Bae Sejin’s series of work responds to the Samuel Beckett play, Waiting for Godot. Through an exploration in clay, Sejin encourages us to rethink and realign our relationship to the passing of time.
“But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late!”
From Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Within the vastness of his ceramic works, every individual brick is unique. Hundreds of thousands of serial numbers are imprinted onto the bricks, recording the cumulative time spent constructing each piece as part of the series. This cumulative time is not measured in hours and minutes, but in bricks and clay, with each individual piece becoming a unit of its own time. As Sejin measures and registers his labour in this way, he makes time visible and tangible. By revealing and reminding us of the construct of time, Sejin invites us to re-evaluate our personal and collective relationship to it.
In a world of instant communication, immediate information, perpetual growth and over-consumption, Sejin’s work considers the connection, or dis-connection, between humanity and nature. Through the physical constraints of working with clay, the process of labour becomes a practice of slowing down and recalibrating with the pace of the material.
Sejin’s work speaks to many current concerns about our responsibilities towards the natural world and brings a valuable perspective to this discussion, allowing us a moment of reflection. In observing his careful craftsmanship, marking over a decade of work so far, we are invited to pause, consider the material of the earth and restore our collective connection to it.
Bae Sejin is an award winning ceramicist. He lives and works in Seoul, and exhibits his work internationally with galleries in Seoul, Geneva, Paris, New York and Beirut. He has won the Silver Prize for the 2015 Cheongju International Craft Competition, the Bronze prize for the 2015 Taiwan Ceramics Biennale International Competition, and was selected as a Finalist for the Loewe Craft Prize in 2017.
With thanks to Mouvements Modernes for kindly loaning the artworks.
Photography by Zak Thomas Johnson
Photography by Bae Sejin