Central to my artistic practice is the notion of unhomeliness: a state of being caught between two cultures, and the subsequent impact on cultural identity that occurs when one originates from one country/culture and lives in another. I am familiar with this concept, having spent the first thirty years of my life in South Korea and the past fifteen years living and studying in Edinburgh.
I explore this by creating glass objects that possess ’strangeness’ and inherent distinctive qualities that rely on a sense of bicultural identity. The artwork does not readily fit into either Korean or British visual culture. Pieces are deliberately designed to create a pseudo- Korean/British or British/Korean image that can be viewed with a Western or Eastern lens, or with a blend of both cultures.
I hope that the cultural ambiguity inherent in my work challenges viewers and can introduce an artistic approach to the subject of bicultural identity, which has been inspired by my personal experience of being in a state of in-betweenness.
Choi Keeryong is a glass artist based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Born in South Korea, his experience living and working in both places has given Choi the broader cultural outlook he sought when moving away from home and has enabled him to position himself in between two cultures, examining both with fresh eyes. Choi’s artistic interests encompass questions concerning the notion of cultural authenticity, bicultural identity, and historical and symbolic meanings constructed around craft materials in different cultures.
Since earning a PhD in Design from The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, Choi has exhibited widely throughout the UK and internationally. He received the National Glass Centre’s Emerging Artist Residency Prize at the 2015 British Glass Biennale. His work is held in the permanent collections of Corning Museum of Glass, New York; Imagine Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida; National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh; City of Edinburgh Council, Scotland; Oriental Museum at Durham University, England; and National Glass Centre, Sunderland, England.