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Lawson Oyekan
Winner of the Grand Prix Award for the 1st World Ceramic Biennale 2001 Korea

The Grand Prix Award for the 1st World Ceramic Biennale 2001 Korea goes to... Lawson Oyekan for "Healing Being"
The 1st World Ceramic Biennale 2001 Korea was hosted by the 'World Ceramic Exposition 2001 Korea Organizing Committee', is sponsored by the Kyonggi Provincial Government of the Republic of (South) Korea and is patronized by the International Academy of Ceramic Arts (IAC), the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) and the American Ceramic Society (ACerS). Arecord 4, 206 entries from 69 countries were received for the Preliminary Slide Selection, from which 305 works from 42 countries were selected by the five international jurors.

Lawson OyekanThe Grand Prix Award for the the event went to Mr. Lawson Oyekan of Nigeria for his piece "Healing Being", from the category 'Ceramics as Expression; Non-function oriented'.

The Gold Awards in the category of "Ceramics for Use; Function oriented" went to Lee, Yong-Phil (Korea) and for "Ceramics as Expression; Non-function oriented" to Ken Eastman (UK), the Silver Awards in the category of "Ceramics for Use" went to Kim, Sang-Ki (Korea), Masatoshi Sakaegi (Japan) and for "Ceramic as Expression" to Philipe Barde (Switzerland), Torbjörn Kvasbö (Norway), and finally, the Bronze Awards in the category of "Ceramics for Use" went to Karin Bablok (Germany), Francoise Ruegg (Switzerland), Hwang, Kap-Soon, Sohn, Ho-gyu (Korea) and for "Ceramics as Expression" the prizes went to Kim, Hyun-Sook (Korea), Masamichi Yoshikawa, Jun Nishida (Japan) and Yuh, Sun-Koo (US).

Healing BeingMr. Oyekan, Grand Prix winner, believes that "an endless question and understanding will heal our wounds of experience like a streak of light in the dark" and that his ultimate objective was to accomplish such a process through his work. His work is an impressive hand-molded, terracotta structure measuring, 68cm in length and width and 201cm in height, weighing 110kg. Enlargement.

It was the jurors opinion that "it's a piece that energizes viewers spouting enormous strength like a volcano" and that "it reminds them of the nature, climate and buildings of Africa while simultaneously casting a mystery of weather if it was formed naturally or if was it created by a human or an animal. Although it seems to have been made through simple techniques, the delicacy seen in the surface is a sharp contrast to its large shape emitting a sense of intimacy, and a simplicity that seems to say that anyone can make such work. At the same time, it gives space a strong sense of "existence". This monumental, multidimensional piece of extraordinary quality will stimulate viewers.

Interestingly, the majority of works for the category "Ceramic for Use; Function oriented" came from Asia while the majority of works for the category "Ceramic as Expression; Non-function oriented" from the West. This would seem to throw some light on the different developments in pottery and ceramic art in the Orient, where tradition seems to play a greater role, and the Occident, where emphasis is might be on experimentation. The statisics could also be an indication that the West has more leisure for artistic expression while in the East, ceramics are a greater matter of survival. This is not to judge either one or the other direction, but the assessment does throw open many questions as to the nature of ceramics in different parts of the world.


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