Park Sung-youl South Korean, b. 1978


Another finalist of the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize 2020, Sung – Youl Park is an exceptional talent in Ottchil – the Korean natural lacquer decoration tradition. Having trained under the national treasure masters in Ottchil, South Korea, the young artist has spent the past five years developing a practice that embodies but questions the traditional approach. ‘Can the raw material of Ottchil be a work of art in its own right?’ he asks. After mixing the ‘Ott’ or sap that creates the lacquer, with raw pigment creating various hues, Park creates self-supporting natural lacquer structures and forms. The lacquer surprises people for its natural lightness, strength and flexibility. The works open a dialogue around the power of natural materials and how we are still able to find new ways to work within nature and tradition.