Sam Chung is an Arizona-based ceramic artist. He received his MFA from Arizona State University and his BA degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Between his undergraduate and graduate programs, he worked as a special post-bac student at the University of Minnesota. He taught at Northern Michigan University from 1998-2007 and is now teaching at Arizona State University in Tempe where he is an associate professor of ceramics. Sam has presented numerous lectures and workshops both nationally and internationally.
Sam Chung works within the context of the vessel to exploit its universal identity and impart his own vision of merging historical, contemporary and cultural influences. He is curious about finding relationships between various forms of creative expression ranging from art, traditional craft, and design. When Sam Chung combines these oftentimes disparate relationships, they bring forth a new object that is intended to provoke one’s perception of what is familiar versus what is new.
“A consistent point of departure for my work has been the ceramic vessel and playing with the balance between form, function and design. I am interested in the way that pots have the unique ability to serve a multitude of roles and functions. They can exhibit decorative beauty, bring attention to more functional/tactile concerns, and also create historical, cultural and experiential associations. I work within the context of pottery to exploit its universal familiarity and impose my own vision for merging historically and culturally disparate influences. I am curious about the relationships I see among various forms of creative expression from both past and present, and try to bring forth a new language of pottery for the future.
My most recent work draws influence from Korean art and design. Clouds are a ubiquitous symbol depicted in traditional Korean art. I am interested in the way in which clouds represent a phenomenon that is constantly in flux. Their nature to morph and adapt is similar to the way in which I relate to my own floating sense of identity. These cultural references are intended to serve as an anchor to point towards my own ethnic lineage, but also question my perception of belonging within or outside of it.”
Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center (Denmark), The International Ceramics Studio (Hungary), and The Pottery Workshop (China).