Looking at Eun-Ha Paek’s ceramic work is like recalling a dream upon waking. You might recognize some elements, but they’re not exactly as you remember them – and certainly not as you’ll see them again. Dog Box Blue, a figment of Paek’s mind, leaves reality behind for something else. But what?
Blue belongs to a series that “illustrates the process of teleporting a dog out of my mind into the real world,” Paek says. “Extraction keeps yielding flawed dogs; sometimes a leg misses its connection or mouths multiply in their travels back and forth from reality to imagination and back again.”
Paek’s skill crossing the mind-matter continuum has no doubt been sharpened by the 18 years the Brooklyn artist has spent working in animation after graduating from Rhode Island School of Design. Adding ceramics to her artistic repertoire five years ago was less planned: She took it up in the first place, she says, because she wanted a pair of ceramic poodles to flank her fireplace. That required her to overcome her training as an illustrator. “I realized that images existed in my mind in two dimensions, and I only knew what [they] looked like from one angle.”
As some of her animated characters have made the jump from screen to sculpture, Paek is focused on enjoying the experience of traveling between worlds – 2D and 3D, imagined and tactile. “I love feeling like an explorer,” she says, “traversing the unknown.”