Yun-Dong Nam was born in Seoul, Korea and received his M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Arts in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Before coming to Chapel Hill in 1995, Yun-Dong held teaching positions at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, California State University at Long Beach, and at Bennington College in Vermont. He also held an artist residency at the Bemis Foundation in Omaha, Nebraska before becoming an Associate Professor of Art at UNC. In 2000, Yun-Dong received the University of North Carolina’s Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. In addition to his acclaimed teaching career, he is an active and widely recognized ceramic sculptor, having exhibited his work in over sixty group exhibitions and ten solo exhibitions. Most recently, Yun-Dong’s pieces appeared in two shows: the Asian American Artist Exhibition at the Kentucky Museum of Arts & Design in Louisville, and 6595 Miles (10614 KM) at the Network Gallery of the Cranbrook Museum of Art in Bloomfield, MI.
In addition to extensive showings in the U.S., Yun-Dong frequently displays his work overseas, including a solo exhibition held at the Tho-Art Space Gallery in Seoul, Korea. Several publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Ceramic Art Monthly, and Art & Antique Magazine, have highlighted his extensive body of work. Among many other professional accolades, Yun-Dong’s work received first prize from the Korean Arts Foundation of America in 1992.
Emotion and energy are inherent properties of clay. In clay the Earth is held; it grows, wears down, and is renewed. As an organic material, clay is able to capture one’s ideas and transform them into a tangible reality. The by-product then becomes a living tool to educate and inform. As a ceramic artist I am dealing with a history of connections to the Earth. What I am seeking in my work is a reconnection to the rhythms of nature. In using clay to make my pieces, I am attempting to fuse with the elemental properties of nature. Within our society we have broken these connections to the Earth. As artists we can create an awareness of such a loss and demonstrate a hope of reconnecting.