“From her earliest vessels that suggest waiting, and the tentative wading into life, through her wishing stones, designed to reassure through nostalgia and serenity, to the more abstracted branch forms, Kye-Yeon speaks of and to the rhythms of life. “-Sandra Alfoldy, Craft Historian.
Born in South Korea, Kye-Yeon Son earned a BFA at Seoul National University and an MFA in Jewellery Design and Silversmithing at Indiana University. Fascinated by metal, she worked to understand, and manipulate it, while becoming familiar with the elements that form it. During the several years that Son spent in Montreal, Lois Etherington Betteridge, the renowned Canadian metalsmith, became her mentor.
Son’s works have been described as delicate, fragile, elegant and powerful. Often modelled after objects in nature – a leafless tree in winter, a sea-worn beach stone – they speak to resilience, change and harmony with the environment.
“I have been exploring the concept of containment with various vessel forms. My goal is to create vessel forms that synthesize the unique characters of metal and expression of emotional feelings. Controlled but intuitively manipulated thousands of circles and lines create textures, harmonious existence of space and volume in my vessels. My sensibility toward a certain aesthetic of fragility, lightness, and grace is realized in vessels made of fine wire. As a metalsmith, I have a great empathy for those nuances and intrinsic characteristics that inherent in metal. I realized that metal wire embodies most physical characteristics of metal such as tensile strength, ductility, malleability, shimmer, and shine. Wire also represents one of the more basic visual elements, the line. Marriage of tensile strength of wire form and expressive quality of line allows me to deliver my feelings from nature and abstract ideas.”
Son has been an influential teacher at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design since 1995. Kye-Yeon is a recipient of the Saidye Bronfman/Governor General’s Award (2011) and a Member of the Royal Academy of Arts (2000). She has exhibited her works in numerous solo shows and group exhibitions in public and commercial galleries across Canada, the United States, Britain, Germany, Japan and Korea. In addition, her works has garnered numerous awards from multiple organizations.