Korean Ceramic

My Mother's Ceramics
My Mother's Ceramics

I was 8 when my family came to the US from South Korea. My family followed my mother's sisters, who were already established in the US with their families. When we came, we did not bring too much with us, but my mother did want to bring her collection of Korean ceramics. Over the years, she had collected various pieces that she thought were interesting or beautiful or otherwise caught her eyes. These were contemporary pieces by living artists and had decorated many tables and shelves in our home in Korea. She packed these up and shipped them before we left. Throughout our many moves and transitions in the US, throughout many difficulties in my parents' lives (including their eventual divorce), these many pieces of ceramics followed.

When my wife and I married, my mother gave my wife a pair of pieces from her collection. These square, white vases now sit on a shelf in our living room; whenever I look at them, they remind me of a number of things. On the one hand, these remind me of the long, proud tradition of Korean pottery, which dates back many millennia. More personally, of course, they remind me of my family--and my mother in particular--and the paths that have led me to where I am today. It is amazing that these ceramic vases have survived and have been with us over the decades, marking my family's journey through the US and our continued lives as Americans. 

Year: 1982

– Charles Park

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child