KyoungHwa Oh was born and grew up in Seoul, Korea, where she naturally developed a connection to traditional Korean ceramics (Koryo Celadon). Oh studied fashion design in Korea and worked for five years as a designer before coming to the United States to gain more design experience. While in the United States, her interest in clay was revived and she changed her plans to study ceramics.
After receiving her Master of Fine Arts, Oh worked as a Visiting Resident Artist at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas from 2009 to 2011. Oh came to Colorado Mesa University as the Art Department’s first Artist-in-Residence in Fall 2011, as part of an initiative to expose art students to unique artistic approaches. She joined the department as an Assistant Professor in 2014 and teaches both ceramics and foundation courses. Oh has been included in many juried and invitational exhibitions throughout the United Stated, China, and Canada. The ICMEA (International Ceramic Magazine Educators Association) recognized her as an emerging artist in 2010 and Oh also received Ceramic Monthly‘s Emerging Artist Award in 2012.
Oh’s life experiences and cultural background inspire her ceramic pieces. Her work consists of functional and sculptural carved porcelain. Her pieces are first thrown on the wheel and then altered by cutting, adding clay and carving to create new forms. Through the carving process, Oh strives to depict positive and negative space, uniting the ideas of fullness and emptiness. Oh creates ceramic objects that reflect traditional Korean culture as well as western contemporary style. Like Yin and Yang, Oh’s work encompasses the interaction between traditional Asian values and modern Western society.