PHILADELPHIA (December 21, 2011) - For Korean-born ceramicist Veronica Juyoun Byun, shape, color and pattern are more than just physical aspects of her work. Bringing together traditional and non-traditional schemes and symbols, she creates pieces that investigate the human condition. Her exhibit, “A Modular Vision,” will open at Saint Joseph’s University Gallery on Friday, Jan. 13, and run through Friday, Feb. 17. An artist’s reception will be held on Thursday, Jan. 26, 6 – 8 p.m.

Inspired by her personal heritage, Byun uses traditional Korean color schemes to elicit emotions she finds integral to understanding the world as “more than the sum of its parts,” and to create a bridge between her cultural and educational cultures.

“In Korean culture, rainbow or primary color schemes symbolize protection, especially from sources of evil,” Byun says. “Buddhist traditions are full of symbols relative to finding an enduring paradise on earth. My goal is to discover new imagery that suggests these traditions in a personal framework that uses clay as the medium for expression. I am also interested in how my work occupies real and continuous architectural space, and how it becomes integrated in its existing surroundings.”

Including 10 large wall installations and several smaller ceramic animals arranged in groupings on pedestals, the sweep and scale of the exhibit allows the viewer to experience the movement created by Byun’s repetition of geometric shape and dimension. At the same time, viewers experience the protection symbolized by the bright colors and exhibit layout. Representing symbolic membranes or skins, her installations work to invite gallery visitors to contemplate the flux of expansive space, which she views as metaphoric of the human condition.

“Byun’s unique ceramic sculptures are sure to engage viewers with their vibrancy and repetitious nature,” says Jeanne Bracy, associate gallery director. “The sculptures’ various interpretations add to their visual intrigue.” “A Modular Vision” is the Gallery’s sole three-dimensional exhibit of the season.

Byun received her M.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, R.I. and her B.F.A. from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y.  She has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally, from galleries in New York, Chicago, Providence to Varazdin, Croatia, Stadt Kapfenberg, Austria, Seoul, Korea, and Dae-Jeon City, Korea.

Saint Joseph’s University Gallery is located in Merion Hall on the James J. Maguire ’58 Campus at 376 Latches Lane in Lower Merion, Pa. A campus map may be viewed online. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information, call 610-660-1840, or visit the gallery website at