Janny Baek is an artist and architect born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Queens, New York. Janny received her BFA in ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design, and worked as a sculptor in animation and toys before completing her Masters in Architecture at Harvard University and counts her experiences in craft, pop culture and architecture as the major influences on her ceramic work. After founding her architecture firm, McMahon-Baek Architecture in 2014, Janny returned to making sculptures and started her ceramics practice in Brooklyn, NY in 2019. Janny has exhibited in Brooklyn and Paris and is a Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist for 2021.
"My ceramics work is an intersection of my experiences in architecture, sculpture, and animation. I sculpt soft, fluid forms that are inspired by geometry in nature, figurative sculpture, and puffy cartoon clouds. I pursue the colorful, vibrant, and intricate in my pieces, in great contrast to the earthy, tactile, and voluptuous nature of the material. Drawing from my experience as an architect, I develop a systematic approach to crafting the surface patterns of my pieces. As an artist, I use these techniques in the service of expressing a sense of fantasy and transfor- mation. The forms I sculpt are purposefully ambiguous and nebulous, captured in a moment of flux. The pieces seek to embody dynamic contrasts of the intricate and the robust, the systematic and the amorphous, and in doing so to express something obscure, joyful, strange, and pleasurable."