Janny Baek

Artist Statement

My work in ceramics is an intersection of my experiences in architecture, sculpture, and animation. I sculpt soft, unspecific forms that are as inspired by natural phenomena and geometry as they are by comic book clouds and cartoon creatures. I pursue the glossy, playful, and vibrant in my pieces, in great contrast to the earthy, tactile, and voluptuous nature of the material. My pieces are animated forms that have been captured in a moment of flux, each existing in a suspended state of transformation, and inhabiting a space between the familiar and the strange, the ponderous and the humorous.

Recently I have been inspired by the techniques of pattern making and structure in textile design, another field alongside ceramics which has traditionally been considered a gendered craft rather than an art form, in designing the surfaces of my work. My interest lies in the tension and compromises between the graphic qualities of the surface pattern and the figurative nature of the form. 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.

-- Janny Baek


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. Janny is a partner at McMahon-Baek Architecture in New York. In 2019 Janny returned to making sculptures and started her ceramics practice in Brooklyn, NY, and has exhibited in Brooklyn and Paris in 2019-2020.