Colour has the intense power to summon up visceral thoughts. Korean-born Arhyun Lee’s work examines this subject, questioning our sensorial memory and how these take shape in sculptural form.

Lee’s series Imaginary Drinks blends childhood, colour, candy and recollection in single vessels. The bottles are inspired by her memory of eating and drinking certain things as a young girl: a yellow shape was inspired by honey; she was thinking about candy when creating a pink flagon covered in mint-coloured dots; another has the red-and-black palette of Coca-Cola. ‘I discovered the world eating and drinking, and I wanted to translate these sensations into 3D forms,’ said Lee.

These works try to mimic that sense of sensory discovery in colour and form. Lee laces ribbons of clay around one bottle shape, and syringes spurts of slip onto the surface of another. She then adds dots on top of each other to slowly build spiky tentacles.

All of this, though, renders them unusable: they allow you to only experience food and drink visually. Thankfully, they are a feast for the eyes. ‘It takes me time to choose the colour and decoration,’ she explained. ‘Although I’m a maximalist, I’m encouraged to control myself.’

This profile is part of New Wave Clay, our book on ceramic design, art and architecture. You can order a copy here.