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Bongsang Cho is a South Korea-born metalsmith working in the United States. This young artist combines traditional techniques of forming metal with new technology to create innovative work. Beautiful, strong, and textural, his pieces display the contrast between structural forms and natural beauty of material. Cho earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Metals and Jewelry from Hanyang University in South Korea, and early influences from Korean art and design still resonate in his work. He moved to the United States in 2005, where he worked with professor and metal artist Komelia Okim and acted as her assistant for Montgomery College and during summer workshops at Penland School of Crafts. He worked as an assistant to Namu Cho, a well-known jeweler who specializes in creating and using the damascene technique in jewelry.
Techniques learned from both of these artists have given Cho a wide range of skills and aesthetics to incorporate into his own work. Over time he developed a passion for teaching and continued learning, which led him to enroll at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s jewelry program, where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2012. He has participated numerous exhibitions and competitions such as the Smithsonian Craft Show, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Craft Show and Sculpture Objects Functional Art Exposition. He has also received multiple NICHE Awards, the MJSA Future of the Industry Award, and the SNAG Educational Endowment Scholarship Award. His most recent work is inspired by the combination of contemporary and traditional metalworking techniques. He explains his artistic philosophy by observing that: “Technology drives innovation. Freely experimenting with traditional materials allows me to express a new vision. By juxtaposing traditional smithing with advanced laser welding, I connect the past and present, build intriguing designs, and exceed the limitations of convention.”