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Youngmin Lee and Steph Rue.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the opening reception of From Fabric to Paper, an exhibit of works by bojagi artist Youngmin Lee and hanji artist Steph Rue at The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in San Francisco.

 

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The two artists were recipients of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program. This exhibit features both their individual work and the pieces they worked on together over the summer.

 

 

Bojagi is traditional Korean wrapping fabric and hanji is traditional Korean handmade paper. Ms. Rue says when she was in South Korea studying hanji she constantly saw bojagi, which is made of fabric scraps and used to wrap gifts, store things, and carry objects. Once something common and used every day, it has now become an art form. Intrigued, she wanted to learn more.

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Indigo Study. These are traditional pouches men would have carried in the Joseon Period (1392-1910) in Korea. These are made with mulberry paper, silk, and ramie fabric.

She says she was excited to have the opportunity to work with Ms. Lee, who is considered a master in bojagi making. With a degree in fashion design Ms. Lee came to the craft after moving here from South Korea more that twenty years ago. She says that living in another country moved her to the traditions of her own culture. Now, she shares her knowledge of, and passion for bojagi by teaching classes all over the Bay Area.

This is a lovely exhibit and well worth a visit to The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in San Francisco, 3500 Clay St. @ Laurel. On now through December 27, 2019. Open hours are Monday-Friday 9-5. And it’s free.

On another related topic: today (October 9th) is Hangul Day in South Korea. Hangul is the Korean alphabet. Koreans celebrate their alphabet because at one time there was no written Korean language and only scholars could read and write Chinese characters. Hangul was created by King Sejong in the 1400s to allow everyone the opportunity to read and write in their own language.

Hangul Day is a national holiday in South Korea.

Happy Hangul Day!!

 

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