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Posts Tagged ‘Youngmin Lee’

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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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Got the post-holiday blahs? I’ve got a remedy for that! Coming up in 2019 there are  fashionable events to enjoy so let’s look at the year ahead and start planning.

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Dr. Kim with models donning traditional hanbok dress.

Saturday, January 19, 2019, 10AM at the de Young Museun in San Francisco dress historian and lecturer Dr. Minjee Kim, will give a presentation called Is Traditional Dress Modern? Hanbok in a Broader Cultural Context. Sponsored by the Textile Arts Council, Dr. Kim’s presentation will focus on traditional Korean dress and its importance in fashion historically and today. I attended this lecture at another venue in December and I highly recommend it! Click here for more information. 

If you’re down in LA on Saturday January 19th the Getty is hosting an interesting event called Artist-At-Work: French Fashion. Costume historian Maxwell Barr will dress a live model in the garb worn by the likes of Marie Antoinette and other 18th century elites. Click here for more information, 

Learn about bojagi, traditional Korean wrapping cloth.  On February 2 the Textile Arts Council is hosting a workshop with Korean textile artist Youngmin Lee. Here’s what they say:

Using the traditional Korean techniques Gamchimjil, Settam Sangchim and Ssamsol, Youngmin will teach basic jogakbo construction in this workshop. Jogakbo, patchwork bojagi, is made with many different colors of remnants of fabric left over from other projects. She will show how to use many small pieces of ramie fabrics, silk organza and Korean silk gauze to create a colorful, free style, geometric patterned bojagi. The finished project will have a unique composition of different shapes, lines and texture.

Open to TAC members only. Click here for more information. 

Coming up on Saturday February 9th is the Twelfth Annual McCoy Lecture: Knots, Art and History: Shifting Perspectives and Perceptions Within the Berlin Carpet Collection.  Anna Beselin, Head of Textile Conservation and Curator for Carpets at the Museum für Islamische Kunst Berlin  will discuss the importance of the Berlin Carpet Collection. (Not a fashion lecture but for those with a general interest in textiles.) Click here for more information. 

Are you thinking about summer travel? Consider an educational vacation to the UK. June 17-28, Costume Connection: A Study Tour Abroad is offering a behind-the-scenes peek at British costumes for films. Here’s what they say:

This two week program led by Mandy Barrington will provide participants with a unique insight into British Costume for Screen. 2019 celebrates the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth; using Queen Victoria as the main theme for this specialist program, participants will be given an insight into the screening of the successful British television series ‘Victoria’. This will include talks from industry professionals, specialist workshops in millinery, where participants will have the opportunity to design and make an individual Victorian Bonnet. Plus, a series of visits to see costume collections across the country.

Sounds great to me! Click here for more information. 

Blow those blahs away while looking forward to a fashionable times ahead. I’ll keep you up to date on events throughout the year, so check back. Better yet, subscribe to OverDressedforLife (upper right hand box).

 

 

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A recent interest in Korean fashion led me to sign up for the Korea Textile Tour, a ten day exploration of traditional Korean culture and textile art. It was my first trip to Asia and needless to say, I was most excited!

Limited to ten women, our group included mostly quilters and a couple of us interested primarily in fashion. We were based in Seoul, South Korea with three leaders:

  • Youngmin Lee, a Korean transplant to the Bay Area and Korean textiles artist.
  • Mirka Knaster makes her home in Northern California and is a writer and an artist working in fiber arts.
  • Lissa Miner is a quilter who hails from Berkeley, CA but currently lives outside of Seoul, South Korea.

 

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Studio of Kyung Yeal Kim, master craftsman. This is where we took the safflower dye workshop.

The days were packed full but we kept to a reasonable pace. Each day we walked an average of five miles, so no need to worry about getting enough exercise. We took docent led museum tours, strolled neighborhoods, met master artists who led us in workshops, including indigo dye and safflower dye. We stayed in Insadong, which is an older part of Seoul known originally as the neighborhood of calligraphy and paper artists. It was a great place to be, located near two subway stations and within walking distance of many galleries and shops. Speaking of subways – I was very impressed with the efficiency (never waited more than 5 minutes for a train), and how clean the stations and trains are kept. Sure it gets crowded and the older folk will push you out of the way but overall the system was a pleasure to ride.

Our hotel was the recently renovated Sunbee. I’m told that it was bought by a retired pharmacist who handed the business over to her son to run. Each of us had her own room, which are remarkably spacious as are the bathrooms. At the end of a busy day, it felt good to come back to a comfortable space. There’s a cafe off the lobby where we met each morning for the included breakfast. Plus free laundry facilities and Wi-Fi.

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Public Library.

As for language, it helps to know a little Korean, at least hello and thank you. In general, many young people speak English and most older people do not. Traditional Korean restaurants don’t have menus in English but some do have pictures to point to. I was lucky to have Youngmin’s help  – often she checked ahead with restaurants to see what accommodations could be made for my egg allergy.  (Several meals are included in the tour.) Modern neighborhoods have English speaking staff  in shops and restaurants. I found that communication is possible and actually fun with a few words in common and a willingness to try.

Tourism in South Korea is on the rise, so people are used to non-Korean speakers. But Korea is not yet on the American radar and I spotted very few of my follow citizens.

What is on the radar of young Koreans is western food. Especially coffee, bread, and pastries. We saw many a French bakery and cafe. Also health food, such as organic salad, is very popular in the modern neighborhoods.

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Handbag Museum.

Among some of my favorite activities on the tour was the trip to Gwangjang Market. The first permanent market in Korea and the main market for fabric, this place is mecca for high quality rare fabrics such as ramie and silk. It was a treat to see. There’s also a food market on the first floor, offering just about any kind of Korean street food you’d like to eat.

I really enjoyed visiting Ewha Women’s University Museum where we had a docent led tour of the special exhibit – Undergarments from the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1897 (undergarments worn with Hanbok).

On one of our free days four of us visited the Simone Handbag Museum. A few years ago I had read about this museum, which opened in 2012 and displays antique to modern, handmade to designer handbags. The building itself is in the shape of a handbag.

While exploring on my own one day,  I unexpectedly stumbled upon the public library in Bukchon. Another charming historic neighborhood, Bukchon is located near two palaces and is known as a center for traditional arts and artists’ studios.

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Really, I enjoyed everything because it was all new to me. Much of the tour is focused on Korean history and culture, which as Mirka pointed out, gives a context to the traditional art we looked at and talked about. I have come home with a desire to learn more about all things Korean.

This was the second year for the Korea Textile Tour and plans are already in the works for 2019. A list of interested travelers is growing. Click here for more information.

There are lots of photos of my trip on Instagram. Follow OverDressedforLife:

#overdressed4life

Check back for more fashionable adventures in Seoul, South Korea.

 

 

 

 

 

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