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Gallery: Hanji – Paper Compositions

The KCC’s summer exhibition was co-sponsored by the Hanji Development Institute, which is affiliated with the Hanji Theme Park in Wonju, Gangwon-do.

Wonju was noted for its mulberry trees, and hence its hanji, in the Sillok from King Sejong’s reign and thus competes with other areas of Korea such as Mungyeong and Jeonju for the claim to be the capital of paper-paking in Korea.

The exhibition, which also toured to the Korean cultural centres in Italy, highlighted the versatility of hanji both as a medium for making sculptural, utilitarian objects of use in everyday life as well as its application in contemporary art.

Text below is from the exhibition catalogue.

Craft technique: Jeonji (전지공예)

The jeonji method involves layering of hanji, often of different colours, onto a base frame, like a box. Once multiple layers of paper have been applied, the object is adorned with intricate paper cuttings, decorations that are usually painstakingly completed by hand. Jeonji is a highly-respected craft form, one that enables makers to create products that are both artistic and practical. Objects made using this technique are often vibrant in colour, eye-catching and unique

Craft technique: Jiseung (지승공예)

Jiseung is a paper weaving technique. For this process, strips of hanji are twisted and woven to make various household goods. The paper that is used is often recycled from old books. A diverse range of geometric patterns can be achieved with jiseung through employing different weaving methods, while coloured papers are frequently used to create distinct patterns. Products made using the jiseung technique are finished with a lacquer or oil coating to increase their durability.

Craft technique: Jiho (지호공예)

Jiho is a method of making that utilises hanji scraps to construct rounded vessels. For the process, waste paper is finely torn, soaked in water, mixed with glus and kneaded to generate a paste. The resulting mixture is applied to a mould or frame in a repeated layering and drying process until the final form of the object is realised. Coloured papers can be used to decorate the vessel with patterns. The product is finished with a coating of lacquer for durability and, in some cases, perilla or soybean oil to prevent insect infestations.

Jiseung vases by Moon Yeon-hi (left) and Kim Keum-ja (centre)("Karma"); three jiho vases by Kim Weon-ja (photo: KCCUK)
Jiseung vases by Moon Yeon-hi (left) and Kim Keum-ja (centre)(“Karma”); three jiho vases by Kim Weon-ja (photo: KCCUK)

Contemporary Art

Media art collaborations

Moon Jar x Chochungdo

Moon Jar x Chochungdo is a collaboration between Hanji artists Kim Weon-ja and Moon Yeon-hee, and visual artist Choi Sung-rok. The work reinterprets an eight-panel painted folding screen by artist Shin Saimdang (1504-1551), which depicts a range of floara and fauna. Kim Weon-ja and Moon Yeon-hee have constructed a series fo sculptural forms using Hanji, while digitally illustrated insects and flowers created by Choi Sung-rok are projected onto paper objects, animating the work with movement, sound and colour.

Story of the God and the Universe

Story of the God and the Universe is a media installation created by hanji artist Kim Eun-hee and visual artist Choi Sung-rok. The artwork was inspired by the engravings of a funerary stupa dating to the Goryeo period (918-1392). Drawings inscribed on this stupa retall stories about God, the universe, Buddhism and Taoism, ideas that have been reinterpreted by Choi Sung-rok using digital animation. The artist’s illustrations are framed in the installation by paper models of clothing chests (known in Korean as bandaji or aegijang) priduced by Kim Eun-hee.

All photos by LKL except where credited otherwise.


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