Saturday, November 24, 2012

2012 The year of English books on Hanji .....

I now have all the Hanji books I can track down on Hanji that are written in English.   It comes to the grand total of two. Please if anyone knows of any others please let me know!!

Both books were published this year with 'Hanji' by Lee Seung-chul, in March, 2012 and 'Hanji Unfurled' by Aimee Lee, in October, 2012. As I said in an earlier post the other book I ordered, 'Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea' by Kim Youngna is an older publication from 2005 and I found no direct references to Hanji as an art-form. 

HANJI was written by Lee Seung-chul and  it's been translated into English. 

The cover states that this is .'.. the first  accessible yet comprehensive guide to the material experts consider superior to Gutenberg's metal-print paper'. 
Professor Lee is a world renown expert on Hanji paper and natural dyeing methods and his soft covered book contains over 300 photo and illustrations with some Hanji paper samples in the back. It is an encyclopedia of all things Hanji including what it is, it's origins, differences in Hanji paper, what it is used for (hanji art ) and the future of the paper itself. 

This is definitely one to have on your bookshelf if you're interested in looking for the highest quality products to go into your Hanji artwork.  It's easy to read and contains a wealth of information that was not previously accessible to anyone other than those who could read Hangul.

HANJI UNFURLED: One journey into Korean Papermaking, has now arrived on my doorstep as well and I must congratulate Aimee Lee for her wonderful book. 

This hard covered book written in English is simply yet beautifully set out and tells of her story of discovery of her Korean heritage and it's Arts. She was born to Korean parents and brought up in New York where after several years she chose to shun her ancestral identity and tongue to fit into the so called American 'norm'. 

It wasn't until she entered College and she was doing an Art-History course in Chinese landscape painting  that she came across the paper that the Chinese thought was the best to use and it was hanji from Korea.  This began her quest to know not only more about the paper but also about her Korean heritage in general. 

The book covers not only the History of Hanji and her personal discoveries but also how she has helped to take hanji to the West. Her ten year goal was to set up a Korean paper making factory in the United States  but it took only one year to materialise and it's now a fully functioning program at the Morgan Art of Paper making Conservatory and Educational Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio.

These  are great to have and I hope this trend of seeing more books being written in English and appearing on the shelves continues.  My long term goal is to write my own book on the Art of Hanji making.  I wonder how long it'll be before I find the time to see this to fruition?

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