As I've often mentioned, it's almost impossible to get books in English or in Korean on Hanji crafts therefore, on my recent trip to South Korea it was one of my goals to source as many books as I could from the home of Hanji.
Over the years I've been looking both online and in book stores all over the world for any Hanji books I can find in English and unfortunately, I've only come up with a very small selection thus far. During my trip to Seoul earlier this month it was important for me to go and check out the largest book store in Seoul, Kyobo, to see what they might have.
Finding the shop after so many years was quite easy and the taxi driver knew exactly where to take me so once in the store I rushed up to the English counter and after some communication problems it was finally decided that there was nothing on Hanji in English. Plan A had failed but it really wasn't a total let down as I suspected this is what might happen but I guess I was hoping for a possible surprise find.
Plan B was to venture over to the Korean books section. A lot of discussions followed in the store and the assistants looked at their computers time and time again, checked bookshelves, more discussions and then they finally came up with one book on Hanji in Korean, located on the bottom shelf !!
What am I missing here? Why isn't there more information on this craft?
After purchasing the book 'Seoha Hanji World', which really wasn't about the three dimensional crafting that I do, instead more about the two dimensional craft of producing pictures out of Hanji paper. I'd gone all that way and the assistants had spent such a lot of time looking for a Hanji book so I couldn't leave without it and it'll be a good reference if every I want to give it a try.
Whilst I was in the Korean craft section I then found another book which wasn't really related but it did have some wonderful lanterns made out of Hanji paper and it showed how to make them. I added that to the cart as well.
After a bit of a disappointing visit to the book store I ventured back to Insadong and managed to pick up some design books from several of the Hanji shops there. Each one has a series of different designs and will therefore be useful as it'll give my students and I a wider selection to choose from for our future Hanji creations.
I also found a couple of different Hanji craft books at the Hanji shops in Insadong but it's interesting that these books aren't available at the book stores. They're in Korean of course but the instructions and step by step pictures give me a good idea of what to do.
All in all I was happy with the books I found but still curious as to where all the information about Hanji comes from.
Is it so traditional a craft that it's not written about but merely handed down from generation to generation? Or, am I just not going to the correct sources to find the books? Any ideas?
The Hanji book saga will continue ........