Monday, April 6, 2015

Hanji Exhibition Opening


My Hanji exhibition is officially open and it was a memorable evening on Thursday night when people gathered around at Mrs Harris' Art Studio to  look at Hanji crafts. There was a wonderful atmosphere of anticipation as people came by to see what Hanji was all about, to have drinks & nibbles and to hear some impromptu speeches in an informal setting outside the shop. 

Here in Australia, the Thursday before Easter is NOT the ideal time to have an Exhibition opening. Many people take the opportunity to escape the city for the 4 day holiday break but with time restraints on getting the Exhibition set up, and to have it open for a full month before I head to Korea, the Gallery owner and myself took a gamble and were pleasantly surprised at the turn out it attracted. 


Family, friends and strangers came and were amazed at the broad range of articles that can be made with Hanji and were fascinated by it's lightness, durability and practicality for everyday use.  All these things are what initially attracted me to the craft some 15 years ago in Korea. Before the opening I spent time doing a write up on all 37 pieces in the exhibition describing what had inspired me to make it whether it be to test out a new design, to use a particular paper, for a purely practical purpose or to recreate a traditional piece of Korean furniture.


  

I've been working for months on the Exhibition by creating some new pieces, pushing my boundaries of creativity and perspective and I've combined those, with others that I'd made years ago, to create 'Hanji - from paper to purpose'. Knowing the love and the labour that's gone into every item and the hours of putting the exhibition together to see them all now out on display is  extremely rewarding.  

The Exhibition  is enhanced by an audio visual of handmade, paper making techniques in Korea as well as photographs, information about upcoming classes and an array of information on Hanji, the paper and it's craft.



If you're wondering why I wanted to hold a Hanji exhibition in the first place I can only say, it's become important to me on several different levels and these include,

1) To introduce a completely new craft called 'Hanji' to South Australia. I hope to make  it widely known in this community by teaching classes, giving talks on the subject and writing about it in the media.

2) I'd also like to inspire an interest in Korean culture. Many Australians are quite widely traveled, they know about Chinese and Japanese Arts and Crafts but very little is known  about Korean.

3) Find out what style, including types of items, colourings, designs and textures are most popular and favoured in the  Australian  Arts  & Craft industry.

4) Work with the Adelaide Korean Community and it's people to assist them in maintaining this traditional craft.



If I can achieve a few of these things I'll be happy but in the meantime, I'm very well aware that there's so much more for me to learn and over the coming months  I'll strive to bring you along with me on my ongoing Hanji journey.

 





Thanks to all of you who've supported me over the years in this Korean Hanji journey. From those who came to the opening  on Thursday night, to those who've supported me from their own countries around the world including Denmark, UAE, Oman, Malaysia, Canada, UK, US and Korea as well as those who will  visit in the coming weeks.

The Exhibition is open at Mrs Harris' Shop until April 26th, 2015.  The gallery is open on Saturday and Sundays between 11am - 3pm or by appointment at other times.

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