Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trinity Cleary ......Tasmanian Hanji Artist

Last week during my travels to Australia I was fortunate enough to meet up with a fellow Hanji artist, Kyung Young Moon in Scotsdale, Tasmania.  I'd seen her work and was anxious to meet this lady in person.

She is a Korean who has been based in Tasmania for the past 6 years.  Her worked is exhibited in galleries around Australia including the cities of Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart. Her background is in Fine Arts and Industrial design and therefore she's been able to bring those skills to this craft by designing new pieces and painting on the articles she has made.

For the last 3 years Trinity, as she calls herself, has been one of the celebrity artists at the Deloraine Craft Fair in Tasmania.

Here is an excerpt from an article in the Tasmania Mercury by Nick Clark in November, 2011.
'A KOREAN interpretation of the Tasmanian landscape and lifestyle is behind much of the hanji paper work of paper artist Trinity Cleary.
Her persimmon tree and other works are on display at the Tasmanian Craft Fair at Deloraine.
Ms Cleary's work is one of the highlights of the four-day fair, which started with a bumper crowd yesterday.
"I want to be Tasmanian but actually I'm a Korean and cannot change all my brain and my Korean background and thinking," she said.
"I'm Korean but it's made in Tasmania. The lamps are made of wire, plastic and the hanji paper, which was used for centuries to insulate Korean houses.
"In Korea it is quite difficult to have a garden - people just have a little pot."
Ms Cleary, now of Scottsdale, became a paper artist after studying industrial design.'

This lovely lady met me at the Scotsdale Art studio where her work is being exhibited locally  and we chatted about what it's like doing Hanji in Australia and the triumphs and trials of exhibiting and selling in Art galleries around the country.

Trinity's experiences have seen her overcome many hurdles thrown at her through government legislations in Australia but through a sheer determination to succeed she has worked through them and is now able to show her work confidently and creatively.

What I took away from this meeting was that I'd made a new friend and that if you have a passion for something then go for it, don't let small obstacles stand in your way.

If you wish to see more of her work for sale then you can go to this site:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hanji then and now ......

Here is a guest article on Hanji by Lucy Faraday written especially for Hanji Happenings. 

Lucy is 29 years old and has been working full-time as a professional writer and researcher for five years; in that time she's covered pretty much everything but as an amateur artist and photographer she tends to focus on the arts.

Hanji is both a form of acid-free handmade paper originating from Korea, crafted from the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree (chomok), and an artform. For the Korean people hanji is a way of life, with hanji being used for a multitude of different everyday purposes. From its early days as use for recording government documents, hanji has been used for anything from window coverings and ropes through to books, ornaments and household goods. There are three sub-species of mulberry growing in different climatic areas of Korea, which give different qualities of paper, ideally suited to different uses, from calligraphy through to wall paper. 

The Origins of Hanji
While the origins of hanji are not clear, it is thought that it was introduced by monks from China, sometime between the 2-4th century, who are later documented as having introduced the paper into Japan. Physically, hanji is finely textured, smooth to the touch and has a translucent sheen. Today, the paper can be bought in a range of different colours, some patterned, for various uses although finding genuine handmade hanji anywhere other than Korea is difficult.

Hanji as an Art Form
Hanji is perhaps best known in the western world as an art form, with the paper giving rise to the name by which it is recognised across continents. It is perhaps most at home though in the Insa-dong district of Seoul – a popular tourist destination – which overflows with traditional Korean culture and art. Here you can purchase hanji paper in almost any hue you could imagine and a multitude of different articles made from it.
Hanji comes either in two or three dimensional designs. In the two dimensional designs, pieces of hanji are shaped and fastened to a base paper, much like a textured painting. Three dimensional designs are made using a similar method to papier mache, in which pieces of hanji are immersed in a paste and then used to mould the desired shape, whether a bowl or a piece of sculpture.
There are three traditional forms of hanji, called jiho, jiseung and jido. Jiho is a method of soaking scraps of hanji in water before adding them to glue, which can then be used to form articles such as bowls. In Jiseung, strips of hanji are corded or woven to make household items – mats, trays and similar items. In Jido a frame, perhaps of card, is used to glue pieces of hanji to, building up layers to give strength and rigidity to the finished item.

Public Exhibitions 
Recent exposure at the 2012 Hanji Project, held at various locations in New York exemplified the diversity of hanji crafts, showcasing the work of over 80 artists and designers, with exhibits of traditional art through to contemporary, as well as fashion.
Should you be able to travel, other “must go” dates for 2012 to put in your diaries are: 
  • Adhesion Paradox, featuring the work of Seung Chul Lee, at the Artgate Gallery on West 27th Street, NY, which still has a few days left to run – finishing on 21 July 2012.
  • The work of Suh Jeong Min, showing at the JanKossen Contemporary Gallery in Basle between July 5th and September29th 2012.
  • The 12th Wonju Hanji Festival in Wonju, Gangwon-du, running from 9-12 September 2012.

Classes and Workshops
The beauty of a craft such as hanji is that you can experiment and teach yourself techniques, developing your own unique and individual style. There are sometimes classes available should you wish to learn established and traditional techniques. The Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland Ohio, in the US, is dedicated to the art of papermaking and runs workshops. In a similar vein, The Hanji Crew have a website dedicated to hanji and also run classes for anyone interested. You may also be able to purchase hanji through them. Should you be able to visit Korea, there are various companies running tours which include traditional Korean culture, including hanji workshops. 

Literature about Hanji 
Finding books in English about hanji appears to be almost as difficult as finding supplies of genuine paper. One book which has been published in June of this year (2012) is “Hanji – Everything You Need to Know about Traditional Korean Paper”, written by Lee Seung Chul, ISBN 9788932316185. Another publication is a paperback from the Sarah Spurgeon Gallery, Central Washington University titled “Contemporary Korean Paper Art”.  This is an exhibition catalogue dating from 1985 and may be difficult to source. A third publication in English is “Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea: Tradition, Modernity and Identity” by Yong-na Kim, ISBN 9781565912151. While none of these may be cheap books, for anyone looking to explore the art form of hanji or for whom it is already a passion, the availability of any publications in English is treasure.  Presumably there is a much wider market to explore in Korean books, but as of yet this does not appear to have filtered through to the English speaking sector.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Supplies in Australia ....

Since arriving in Adelaide I've been wanting to go visit a Art & Craft shop in the city believing that they will have the materials I need to do Hanji once I get back here  in a few years time and start up my business.  
I knew that they had a small selection of both Korean and Japanese Mulberry papers  so I went to investigate. 
It was interesting to see what papers Eckersley's had  and from the range of about 15 different papers I bought 3 or 4 different ones that I don't have in my personal stock.  I  know that I can order a much better range online directly from Korea or from the U.S. therefore it's not going to be too much of a problem to source the paper on my return. 
Next I went to check out the carboard and was disappointed to find that they only stock the 1mm and 2mm thick board. I was told that they can't get the 3mm cardboard so unless I can source it from somewhere else I will need to glue together a 1mm and a 2mm sheet  to get my 3mm board for doing this craft.
I must admit I was a bit disappointed but we are talking about Adelaide here and I'm sure the Eastern States of Australia would have a better range of papers and supplies of the correct board.
 Please, if anyone knows of a good supplier I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Grandchildren & crafts ......

Summer break with family and friends means being able to spend time with my six, soon to be seven, year old identical twin granddaughters Jasmine and Tamika.  
You ask me, "How can you tell them apart?,  well, unless I'm looking at them straight on, or I take note of what clothes they're wearing on any particular day, then I do have difficulty.  They're great though and if I call them the wrong name they just casually reply, "I'm Jasmine/Tamika" and keep on with what they're doing.

We've been working on a craft project together over the last week and they're making butterfly lanterns. It's not quite Hanji but it's still working with paper, only in a different way. 
I hope when they're a little older and I'm settled back in Australia I'll be able to work on some Hanji projects with them as well.

Children are amazing when given the opportunity to create, the materials to work with and the directions to guide them along. These lanterns are a work in progress.  They began by decorating  them with designs on the paper then they chose either pre coloured butterflies, birds or bats or, they coloured in the shapes themselves to stick onto the surface of the lamp. 

Being identical twins they often think alike but they're being encouraged by their parents to make their own choices and this is a good way to help them along.  There's often the odd squabble over wanting the same thing but they are usually very good at compromise and one will give in to another.

The lanterns will soon take pride of place in their bedrooms and hopefully it will be a small step in helping to develop their love for being creative and taking pride in their achievements.

It's been a while but I just have to share this ...... Bali paper making

Whilst on a holiday in Bali last week I began to wonder if anyone there did paper making.   After a lot of research I came u...