Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hanji lamp.....

Here is a new Hanji lamp I've made especially for my current exhibition. I wanted to mix some old techniques of cutouts with one of my  newer, more modern looking paper

The paper has threads of green, blue yellow and pink mixed in with a pale blue pulp that's been rather sparsely placed over a white background. I've placed a butterfly of varying colour shades on each of its sides so that it looks like they're trying to get into the windows of the lamp.

The butterfly means joy and conjugal love in Korean folklore so I’ve combined both the traditional and non traditional aspects of Hanji to highlight the intertwining of modern Korean society with their traditional past.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hanji pictures

Here are some of the pictures I created for the Hanji Exhibition. They've been well received and I wanted to share with you all some of the thoughts behind the designs. I've put my own interpretations into the pictures combining Joseon Dynasty paintings, a selection of Hanji papers and cutouts of symbolic animals and patterns.

INSPIRATION - To show different elements of the lives of the traditional Korean people. 


Strength & Harmony - 
mustard & brown

This earthy toned collage of Hanji patchwork includes a  Min Hwa (Korean Folklore) painting of a woman sewing which is representative of domestic harmony. The black geometrical cutout represents times when everything goes smoothly and is in harmony with itself whereas the tiger symbolises those times when life is tough  and people need amazing strength to get through.

Work & Constancy
 - blue

In this blue Hanji patchwork  I wanted to show the commitment to hard work by the Korean people intertwined with their connection to nature. In Korean folklore the carp is a symbol of a self-made man, so I’ve used this design to represent both the old traditions and to show the importance of fishing as a livelihood for many  Koreans today. 
The addition of the bees and a flower in the top left hand corner represents the constant busyness in nature.

Relaxation & Joy - 

This red Hanji patchwork collage includes a Min Hwa (Korean folklore) drawing of people bathing. This was done at the end of a long day of hard physical labour in the fields. The cat, in Korean folklore, was believed to protect the silkworms and chase away evil spirits whilst the butterfly represents joy and conjugal love.

Nature & Light
 - green

In this green Hanji patchwork picture I wanted to give a feeling of light and warmth as represented by the lanterns, and that light shines on the plants to allow them to grow tall enough to be harvested. I’ve used some Hanji papers infused with plants and a variety of different textures to enhance the visualization of nature.

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.

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...