Traditional Korean paper has a long history and it has been living with us in our daily lives for thousands of years. Talking of excellence of Korean paper, it is often said that it can last more than 2,000 years when preserved well. In fact, Korean alphabets and pictures in the past were mostly written and drawn on Korean paper. So the preserving Korean paper has been as active as spreading by people in the same mind for thousands of years.
[2021 Seoul Korean Paper Exhibition]
The Traditional Artists Association, with sponsorship of Seoul and Jongno District, held the 2021 Seoul Korean Paper Exhibition at the Kyungin Museum of Fine Art, Insa-dong. Attended at the opening were the association president Hwasook Sim, Seoul Metropolitan Council member Wungshik Choi, Jongno Foundation for Art & Culture director Youngmin Yoon, and Korea Craft Artists Association president Chilyong Lee. Choi said “the exhibition has been running for 8 years and I would like to give special thanks to Hwasook Sim who has worked hard to organize and manage the exhibition for many years.” Lee said “I’m touched by Korean paper artists gathering together here and Korean paper contains Korean’s endurance and vitality and it is but a proud culture and history of us.” Yoon said “The Jongno Foundation for Art & Culture is focusing on 5 cultural keywords which are Korean house, Korean alphabet, Korean food, Korean clothes and Korean paper on which we pour special effort through various programs and events, and Sim is the one who has worked hard to popularize Korean paper in our daily lives on her own expense while people’s interest was not as passionate as hers. Korean paper will be a global cultural keyword if we work together.”
Sim said “I and Korean paper have a long history, and I just started it because I liked it very much but the ‘like’ developed into a sense of my duty and responsibility, and I received a lot of help during the course which I’m thankful, and it is my goal to lay a firm foundation in 5 to 10 years for talented young Korean paper artists to grow and fly.” One thing noteworthy in the exhibition this year was that the existing forms and colors of Korean paper are embracing new forms and colors that reflect the trend and vibes of young people today. A good example is the participation of a young Korean paper artist Yumi Lee.
Yumi Lee, Director of Haerang Craft, attracted attention at the exhibition with her works collaborated with her pupils. A variety of new forms and colors of Korean paper works were reinterpreted and they received positive reviews. 24 years of experience in the field, Lee obtained a master’s certificate at the 10th Korea Artistic and Cultural Master held this year. The winners must have more than 15 years of experience in a single field as well as more than 10 years of single path in the same field after training under a master in the field. The names of winners are listed in the book of masters and are entitled to be special members of the Federation of Artistic & Cultural Organization of Korea. However, the members need to be re-screened of their entitlement every 3 years in order to be grand masters. Lee’s obtaining a master’s certificate was meaningful but never complacent, she is humbler than ever before and is determined to keep pushing forward her passion in Korean paper with diligence and new ideas.
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