South Korea Mounts A Series of Exhibitions
as Guest of Honor Country at the
2010 European Patchwork Meeting

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HANDS OF KOREA - Ambassador of Korean Art and Culture to the World. Hands of Korea has been published in Handwerken zonder Grenzen by Karen Searle and French Magazine, Les nouvell du patchPress by Elizabeth Wasserman, a Swiss journalist.

As the Guest of Honor Country, South Korea will be mounting a special program and exhibition titled 'Hands of Korea' at the 2010 European Patchwork Meeting (EPM) to be held in September, 16-19, 2010 in St. Marie-aux Mines, France. Hands of Korea includes four exhibitions and a fashion show: Bojagi and Beyond (traditional Korean patchwork and contemporary interpretations), Beyond Quilt (art quilts), Traditional Korean Costume (historic garments), Korean-American Joomchi, (handmade paper art works), and Fashion in Motion, (contemporary Korean fashions). Three curators and at least 130 nationally and internationally known Korean artists are involved in the event, and many of them will also be participating in the European Patchwork Meeting's seminars. In addition to visiting the Hands of Korea exhibitions, visitors will be able to experience Korean art and culture through a series of gallery talks and the Fashion in Motion informal modeling of garments inspired by the Korean traditional women's dress, Hanbok.

The European Patchwork Meeting, an international conference on patchwork held annually in France since 1995, attracts approximately 30,000 visitors from 50 countries. Since 2008, the EPM has selected one European country and one extra-European country to be Guest of Honor, providing those countries with an opportunity to promote their textile works and traditional culture. The Guest of Honor Country Exhibition is an extremely popular event among the conference visitors. Past Guest of Honor countries have included Finland (2008), Hungary and New Zealand (2009); and this year, Germany and Korea.

The Hands of Korea Exhibitions

Bojagi and Beyond is curated by Chunghie Lee, Chief Curator of Hands of Korea, and a visiting professor at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). For almost a decade Lee has taught the Korean patchwork tradition of Bojagi to students from the United States, England, France, Finland, Australia, and Canada. For her efforts to spread Korean Bojagi internationally through workshops and individual exhibitions, she is called 'the Bojagi ambassador.' After the 2010 EPM, the 'Bojagi and Beyond' exhibition will travel to the San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum from April to July of 2011, and to the Cheongju Craft Museum from September to October of 2011.

bojagi and beyond bojagi and beyond bojagi and beyond bojagi and beyond

Seonghee Joo, curator of the 'Traditional Korean Clothing' exhibition for 'Hands of Korea' and a professor at Hansung University, has introduced the beauty of the traditional attire worn by Korean royals to many countries such as the United States, China, and Australia. At the traditional Korean Clothing exhibition, she will introduce the Royal attire worn during the Joseon Dynasty. By exploring the variety of clothing worn in the royal palace by residents from kings to servants, visitors can discover the uniqueness of the arts and culture of Korea’s Joseon Dynasty.

Beyond Quilt showcases the work of 15 leading Korean fiber artists who work in the contemporary art quilt genre. The exhibition will include experimental works in unconventional materials, as well as free-style works that challenge the quilt art form by going beyond its traditional boundaries. It is curated by Lee in consultation with Korean quilt expert, Dr. Kyungae Wang.

beyond quilt

The Traditional Korean Costume exhibition displays examples of Korean Royal attire worn during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897). It explores the variety of clothing worn in the royal palace by residents from kings, queens and high-ranking officials to servants, and encompasses the uniqueness of Korean arts and culture during that time. Also included are contemporary fashions designed by Korean fashion designer Greta Lee that are based on these historic garments. Curator Dr. Seonghee Joo, professor at Hansung University, Seoul, has previously introduced the beauty of Korean royal attire to the United States, China, and Australia.

Korean-American Joomchi introduces the art of Joomchi, a traditional Korean paper-felting technique, to a European audience. Artworks made by renowned Korean paper artists will be shown, along with traditional Joomchi works. Curator Jiyoung Chung has introduced the Joomchi art form to the United States by teaching artists and fine arts students. After the 2010 EPM, Korean-American Joomchi will travel in Korea to "With Artists Foundation Gallery" in Haeyirl Culture Village and to the Cheongju Craft Museum. Chung will have solo Joomchi exhibitions and workshops in England, Finland, and Australia in 2011 and 2012.


In addition to the the four exhibitions, an informal fashion show, Fashion in Motion, co-curated by Lee and Dr. Seonghee Joo, will take place in the galleries. It includes 60 bojagi-inspired garments, including paper and felted garments, by 15 top Korean artist/designers. Vistors to the exhibition will be able to see how bojagi translates from the wall to a moving sculpture. The Fashion in Motion models will also be circulating through the reception at the conference opening wearing bojagi and joomchi-inspired paper garments.

chunghie lee fashion in motion fashion in motion

The European Patchwork Meeting is renowned for its large-scale gatherings, and its lectures, classes and exhibitions seek to support and promote the highest level of patchwork/quilt art. As Korea introduces its precious cultural heritage and contemporary fiber art in the areas of Bojagi patchwork, clothing, art quilts, and joomchi paperworks to EPM 2010's visitors from around the world, it hopes to impart a new appreciation of Korean culture abroad, and extends a warm invitation to all to visit Korea.

While preparing for Hands of Korea, Chunghie Lee comments, "The European Patchwork Meeting is globally renowned for its scale and quality. It is certain that tens of thousands of visitors will gather this fall in France. At the 2010 EPM, they will encounter not only novel and interesting quilts, but also admirable and wonderful cultural content from Korea. Therefore, this year's Europe Patchwork Meeting will also be a celebration of Korean culture."

HOK article in Holland magazine, Textile Forum Magazine
TF 3/2010 issue