2016 Korea Bojagi Forum
Chunghie Lee, founder and organizer of the Bojagi Forum has continued to impress with the third biennial conference on the Korean wrapping cloth and patchwork tradition. Lee has the drive, devotion and dedication to bring together a multitude of national and international scholars, artists, collectors and lovers of textiles who share the same passion.
Suwon Hwaseong, a UNESCO designated fortress city outside of Seoul set the stage for Bojagi Forum 2016 and this historic town was the perfect location for the intersection of traditional and contemporary expressions of art. Exhibitions throughout the city were coordinated to showcase historical, antique collections as well as contemporary, re-interpreted bojagi to highlight the evolution and creative responses in maintaining a living tradition.
The four days of lectures addressed a broad range of presentations by university professors and cultural ministers, curators, artists, historians, gallery owners, and magazine editors. Discussions on aesthetics and methodologies, historical bojagi, transforming values, visual languages, sustainability, material uses, natural dyeing, carrying cloths, fiber art now, patchwork and piecing were some of the topics which reinforced the essence of bojagi as an influential cultural force.
Workshops enhanced the forum with hand-on experiences in traditional bojagi-making, joomchi (paper manipulation), mini-sculptures, saeksil quilting, and natural dyeing by experts in the field. The knowledge learned would soon disperse around the world by the gathering of international participants.
Bojagi Forum succeeded in defining a new understanding that goes beyond materials and techniques. By respecting intentions, embracing intuition, and re-designing a value system, this conference validates the human interactions with objects referencing the global and contemporary world we live in now. Bojagi Forum is a mechanism for recording history, a continuum from the past to the present, giving voice to an artform that was once made by anonymous makers.
Sara Oka, Curator of Textile, Honolulu Museum of Art
Attendees at the 2016 Korea Bojagi Forum
Exhibitions at the 2016 Forum were mounted at the Haegunggil Gallery, the Sima Museum, the Suwon Museum, the Lim Gallery, and the Rodeo Gallery in Suwon City.
The third Korea Bojagi Forum
The Third biennial Korea Bojagi Forum was dedicated to new bojagi work that expresses its own time. As it is the artistic value of the work that matters, the pieces can take many forms, from the traditional two-dimensional work to sculptural pieces. A great range of bojagi-inspired work will be on display at the Forum, as I have also invited artists from different areas, including ceramics, textiles,, painting, and sculpture to submit their interpretations of the Korean textile tradition. Among exhibitions of old and new work, the Suwon Bojagi Members Association will have its own exhibition. Thanks to the Suwon Agricultural Technology Center, this year’s Forum took place in the UNESCO-designated historical city of Suwon, rich in ancient and contemporary architecture, and great cultural, culinary, and art- related experiences.
Chunghie Lee, Founder and Organizer of KBF.
Forum Activities included lectures, workshops, a visit to a Culinary School, and a post-conference Tour to Seoul museums.
After the Forum
Hands of Korea Exhibit at EPM 2017
The 2017 European Patchwork Meeting in Alsace France in September 2017 featured selections of work by Korean artists who participated in the 2016 Korea Bojagi Forum exhibitions. Hands of Korea, curated by Chunghie Lee, showcased 54 artists. Lee also presented workshops on Bojagi. Highlights of the exhibition and workshops are shown below.
Exhibition Catalogs from past Forums are available from Beyond & Above Publications, http://www.beyondabove.com/