Pojagi and Beyond

  • Exhib_slideshow_kim_-hyunhee

    Kim, Hyunghee, professor, Korean Traditional Folk Arts Academy, Seoul

  • Exhib_slideshow_lee_-bokhee

    Lee, Bokhee, professor, Kangneung National University, Kangneung

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June 14, 2007 - September 02, 2007
Gallery 22

Exhibition Overview

Pojagi (Po-Jah-ki), Korean traditional wrapping cloths) were originally made by nameless women throughout the Chosun dynasty. (1392-1910).  These women’s world was their home, but their work has moved beyond the gate of their houses and continues to reach out to inspire today’s artists in Korea and in the West.

My unique experience in teaching Pojagi nationally and internationally since the early 1990’s includes:  the Rhode Island School of Design, the Evtek Institute of Art & Design in Finland, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in Canada, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, a master class at the Mittagong Textile Conference in Australia, and several workshops including the 2005 Surface Design Conference in Kansas City.

In these settings, I have encountered many fresh approaches and reinterpretations of Pojagi, which go far beyond the conventional.  Pojagi-making, which was originally done in the back room of conservative traditional Korean homes by women who lived isolated lives with no art education, has caused East to meet West.  And Pojagi has truly transformed the personal into the universal.

I have been amazed by the enthusiasm of Western people toward Pojagi and believe it is timely to bring to other parts of Asia, U.S.A. and Europe a contemporary Pojagi show by leading Korean fiber artists who share this jewel from their own heritage.  Hawaii will be the initial venue in featuring the artwork of 30 of these artists, who have taken the traditional concept of pieced textiles into a new realm.  This exhibition will then travel to Korea and will be exhibited at the Cheongju Craft Center in conjunction with the International Crafts Biennale (www.cheongjubiennale.or.kr) from October 2-28, 2007.

Guest curator Chunghie Lee

Chunghie Lee, guest curator is an internationally renowned fiber artist, lecturer and freelance writer.  She was a Fulbright Exchange Scholar to the Rhode Island School of Design, in 1994 and is now a member of its adjunct faculty.  She has exhibited installation pieces, sculpture and wearable fiber art in Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, France, England, Norway, Finland, the United States and Canada.  In 2001, she was an invited designer and lecturer for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and she contributed a major installation piece for the Korea Crossings Exhibition here at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in 2003.  Her works are in the permanent collection of many museums including Museum of Art & Design, NY, Victoria & Albert Museum, London and Honolulu Academy of Art in Honolulu.