Doogaji Plays with Hanji, the Korean Paper

Doogaji Visits Korean American Culture

Doogaji Plays with Hanji, the Korean Paper

re:visioning HANJI

Hanji is a great metaphor for life. Through time, patience, a careful eye, and effort, you develop craftsmanship, your abilities, a true process, and then achieve success.

The exhibit, at the Gallery Korea of the Korean Cultural Center New York features two artists, Ran Huang and Aimee Lee. Both use hanji but in different ways. Huang’s pieces use hangul characters to construct other things, using their geometry to suggest architecture, sculpture, nature. Lee uses the physical manipulation of strips of paper - smashing, twisting, weaving - to also construct something new.

For both artists, it is really about the paper and how it feels in your hands. The paper touches you as you carry sheets to your workspace, as you rip it, meld it to other bits or full sheets, spin strands together to make an even longer rope, or assemble hangul letters in a row, equally spaced. All of it is by hand.

  • Re:visioning HANJI

    Re:visioning HANJI

  • Artist Aimee Lee being interviewed.

    Artist Aimee Lee being interviewed.

  • 'Beginning of the Bright', detail, Ran Huang.

    'Beginning of the Bright', detail, Ran Huang.

  • Detail view of a piece by Ran Huang.

    Detail view of a piece by Ran Huang.

  • Detail view of a piece by Ran Huang.

    Detail view of a piece by Ran Huang.

  • 'Ducks' series, Aimee Lee.

    'Ducks' series, Aimee Lee.

  • 'Ducks' series, Aimee Lee.

    'Ducks' series, Aimee Lee.

  • Workshop materials, multicolored hanji papers.

    Workshop materials, multicolored hanji papers.

  • Making joomchi by applying strips of colored hanji paper to a base layer of paper.

    Making joomchi by applying strips of colored hanji paper to a base layer of paper.

  • Making joomchi, carefully opening up the wadded paper.

    Making joomchi, carefully opening up the wadded paper.

  • Making joomchi, laying out the melded paper.

    Making joomchi, laying out the melded paper.

  • Artist Aimee Lee demonstrating how to begin creating jiseung.

    Artist Aimee Lee demonstrating how to begin creating jiseung.

  • Cut hanji, ready to unfold and begin spinning into jiseung.

    Cut hanji, ready to unfold and begin spinning into jiseung.

  • A few joomchi papers, and two jiseung ropes, all from hanji paper.

    A few joomchi papers, and two jiseung ropes, all from hanji paper.

Joomchi and Jiseung Workshop

Like in her work, artist Aimee Lee showed us it is all in how you touch and feel the paper. It was fun to bang two wet pieces of hanji together, to ball it up, squeeze the water out, throw it onto the table, over and over, to create a new piece of paper. It is serious work too. This new object could never existed without your hands pushing, pulling, and manipulating the paper.

The act, the process of touching hanji, is where you get to make a connection with generations of papermakers from Korea, with Aimee at her home at the Morgan Conservatory, and with Korean culture.



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