Old, new stitched together in crafts

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Old, new stitched together in crafts

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A giant patchwork created with used banners through sewing in relay by 30,000 citizens covers the main venue of the Cheongju International Craft Biennale in North Chungcheong province. Provided by the organizers

Two large-scale exhibitions, intended to link traditional crafts and contemporary art and design, recently started in Seoul and the North Chungcheong city of Cheongju.

The Cheongju International Craft Biennale’s eighth edition, titled “Something Old Something New,” opened yesterday at the main venue of Art Factory, a former tobacco processing plant.

“With the theme of ‘something old and something new’, we intend to acknowledge that craft has developed between the two extremes of familiarity and originality in the course of time and space and to explore its various futures,” said Park Nam-hee, director of one of the biennale’s two main exhibitions.

The show directed by Park, titled “Mother and Child,” focuses on works hovering the border between fine art and craft. It features 20 renowned artists. Among them is Joana Vasconcelos, a Portuguese artist, who filled the Palace of Versailles with her sculptures and installations mainly made of textiles last year.

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Above from top: “Valkyrie#3,” by Joana Vasconcelos is among the exhibits. Provided by the organizers: The reproductions of craftsmen’s workshops are among the exhibits at the “Stirring Craft” exhibition at the KCDF gallery in central Seoul. Provided by the gallery

The participants also include Shin Sang-ho, a Korean ceramic sculptor, Kate MccGwire, a U.K. sculptor specializing in the medium of feathers, and Dale Chihuly, an American glass sculptor.

Their works are installed along with a group of Korea’s traditional Haeju white porcelains.

The other main exhibition is directed by Kenji Kaneko, director of the Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum in Japan. The show features works that have practicality but have also achieved aesthetic qualities. More than 350 works by 40 artists are presented.

The biennale also has many programs encouraging citizens’ participation. As one of the programs, a giant patchwork has been created with used banners through sewing in relay by 30,000 citizens. It now covers the Art Factory, the main venue.

Meanwhile, the Korea Craft and Design Foundation under the Culture Ministry started a “Stirring Craft” exhibition in its gallery in Insa-dong in central Seoul.

“The focus of the exhibition is to talk about craft to recover people’s interest in craft,” the foundation said in a statement.

Accordingly, the exhibits include videos of interviews with craftsmen, curators, collectors and students about their opinions on the present and future of crafts.

The exhibition also includes reproductions of workshops of five craftsmen, including traditional needlework artist Kim In-ja and metal craft artist Park Mi-kyung, to help ordinary people understand the process of crafts.

The exhibits also include contemporary crafts inspired from traditional ones.


The “Stirring Craft” exhibition runs through Sept. 30. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is closed on the Sept. 19 Chuseok holiday. Go to Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit No. 6 and walk for five minutes. For details, call (02) 732-9383 or visit www.kcdf.kr

The Cheongju International Craft Biennale continues through Oct. 20. Admission is 10,000 ($9.20) won for adults. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is open on holidays. Go to Cheongju Express Bus Terminal and take bus No. 511 or 516 and get off at the Cultural Industry Complex. For details, call (043) 277-2501, Ext. 2 or visit http://okcj.org


By MOON SO-YOUNG [symoon@joongang.co.kr]

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