Envoys’ spouses show creative and Korean side

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Envoys’ spouses show creative and Korean side


The Association of Spouses of Ambassadors in Korea kicked off their art exhibition at the Raemian Gallery in central Seoul on Nov. 25. By Park Sang-moon

The Association of Spouses of Ambassadors in Korea kicked off an art exhibition by its members that included handmade hanbok (traditional Korean dress), photographs and a table made of hanji or handmade traditional paper.

The exhibit, “Artistic Expressions by Spouses of Ambassadors,” ran through last Friday.

It highlighted the cultural blending of 16 spouses of foreign ambassadors; a syntheses of their own cultural and professional backgrounds with their varied experiences of life in Korea.

“The experience in Korea affected us so much in different ways that it’s hard to express well only through artworks,” said Maria Ligaya Fujita, the wife of Brazilian Ambassador Edmundo Fujita, said at the opening ceremony.

“But we tried hard to give a sense what it’s like to live in Korea,” she said.

She added that the artistic expressions are intended to reflect the growing importance of art.

“Innovation and art are closely linked and they will together play a key role in fostering a stronger economy in Korea.”

She displayed tables and lamps using hanji as a medium.

“I love Korean hanji - its beauty, durability and flexibility,” she said.

Fujita and other members of the association took a class to learn how to incorporate the traditional paper into their works. Om Myong Sook, a hanji specialist, shared her expertise with them.

Others ventured into creating jewelry and embossed metallic paintings, combining their own national gems and techniques with local materials. Interpretative works with Korean fabrics and pottery were also displayed.

Azerbaijan’s Konul Teymurova made a hanbok by herself.

“Even though my sewing skills are not that excellent, I put a lot of energy into this,” she said.

“I stayed up all night and visited markets to choose fabrics for the costume.”

Other participating spouses include Datin Siti Aishah Abdullah of Brunei, Mizuho Chatterson of Canada, Claudia Calero de Cabal of Colombia and Chung Jae-eun of the United States.

The organizer said that the artistic works also reflected the spouses’ love of Korea.

“Images of Korea are registered in unique photographs and paintings demonstrating their creators’ admiration of its people, culture, nature, city lights, changing seasons,” Fujita said.

During the opening ceremony on November 25, some of the spouses performed renditions of Korean songs.

The event was attended by people from diplomatic, art and business circles.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]
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