Wednesday, May 17, 2017

New feature from D.C. exhibit



The feature about me for Voice of America was published today. Read here or watch above!

I'm only days away now from flying to NYC to start a month-long project to help get a paper studio off the ground. More on that once I finish up all the last-minute prep.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Library treasures

On my one day off in D.C. from exhibit prep and promo, I got to visit the Library of Congress to view some Korean maps that I knew about from a paper written by LOC's Claire Dekle, their senior rare book conservator.
This first one was rebound (you can see holes from prior bindings to the left) into an almost drum leaf type binding. Each spread is a different map.
I love how evident the hand is on each page, and how the water is just painted in without any concern of making it look smooth or even.
This set of maps bound into a book has much bigger spreads that fold out, but they aren't all the same size.
I love the way that the islands are drawn. The water here is not as strong a blue but the style is similar, hasty filling in of water.
This is not as old as the other two and was under plastic so hard to shoot, but showed an are that is currently in North Korea, with Japanese and Chinese settlements marked in English, and north not being at the top of the map. I asked if these were power lines and she said likely telegraph lines.
This was the real stunner, the one I really wanted to see after reading the paper (and seeing Claire's presentation of it in Seoul three years ago). A map on a fan! Gorgeous, and a huge feat of conservation work. My colleague Minah worked on this Korean map project back when she lived in Philly and it is really remarkable to see (or not be able to see) the hours of work that went into all of these objects).
Claire also pulled for me a Chinese map showing parts of Korea, huge, woodblock printed, and beautiful. There she is with the proceedings from the seminar we were part of in Korea. We were in the maps division, which explains the globes (there are many more). Such a delight!

Monday, May 08, 2017

One full circle

The show came together beautifully, even with last minute art deliveries and paint jobs. I was so proud of how it all ended up, and was so happy to share the experience in person with Sammy and Steph.
You can see Adam's, Steph's, and my work in this gallery, at the right side when coming up the stairs to the second floor.
I love these pieces by a Korean artist, bronze pillows, on the way up the stairs.
These are three of Bandana Pottery's pieces, by Michael Hunt and Naomi Dalglish. I wish we could have used all of their work but there were some space limitations. If I had known earlier that three smaller pieces would have been pulled, I would have asked for prices and likely have gone home with something!
Adam's pots arrived just in the nick of time and we all breathed easy afterwards. I wished that the ceramic artists could have joined us but they are all very busy and in demand potters.
I did manage a lot of walking around during my one free day between install and opening, when I visited old Korean maps at the Library of Congress and the Paper Sample Collection at the National Gallery of Art. Such a full day with people who really get the process of making, and the intricacies of paper!
Finally, my generous and kind host Kelsey, who hosted me for the entire stay and brought a copy of my book to be able to show the reporter who was covering the entire event. We met in Korea almost a decade ago now and she has been steady in her support. I was delighted to be able to meet her husband and dog on this visit, who all took excellent care of me.

This was a big labor of love, to create a space for Americans who pull inspiration from Korean traditions, techniques, and materials. I was so glad to share this show with former students who are now good friends and colleagues. More pictures here!

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Perfect weather for a smooth install

I really had no idea how beautiful D.C. can be. After my brief NYC visit, I was amazed to drive into the city along water, and drive through a beautiful national park right inside of the city to get to my hosts after delivering a carload of art.
Today I managed after very little sleep to commute via rail. The walk along embassy row was so pleasant and this is the Korean Cultural Center (Korean flag a bit limp).
The gallery is on the second floor of this lovely structure. I really enjoyed the Korean bronze sculptures in the windows, small pillows in stacks.
I wasn't sure what to expect when told that two interns would be available all day to install. They were amazing! All I had to do was ask (or not even) and they would do it. Here, I recommended that they string a taut line of monofilament behind the big hanji hanging so that it didn't blow all the way back in the ventilation wind.
See how good they are at working together and getting into the ceiling? Ji Young, our fabulous curator, is in black, and you can see Sammy's back—she's the artist who made this gorgeous piece out of hanji. I love how she labels all of her joomchi work, calling the materials "hanji and water." So poetic and true.
These garments made the cut. I really liked that the curator asked to have the large hanbok displayed with one arm down, not the typical T.
Though I wish I could get backlighting, it won't happen for the big pieces. But I love the little duck corner.
Framed hanji pieces. I'm amazed by how much the color has deepened on the far left. Pomegranate!
I wished that I had teflon folders for them to use on the vinyl but they make do with any tools available, really good sports with a great attitude.
Even though my install was done early, I stayed late for an interview with Voice of America reporter June Soh. She is a consummate professional and it wasn't until hours later that I remembered: right, I am in the nation's capital right now. I had a bit of a difficult commute back because of a fatality on the tracks earlier in the day and have hours ahead of admin prep but wanted to share the process while I still have a bit of steam.

Please come Friday night to the opening, even if it rains! I've seen half the show installed already and it's only going to get better once Steph (who popped in to deliver work at the end of the day with her precious new baby) installs and Adam's pots arrive.