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Hanji expo to beckon New Yorkers with beauty of unique Korean paper

A private institute in South Korea will host an exposition on “hanji,” or traditional Korean paper, starting this week in New York to fascinate visitors with the beauty and creative potential of the material, the culture ministry said Wednesday.

The “2012 Hanji Project New York” show, organized by the Hanji Development Institute in Wonju, Gangwon Province, will open Thursday and is composed of five programs showing visitors that Hanji can be used in various disciplines such as fashion, fine arts and crafts, the ministry said.

The exposition includes a contemporary fine art exhibition, a seminar and workshop and a craft show that will be participated in by 84 Korean and foreign artists who work with the traditional medium, according to the ministry which sponsored the event.

Another highlight of the expo, subtitled “Hanji metamorphoses,”

will be a special hanji fashion show by rising young fashion designers.

Korean and American designer groups such as Coinonia and D2 New York will present their unique and creative new lines using the traditional Korean paper during the show at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations on July 2, the ministry said.

Hanji is traditional Korean paper that is handmade by processing the bark of the mulberry plant. With its fine texture and smooth surface, hanji has been popular for calligraphy and printing for centuries. Colored hanji has also been used in variety of handicrafts, especially for clothes and accessories, and even in furniture and building. It is now receiving renewed interest because it is both durable and a natural material.

The hanji exposition will run through July 5 at three galleries and several other venues on the city‘s Chelsea Street. 

(Yonhap News)