The Korea Herald


Rich heritage of Korean craft to be showcased in Milan

By Lee Woo-young

Published : April 1, 2014 - 20:30

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Lee Bong-ju’s bangjja brassware Lee Bong-ju’s bangjja brassware
The aesthetics and rich heritage of Korean craftwork will be introduced during Milan Design Week in April.

A total of 174 craftworks by 21 Korean artisans will go on display at the Triennale Design Museum from April 8-13. The second showcase of Korean craftworks in Milan will feature diverse pieces ranging from metalware, lacquerware inlaid with mother of pearl, ceramics, fabric works and mulberry paper.

Under the theme “Constancy and Change,” the Korean exhibition will focus on the natural beauty of materials realized through consummate craftmanship that has been passed on for generations.

“The exhibition seeks to let viewers know the true value of Korean craftworks made using the best materials and excellent skills,” said Sohn Hye-won, artistic director of the exhibition, at a press conference on Monday.

As part of the design week, the Milan Furniture Fair and Milan Design Week, one of the world’s most popular exhibitions of furniture and design products, will be also held. The events draw an average of 300,000 visitors every year.

Some of the eye-catching arts and crafts on view includes buncheong ware by ceramist Lee Kang-hyo, whose creations seem both humble and strong. His works, made by applying traditional earthenware techniques to buncheong ware, show how traditional Korean ceramic techniques have evolved.

On the ceiling of the 436-square-meter exhibition hall will hang 100 patched cloths made with Hansan ramie. Nine Hansan ramie fabric crafts were handmade from a patched cloth as big as 120 centimeters wide and 150 centimeters long. 
A patched cloth made of Hansan ramie fabric by Kim Hyo-jung and eight other designers (Korea Craft and Design Foundation) A patched cloth made of Hansan ramie fabric by Kim Hyo-jung and eight other designers (Korea Craft and Design Foundation)

A set with dozens of pieces of Korean traditional brassware, called bangjja bowls, will be exhibited like an installation work. Visitors will be invited to hear the clear and ringing sound coming from taps on the surface of the bowls.

Artisan Hwang Sam-yong offers a fresh take on the traditional technique of applying lacquer and mother-of-pearl decoration with his pebble-shaped items. Artisan Lee Sung-hoon presents a traditional yet modern lacquered box inlaid with mother of pearl.

“Korean craft has been closely associated with the lives of ordinary people in the form of tablewear and clothes. This exhibition shows the flavor of Korean life and its crafts,” said artist Lee Kang-hyo, a buncheong ware potter, at the press conference.

By Lee Woo-young (