SDA Members In Print: Chunghie Lee Publishes ‘Bojagi & Beyond’
Surface Design News September 26, 2011
Widely-known Korean fiber artist Chunghie Lee explores Korea’s wrapping cloth tradition bojagi in both her contemporary work and fashion design. In this new book, she describes the special seaming techniques for making a variety of bojagi (including several patchwork varieties) and presents 3 basic projects. A photo gallery retrospective of Lee’s work highlights the many possibilities for contemporary applications of this elegant art form.
In 1999, I had the amazing luck to be invited by Rhode Island School of Design to teach a course in bojagi. Speaking about the process was one thing, but teaching it uncovered my passion for this Korean cultural tradition.
Soon, without realizing, I found myself in the middle of it all; I was spreading awareness about bojagi – not only in the US, but internationally, in Canada, Europe, and of course, Asia. It took me by surprise when I came across an article describing me as the ambassador of bojagi.
Since then I have been invited to exhibit my work and to curate exhibitions. One of my major curated shows was held in France, in conjunction with the 2010 European Patchwork Meeting in Alsace, where I showcased Korean artists’ works of bojagi, joomchi (Korean traditional textured paper) and quilting. To my surprise, people from nearly 50 countries attended the show. I will have 2 solo exhibitions in 2011, in London and Lithuania.
For years my students have asked me if there is any book on bojagi, but little is written about it in English or in Korean, for that matter. I have long thought that I should write such a book but always put it off because of the challenge of writing in my second language. Finally, I took courage to do it, with the help of some special friends who have helped me me not only with my English writing – but with the many illustrations and beautiful book design as well.
Bojagi keeps bringing me unexpected surprises and countless opportunities. I cannot imagine my life without it now.
Visit her website here: chunghielee.com
Watch a YouTube interview with Lee and Liz Cooper from 2009 Festival of Quilts (UK)
Beyond and Above Publications, 2010
154 Color photos, 33 Color Illustrations, 72 B/W Line Drawings
Paper, 134 pages, 9.5″ x 9.5″
Order inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Beyond and Above, PO Box 1033, Providence, RI 02901
• Forewords by Maria Tulokas, Professor Emerita, RISD and
Kirsi Niinimaki, Principal Lecturer, Aalto University, Helsinki
• A brief history of bojagi
• Bojagi traditions: special types of bojagi and their uses
• How to stitch and assemble 8 varieties of bojagi
• Special embellishments used for bojagi
• 3 traditional-style projects: Clutch Bag, Wall Hanging, Document Envelope
• 60-page photo gallery of Chunghie Lee’s Bojagi-inspired artwork