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Paper: Korean to American

The Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. is proud to present Paper: Korean to American, a new exhibition opening May 2 that showcases the artistry and versatility of traditional Korean paper, Hanji, through folk and contemporary visual artwork by artist Lee Jong Kuk and Cheongju University Professor Lee Yong Taek.

Lee Jong Kuk, who depicts humorous and witty folk items like birds and wild animals, cultivates his own mulberry trees in Korea to produce the natural raw material used in traditional Hanji. He has recently held numerous exhibitions and workshops in Europe, the United States, and China to demonstrate and speak about the variety of Korean paper art and its production process.

Lee Yong Taek has based his work on the theme that all things are comprised of Yin and Yang, or negative and positive energy, employing natural dyes to create modern, sensuous colors and lines. He strives to express his philosophy by depicting symbols of the sky and the earth on exquisite quality Hanji. Professor Lee studied Oriental Painting at Hong-Ik University and is currently Professor of Fine Arts Education at Cheongju University in Korea. He has held 11 private exhibitions in Seoul, Cheongju, and Tokyo, and has taken part in about 140 group exhibitions.

Paper: Korean to American

Exhibition Dates: May 2 - May 30, 2014
Where: Korean Cultural Center Washington D.C. (2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW)

NOTE: In light of the tragic Sewol ferry accident off the coast of Korea on April 16, this event will not have an opening reception event, but will be on display during regular times.


Artist Statements


“All things in the universe consist of Yin and Yang (negative and positive), as do the ways of the world. When there is a towering mountain, there is a valley as well. Some people like the peak, while others like the valley. The sky, the earth, the sun, and the moon are the substance (or logics) that make up the world. This logic also encompasses art and science. When there is the sky, so is there earth. When the sun exists, so does the moon. My life belongs to them and I see the world from there, therefore I am also the sky and the earth. The sky is the earth and the earth is the sky. The sky and the earth are in me. I expel my life through drawing the sky and the earth, and the process becomes the sky and the earth as well.” - Lee Yong Taek



“As a seed falls to the ground, blooms, and bears fruit depending on the temperature, humidity, and the soil surrounding it, so too a baby is born and learns about the world, living and settling in a nest, understanding the things around it. Grass, temperature, humidity, soil, trees, wind, mountains… Knowing the things near you makes you connected to all things and is a way to face the world. As for me, steaming and boiling the mulberry tree fiber to make Hanji and dye it with natural color is a process to recover the purity that has left my body. It is also a way to acquire a sense of allness, to   communicate and to share with the world. Dreaming of the world filled with warm-hearted minds, I live my life every day, which I received from God.” - Lee Jong Kuk