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Integrated: Korean Clay and Paper Heritage in Contemporary American Art image

Integrated: Korean Clay and Paper Heritage in Contemporary American Art

The Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. and Director Myeongsun Park proudly present Integrated: Korean Clay and Paper Heritage in Contemporary American Art, a new exhibition of paper and ceramic works by six American artists whose deep inspiration from Korean history and culture helps integrate elements of East and West in their art.

Three of Integrated's artists work with hanji (durable, fibrous Korean traditional paper made from mulberry tree bark) and three with earthenware ceramics; all have devoted themselves to understanding the culture and history of traditional Korean paper and clay respectively, in order create their own modern expression of American identity and cultural heritage based on their experiences with Korea. As artistic media, both Hanji and ceramics provide rich tactile texture and a surprising degree of creative freedom. These are explored to great extent in Integrated, through old and new manual techniques such as book binding, weaving, dyeing, and Korean joomchi, as well as pottery that is thrown, paddled, carved, kiln-fired, and more. This exhibition also celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, highlighting the passion and perspective of American artists who draw creative inspiration from East Asia to inform their own cultural experiences.

Admission to the opening reception with talks by featured artists on May 5 is free and open to the public, but registration is required (below). Integrated: Korean Clay and Paper Heritage in Contemporary American Art will remain on view through May 31. 

WHAT: Art exhibition, artist talks, & public opening reception

WHOAdam Field, Aimee Lee, Michael Hunt and Naomi Dalglish, Sammy Lee, Steph Rue

WHENOpening Reception: Friday, May 5 at 6:00 pm 

On View: May 5–31, 2017 (open M-F, 9am-noon & 1:30-5:30pm)

WHERE: Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. (2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW)

HOWFree RSVP to the opening reception below, or walk-in hours listed above. 

Scroll down to RSVP, or CLICK HERE!

Adam Field is fascinated with antique artifacts and how they speak of the mastery of lost peoples, places, and cultures. He works toward a clean aesthetic that celebrates the masterful simplicity of antique East Asian pottery, while retaining the modest utility of colonial American wares.

Born and raised in Colorado, Adam earned his BA in art from Fort Lewis College. For two years, he immersed himself in the culturally rich art scene of the San Francisco Bay Area, where he began his full time studio practice. From there, he relocated to Maui, HI, where he established a thriving studio business. He spent most of 2008 in Incheon, Korea, studying traditional Korean pottery-making techniques under 6th generation Onggi master Kim Ill Maan. In 2013, he created and premiered HIDE-N-SEEKAH at the NCECA conference in Houston, TX. After maintaining his studio in Durango, CO for 5 years, Adam moved to Helena, MT in 2013 where he was a long-term resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts. Adam is now a fulltime studio potter in Helena, MT. His works are included in private collections and kitchen cabinets internationally. More on this artist at www.adamfieldpottery.com.

Adam Field

Aimee Lee is devoted to making paper art from scratch, almost exclusively using Hanji, the strong and versatile traditional Korean paper. She recreates iconic objects used during various moments in personal life and in national history—pieces that challenge common assumptions about the strength, heft, and capacity of paper to inspire.

Aimee Lee is an artist, paper maker, writer, and the leading hanji researcher and practitioner in the United States. She holds a BA from Oberlin College and a MFA from Columbia College Chicago. Her Fulbright research on Korean paper led to her award-winning book, Hanji Unfurled, and the first US hanji studio in Cleveland, Ohio. She has taught and lectured at the American Museum of Natural History, Asian Art Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art Paper Conservation Department, Oberlin College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Mills College, University of the Arts, University of Iowa Center for the Book, University of Michigan, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Peters Valley School of Craft, Penland School of Crafts, North Bennett Street School, and Women's Studio Workshop. Her artists' books reside in library collections that include the Joan Flasch Artists' Books Collection, Museum of Modern Art, Wesleyan University, UCLA, and Yale University. More on this artist at http://aimeelee.net/.


Aimee Lee  Flying Duck 2, Corded and twined hanji, natural dyes, 11.75x7x3.75', 2016

Aimee Lee  Mountains on green, Natural dye and pen on hanji, beeswax on bark hanji, 16x20”, 2010

Michael Hunt and Naomi Dalglish’s pots are thrown on a slow turning Korean-style kick wheel, and their large jars are made using a traditional Korean paddle and anvil technique. Through this collaboration with powerful materials and processes, they hope to create an environment in which pots are born with a beauty beyond what is possible with human hands alone.

Michael and Naomi live and work in the mountains of western North Carolina. Using many local materials, they collaborate in making wood-fired utilitarian pottery. Although they make and glaze the pottery together, individually Naomi makes the figurative sculptures and Michael makes the large jars. Michael got hooked on clay in high school, and became a student at Penland School of Craft shortly after graduating. It was there that he met Will Ruggles and Douglas Rankin who became teachers and mentors to him. Several years later he was invited to go to Korea to learn the traditional method of making large Ongii storage jars with master Ongii potter Oh Hyang Jong. Upon returning from Korea, Michael began setting up a studio and building a large Thai-shaped wood kiln in the Penland area.


Naomi began making pottery with her grandmother as a child. She studied clay at Earlham College with Mike Theideman, a former apprentice of Warren MacKenzie. She spent a semester in Mexico, where she studied with Mexican potters and discovered Pre-Columbian clay figures. In addition to making pottery, she began making sculptures inspired by Pre-Columbian and Japanese Haniwa figures. After college, Naomi came to Penland to take a kiln-building class and met Michael, who was building a kiln at his studio. Michael and Naomi discovered they shared a similar passion and approach to making pottery. Now they work together as full time potters, firing their kiln four times a year, and occasionally teaching workshops. Their pottery is named “Bandana Pottery” after the small community in which they live. They exhibit their work nationally. More on these artists at http://bandanapottery.com.

Michael Hunt and Naomi Dalglish

Sammy Lee combines two art-making processes: book binding and joomchi, a traditional Korean technique of fusing papers with water and friction to create collages. Through the common materiality of paper, she discovers stories embedded within their subtle, often unnoticed details. 

Sammy Lee was born in Seoul, Korea and studied fine arts and media design at the University of California at Los Angeles. During graduate studies in architecture at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, she was introduced to the world of book arts from a visit to Daniel Kelm’s book bindery. The new medium was a revelation to her, as it encompassed all her training in fine arts, design, and architecture. She immediately started training under Kelm, and it was under his tutelage that she also completed her master thesis, 'Space :: Book, An Exploration of Book-like Qualities in Architecture.'  Since then, her interest has been focusing on investigating and experimenting with spatial, narrative, and sequential qualities, within the media such as artist books, collages and installations. Currently she is an artist resident at Red Line at RiNo Art District in Denver.  In addition to creating art works, She serves on the Board of Directors for the Asian Art Association at the Denver Art Museum and as a member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter for the Guild of Book Workers. More on this artist at www.studiosmlk.com.

Sammy Lee  Supper, hanji and water, 34x15x1.5”,2014

Sammy Lee  Clothed #3, 5, 6, hanji, water and shellac, 20x28x8”, 2014

Steph Rue draws, collages, cuts, sews, weaves, and prints using versatile handmade paper. Her work takes the form of the book, an interactive medium: books can be read, prayed with, held in the hand, or more. In this way, her work integrates spirituality and materiality, using both traditional and contemporary techniques.

Steph Rue is an artist and paper maker, working primarily with paper and books as her medium. She is a 2015-2016 recipient of a Fulbright Arts Research Grant to South Korea, where she studied traditional Korean bookbinding, paper making, and printing. She has a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from the University of Iowa Center for the Book. Her artist books and paperworks have been exhibited both nationally and internationally. More on this artist at http://stephrue.com.

Steph Rue Via Negativa, sumi and walnut ink, letterpress printing, paper thread on hand made gampi paper, 6x9’, 2015

Steph Rue Via Negativa detail