Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hanji Fest!

Not too long ago Oliver and I got to go to the Hanji festival right here in Wonju, and what a treat it was!

Hanji is traditional Korean paper which is a source of great pride for Koreans, especially Wonjunites because Wonju is the only place where there is a factory that still produces the traditional paper.

Hanji is not widely made, because to make the delicate but strong paper takes much time and effort. Therefore it is no longer practical in this day and age.

Hanji is made from paper mulberry (a tree indigenous to Korea). Fibres are stripped from the bark, then soaked and treated before going through another soaking process. The fibres are then gathered on a fine sieve-like instrument (which looks similar to a gold-panning instrument) and are compressed, coloured and decorated. So in essence, the whole process is complicated!

Despite being complicated the quality, beauty, and versatility of the paper is something else! And the best place to get an idea of how wondrous it is would be the Hanji Paper Festival!

We got to see a wide range of items made from Hanji

There were several statutues, models, and furniture that had been entirely created from paper.

There were also several 'paintings' where the paper had been used to give them texture and an element of reality! This tree 'painting' was my favourite but there was an entire gallery full that would leave your mouth wide open. You can't help but think about the skill and patience it must take to make such a masterpiece!

There were even lamps and lanterns that were made of the paper and gave a wonderful soft light! There were tons of paper crafts to do at the festival including making your own paper, making a paper doll, make ornaments and making lamps. Oliver and I got to make our own Hanji lamp and it looks awesome (how we are going to get it back to SA is a mystery to me). The lamps below, however, were made by professionals!

And just when you thought the paper couldn't get any more versatile you realise that they have an entre Hanji fashion collection! There was a runway at the festival (which we missed...booo) which showed the awesomeness of Hanji clothing! Apparently the Hanji fashion line has now been exported to both the USA and Italy. Impressive! The dresses below give a glimpse of Hanji wear.

All in all it was a great festival and we were able to spend a good few hours there shopping, doing crafts and just wondering around!

Post by Claudia


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