korean Fiber Arts: In & Out
Guest Curated by Chunghie Lee

September 15 - December 1, 2006

With its rapidly changing trends, the contemporary Korean Fiber Arts movement is packed with variety. This was demonstrated most impressively in 2004, when Heyri Artists Village invited six fiber artists to create outdoor installations during its annual arts festival for an exhibit titled In & Out. This was considered to be a rather experimental event, since textile/fiber works are normally placed inside of architectural spaces, and it was a rare opportunity to see such diverse fiber works. I would like to introduce to FiberScene viewers the six participating artists of In & Out by presenting their outdoor installations along with several examples of their major works. These six artists represent a small but significant segment of the movement in Korean fiber arts today.

First, a little bit about the Heyri, a concept which may be unique to Korea. Heyri Artists Village, located about 45 minutes north of Seoul in the Demilitarized Zone between The Republic of Korea and North Korea, was established in 2000. Artists from all genres from throughout Korea were invited to the village to build their own home/studio/showrooms there. The result has been an amazing array of both art and architecture, with constant exhibitions and activities. It has become a must-see attraction for both Koreans and tourists alike. Heyri resident artists include writers, musicians, filmmakers, designers, painters, sculptors, ceramists, fashion designers, and curators. Some artists are fine art-oriented; others create functional works or are designers. There are active international exchanges and interactions, many international shows, exhibitions and competitions.

The six guest artists for In & Out represent various regions of fiber arts -- from 2-D, stitching, printing, and calligraphy, to unique constructions such as a 3-D-relief created with black vinyl trash bags. There was even a series of cubes constructed of sheer fabric attached to metal poles by the pond, which moved with every slight breeze and with the motions of passers-by. The artists also represented a range of ages, from 20s to 60s. Since the show was up for about one month, each artist was challenged to think about color-fastness and waterproofing, in addition to the interactive relationship between their works and the surrounding architecture and nature preserve.

In & Out, originally named Open Space, was curated by Hwang, Sung ok, a former curator of the Museum of Art in Seoul and one of the founders and residents of Heyri. She received an award from the Seoul Daily Newspapers Art Critics Association for her visionary work.

I hope you enjoy these examples of the Korean Fiber Arts movement, which includes conventional tapestry, weaving, dyeing, printing, surface design, knitting–both manual and jacquard, digital printing, jacquard weaving, soft sculpture, installation, video, performance, embroidery, paper making, mixed media, and wearables.

Chunghie Lee is an independent artist who lives in Seoul and teaches part-time at the Rhode Island School of Design.


Chunghie Lee


ONE + SIX = ONE from the “Open Space” Exhibition at Heyri Artists Village, Korea
2004
Hemp, pojagi technique


Kyungae Wang




CHO EUNG from “Open Space” Exhibition at Heyri Artists Village, Korea
2004
Vinyl, synthetic fiber, sawn construction






RAGS 7
1993
305 x 200 cm





RAGS 14
1993
290 x 190 cm







RAGS 3
1996
556 x 305 cm



Kwon Hyuk




THINKING OF FANTASY from “Open Space” Exhibition at Heyri Artists Village, Korea
2004
Patch work of special coating fabric
1800 x 890 cm











THINKING OF FANTASY - detail





UNTITLED (SYMPTOM)
2003
Thread, stitches on plastic sponge
70 x 90 cm






RELATION - STATE
2004
Thread, pin on the wall
1800 x 890 cm





RELATION – STATE (Detail)











RELATION – STATE (Detail)





VERY SOFT TOUCH
2001
Thread, stitches on vinyl, letters.
Installation view
Each is 70 x 150 cm







RECONSTRUCTION
VHS Video Installation
1997











RECONSTRUCTION (Detail)


Gyaeyoung Song




WISH THREE from “Open Space” Exhibition at Heyri Artists Village, Korea
2004
Colored OHP Film, Handwriting











WISH THREE from “Open Space” Exhibition at Heyri Artists Village, Korea
2004
Colored OHP Film, Handwriting






WISH THREE from “Open Space” Exhibition at Heyri Artists Village, Korea
2004
Colored OHP Film, Handwriting





CINDERELLA’S SHOEAHOLIC
2004
handmade paper, thread, oil
each shoe is 240cm











CINDERELLA’S SHOEAHOLIC (Detail)





ECDYSIS
2003
handmade paper, thread, oil
Life size











ECDYSIS (Detail)





ECDYSIS (Detail)



DUALITY
2000
Handmade paper, reed oil, coffee, stain


Seungean Cha




Y+T FIRE from “Open Space” Exhibition at Heyri Artists Village, Korea
2004
Synthetic fiber, digital and silkscreen prints






DISGUISE
2005
Dyeing and sewing on cotton, plastic doll
30 x 14 x 14 cm





VESTIGE OF THE FATAL MISTAKE
2005
Dyeing and Sewing on cotton, plastic doll
30 x 7 x 7 cm











VESTIGE OF THE FATAL MISTAKE - detail





DELUDE (Installation View)
2005
Dyeing & Sewing on cotton, plastic dolls











DELUDE-2 (Detail)
2005
Dyeing & Sewing on cotton, plastic doll
25 x 11 x 12 cm







SET ME FREE
2005
Dyeing & Sewing on cotton, plastic doll, stop-motion photography
30 x 7 x 7 cm






WANDER
2002
Dyeing & Sewing on cotton
45 x 18 x 10 cm





VOID IMAGINATION
2001
Dyeing & Sewing on cotton
190 x 110 x 80 cm



Yunsung Jang




COREA from the “Open Space” Exhibition at Heyri Artists Village, Korea
2004
Synthetic fiber and digital print





WHO SAID THAT THE EDGE OF WEAVING SHOULD BE STRAIGHT?
2001
handwoven copper
200 x 200 x 50 cm











WHO SAID THAT THE EDGE OF WEAVING SHOULD BE STRAIGHT? (Detail)





VI PREGO DI NON COPPIARE MIO DOLORE
2002
handwoven cotton and hair
250 x 250 x 20 cm












VI PREGO DI NON COPPIARE MIO DOLORE (Detail)





WHO SAID THAT THE EDGE OF WEAVING SHOULD BE STRAIGHT?













WHO SAID THAT THE EDGE OF WEAVING SHOULD BE STRAIGHT? (Detail)





THE 16 WAYS OF BEING ME – FRONT VIEW
2002
handwoven jacquard, installation, drawing
dimensions variable













THE 16 WAYS OF BEING ME – FRONT VIEW (Detail)


Jiyoung Chung




GATHERED from “Open Space” Exhibition at Heyri Artists Village, Korea
2004
Synthetic fiber, vinyl, silkscreen print and painting
20’ x 12’ x 10’





REVALUED
2004
Installation, mixed media
190” x 471” x 114”











REVALUED (Detail)





REVALUED (Detail)


UNTITLED 05’
2005
Installation, mixed media





MY CUP OVERFLOWS 05’
2005
Installation, mixed media
15’3” x 10’2” x 1”


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