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Artist brings traditional Korean paper art to MU

Joomchi is a traditional Korean method for papermaking

Photos Courtesy of Jiyoung Chung

April 17, 2014 | 12:00 a.m. CST

Jiyoung Chung’s devotion to paper art began during her childhood with lessons from her mother, a textile/paper artist. Throughout the years, she learned subsequent paper techniques from other artists before dedicating herself to Joomchi 10 years ago. Since then, Chung has worked to turn the traditional form of Korean textured paper into a contemporary art seen in museums and galleries worldwide.

Joomchi employs a delicate manipulation of paper fibers, water and color dye to form a malleable textile of leather-like pulp, which Chung uses to create intricately layered tapestries. The layers meet in an overlapping web of bright, fibrous paper made of mulberry tree bark.

Visiting Artist: Jiyoung Chung

Where: Bingham Commons Fiber Studio, MU
When: April 23, 11 a.m.
April 24, 8 and 11 a.m.
Cost: Free
Contact: 573-882-2348

Now, an ongoing tour brings Chung, whose works have been shown in Asia, Europe and across the states, to Columbia. Chung will lead a demonstration-style lecture on Joomchi.

“I’m trying to show the history of the Joomchi and how it played a role in Korean society,” Chung says. “I’m so excited because this technique is quite uncommon to Americans, so there are no boundaries or limitations or preconceptions.”

Chung’s visit is part of MU Fiber Arts Club’s effort to bring knowledge of outside artists into the community. The event is open to those interested in hearing her speak and watching her teach fibers students how to create their own Joomchi.

Shirley Boudreaux, president of the Fiber Arts Club, hopes that attendees can find inspiration in the creative art form. “Joomchi is felted paper, and we also do felting here,” Boudreaux says. “It’s combining those two resources (paper and felting) into something that can expand their experience.”

Photo courtesy of Jiyoung Chung

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