From East Asia to the Great Lakes: Korean Paper at Home and Abroad

Thursday, March 17
7 PM

Free and open to the public

In the grand scheme of papermaking history, Korean paper traditions often receive only a passing mention. However, the history of hanji (Korean handmade paper) is nearly as old as the craft itself, reaching back over 1,500 years. Derived sustainably from the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree, hanji is durable and lustrous. This coveted item was made by farmers during bitter cold winters and used for books, documents, calligraphy, and painting. Hanji served material and spiritual culture as the body of illuminated sutras, kites, armor, shrouds, and chamber pots. Though highly endangered today, Korean paper is receiving more attention by conservators, designers, and artists. Through photographs, videos, and samples of paper, prints, and objects, Aimee Lee will share her experience of excavating these traditions and adapting them to artistic practices. She will also talk about the process of building the first hanji studio in North America at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland, where she is currently its resident artist.

Biography

Aimee Lee is an artist, papermaker, author, and leading hanji researcher and practitioner in the United States. She holds a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from Columbia College Chicago. She researched Korean paper arts as a Fulbright fellow and built the first and only Korean papermaking studio in North America in 2010 at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland. In 2012, The Legacy Press published her first book, Hanji Unfurled: One Journey into Korean Papermaking, recognized by the Eric Hoffer Book Award in 2013. She exhibits internationally at sites that include the Fuller Craft Museum, Islip Art Museum, Museum of Nebraska Art, and BenCab Museum. Her artists' books reside in collections that include the Joan Flasch Artists' Books Collection, Museum of Modern Art Library, and Yale University Haas Library. She teaches and lectures at sites that include the American Museum of Natural History, Asian Art Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, Cleveland Institute of Art, Oberlin College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Mills College, Notre Dame College, University of the Arts, Peters Valley School of Craft, Penland School of Crafts, and North Bennett Street School. She has been a resident artist at Art Farm, Haystack, Jentel, Ragdale, Saltonstall, Santa Fe Art Institute, Vermont Studio Center, and Weir Farm Arts Center. For more information, visit aimeelee.net.