By Heidi Trautmann
I have reported on our artists Inci Kansu, Ismet Tatar and Emel Samioglu going to Korea to participate in the 21st IAPMA Congress (International Association of Paper Making Artists) during the 2010 Hanji Paper Festival in Wonju. They have now returned home and had much to tell.
Wonju is the most populous city in Gangwong province in South Korea and approximately 90 miles (140 km) east of Seoul. Wonju is home to three major universities which draw many students from Seoul and elsewhere. It was the site of a battle in the Korean war. It is also known for its famous Hanji Festival. Hanji is the name of traditional handmade paper from Korea. Hanji is made from the inner bark of Mulberry tree, a tree native to Korea that grows well on its rocky mountain sides, known in Korean as dak. Papermaking methods that originated in China migrated to Korea and were likely well-developed by the 6th century. The paper mulberry tree was brought to the Pacific during the Polynesian migrations, and its bark is widely used to make tapa cloth. (I took this information from Wikipedia).
I found another interesting page on the Wonju Festival in general with interesting photos of the festival in the park itself. Please click: http://foreignerjoy.blogspot.com/2010/09/wonju-hanji-festival-2010.html
Within the Hanji Theme Park in Wonju the exhibitions “Paper Road”, “1+1 Paper Park” and “5Artists 5 Colors” were held from Sep 8 to Oct 7, promoted by IAPMA, organised and supported by the City itself and the Hanji Institute. About 160 selected international paper artists were invited to take part in the two-week workshop during the Congress and all the other events, and to exhibit their works in a beautifully organised exhibition.
“We had a wonderful time”, said Ismet Tatar, the people of Wanju were overwhelmingly polite and friendly and we felt like very special guests. There was a lot to learn about the paper making culture in Korea and we were taken around the country with its fantastic old culture. However, we were also most impressed by its modern cities and concepts and its cleanliness everywhere. It was a most inspiring time for us Cypriots.”
A beautiful catalogue came with the exhibitions of which I would like to show some samples, including the works of our Cypriot artists.
The 21st IAPMA Congress taking place each year at a different place on the globe, shows clearly where international art, especially paper art is heading, and that we will have to reckon with many new techniques and concepts in the future.