Harmony, Color, Jogakbo!

An art form that originated from ordinary Korean women’s daily life

A few days ago, I escaped the humidity and roar of Bangkok’s down-town traffic by stepping into the Korean Cultural Center. The cool, calm interior led me upstairs, where a few times before I’ve stumbled on exhibitions of Korean art.

Youngsun Kim, Traces of 5,000 years

This time I was greeted by the gorgeous sway of Jogakbo handicraft, a traditional form of Korean patchwork used to create  wrapping cloths (known as bojagi).

Jogakbo originated from the daily lives of ordinary Korean women. During the Joseon dynasty (1392 – 1910), women were excluded from formal education and concentrated on domestic tasks such as weaving and embroidery.

The delicacy, beauty and wisdom of Korean ancestry

My first impression was of proud kites dancing joyously in the wind. In addition to the dazzling colors, I was struck by how these handicrafts so completely embodied the traditional approach to color, pattern and composition that I’ve seen throughout other Korean art.

Soonbok Lee, Climb Over

The patterns reminded me of the artist Piet Mondrian who used colorful geometric shapes in his paintings. In fact, Jogakbo has been extremely influential on Japanese embroiderers and artists working in other areas, including clothing designer Karl Lagerfeld.

As if I wasn’t sufficiently immersed, reading the titles of each piece in this exhibition opened up a whole new world of wonder… ‘A Dazzling Day’, ‘Dream of Rectangle’, ‘Climbing Over’, ‘A Feast of Spring’. Each title was so perfect I couldn’t imagine changing one word (please hover over the images on this page to see the titles).

Which is your favorite?

 

 

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6 Comments

  1. They’re so beautiful! I like Dream of rectangle the best.

    Reply

    1. Thanks, yes aren’t they! That’s my favorite too 😀

      Reply

  2. What wonderful artistry!!!! THank You for sharing!!! It’s really hard to pick a favorite…but if I particularly love ‘relic reappearance’ and ‘climb over’. But….WOW!!!! Cheers! 🤗🤗🤗

    Reply

    1. So glad you like them too 😁 They certainly made my day when I came across them. Yes I love those two as well, especially the muted colours of Relic Reappearance 🤗

      Reply

  3. With those vibrant colors and a title like “Dream of Rectangle,” that’s the one for me.

    Reply

    1. Thanks so much for your vote! This one really seems to be resonating with people 😀

      Reply

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