Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Korean Quilting Show

A few years ago I took a class on pojagi at Quilt Surface Design Symposium in Columbus, OH. I met Leonie Castelino at the class. She’s an incredible fiber artist from Muhwah, New Jersey. We lost touch for a while. Then I saw her work on the internet. She does the most beautiful pieces and recently sent me information about her new show. If you’re in Seattle, go. You will love her contemporary use of an old technique.

Leonie’s Contemporary Pojagi, ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ is being exhibited at the Columbia City Gallery in Seattle, WA, along with the work of 10 international fiber artists. The title of the exhibition is: POJAGI NOW: Contemporary Interpretation of the Korean Wrapping Cloth. It runs until Sep 19, 2010. Here’s what Leonie herself says about it:"

‘Rhapsody in Blue’, 41” wide by 100” long, is pieced in one of the traditional pojagi seams—“gekki”—which is a triple hairline seam. The material used is polyester organza, where some of the pieces are flat, folded in lines or arcs, or sculpted to provide dimension.

Traditional pojagi (pojaki, bojagi, or bojaki) has its origins in the Choson Dynasty that spanned 518 years, from 1392-1910. Society was most rigidly controlled during this pre-modern period in Korean history. Women were severely repressed and forbidden any social status. Their only creative outlet from isolation was needlecraft in the exquisite piecing of salvaged materials to create breathtaking pojagis with which to wrap various objects. Cloth was used efficiently with minimum waste. Hence squares, rectangles, and triangles were pieced together.

This particular work of art, ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, with its free-form of composition and asymmetrical structure, is a statement that reflects the contemporary society we live in today. It breaks all the rules associated with this uniquely sensitive and traditional art form.

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