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Faculty with artwork on exhibition (full statement)

Eun-Kyung Suh

Blue – Red, 2010                                 
Silk organza, thread, printed images on cotton
Dimension variable

Blue - ? (2010)

Silk organza, thread, printed images on cotton

Dimension variable

Red - ? (2010)

Silk organza, thread, printed images on cotton

 

Artist's Statement

I have been creating a series of sculptural vessels as a metaphor for individual, family or social memory and history. For this series, a vessel is any type of container used to hold something. These sculptural vessels are created out of diaphanous textiles, using a design originally inspired by Bojagi, a traditional art form in Korea. Bojagi is the wrapping cloth used to cover, store or carry everything from precious ritual objects to everyday clothes and common household belongings. It is usually a square cloth of various sizes made out of silk, cotton, and ramie. Bojagi was originally made by anonymous women throughout the Choson dynasty (1392~1910) in Korea. Leading isolated lives in a society in which the ideology of Confucianism was dominant, they had no art education. Despite this, they developed Bojagi with artistic beauty and unique styles. They applied various techniques such as embroidery, painting, dyeing, gold leaf, and quilting to employ its motifs, patterns and colors. They made good use of small, otherwise useless, pieces of leftover cloth, patching them up into useful wrappers.

 

My interest in Bojagi does not lie on how to re-create traditional Bojagi, but on how to extend the basic patchwork structures into my sculptural vessel forms. I am fascinated not with Bojagi’s overall design but with the process of making it, one patch after another. The woven fabric is made of repetitive horizontal and vertical structures; the process of Bojagi-making is composed of a series of vertical and horizontal actions that move against and beyond the fabric itself. It involves collecting cloth scraps, re-configuring and re-constructing them for a different use, which I interpret, is the way our memories form between layers of time and space. The daily moments we experience are modified, fantasized, deleted, reconnected and stored as a collection of memories. In this context, I convert flat cloth patterns into sculptural vessel forms to metaphorically contain memories, which are stored where a layer of time and space intersect. Folding, wrapping, and sewing are employed to transform two-dimensional fabrics into three-dimensional enclosed forms or vessel, which function as a private and sacred place where people record their memories. Enclosed textile vessel forms with printed images and texts demonstrate narrative work in both pictorial and sculptural fields.

 

To reveal intangible yet vivid memories and emotions captured inside the vessel forms I intensified their fragility with the semi-transparency of a sheer fiber. I would like to continue creating textile sculpture and installation work, transforming the homely act of sewing and converting traditional cloths into art that embraces life and society.

 
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