“Jeontong Hip” was a special exhibit for “bojagi”, or traditional Korean wrapping cloth.

The exhibit was held at Majung Book Café located in Jinhae, and it ran for a whole day on September 3, Saturday.

The exhibit was organized by Ms. Deok-ja Lee, a well-known women’s rights advocate in the region, and is also the current chairperson of Haengbok-jungshim Jinhae Cooperative Association. This exhibit was sponsored by Changwon City Cultural Support Center under the “Cultural Bloom Project” (“Munhwa Piyumi Sa-eob”).

The exhibit showcased a variety of colorful bojagi, modern hanbok, and other beautiful hand sewn art. The special thing about this exhibit was that the materials used for the collection were recycled Hanbok. Used materials were silk, cotton, hemp, and ramie.

The title of the exhibit “Jeontong Hip” which translates to “traditional hip” has a special meaning. It featured the vibe that lies in the beauty of traditional Korean art. “We wanted to show people the different ways to recycle their old Hanbok. Instead of throwing them away, they can be transformed beautifully by using a little creativity”, Ms. Lee said. She also added that through the exhibit, it is hoped that people re-think about the eco-friendliness and beauty of bojagi as a traditional art.

Bojagi is made of fabric patches of many colors that are sewn together by hand. It is usually made by women It is commonly used to wrap, cover, and carry objects such as food, gifts, or household items.

There are many creative ways to use bojagi to wrap objects and can be considered as an art in itself. Below are some types of bojagi that can be used to wrap wedding gifts and other gifts in different shapes.

The exhibit also featured other hand sewn art such as this wall décor showing a “bokjumeoni” or traditional Korean lucky bag.

This tray was filled with “gong-gi”, a popular Korean children’s game using five- or more small pebbles.

These exquisite cloths were folded and tied on the corners to be used as bags.

Traditionally, Koreans believed that keeping something wrapped protected good luck. Koreans have been using wrapping cloths since as far back as the Three Kingdoms Period (57 B.C. to 668 A.D.), but the earliest surviving bojagi is from the Joseon Dynasty (14th century). The simplistic elements of its abstract and minimalist way of presenting beauty gave bojagi its enduring appeal.

Bojagi is not just an item for daily use here in Korea. It is also an expression of the history and art of the Korean identity.


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