STAIRCASE FEATURE EXHIBITION
한지 – Hanji
August 8 to November 4
박은주 , Eunju Park
Language, heritage and joy coalesce in 한지 – Hanji. Created by St. Albert’s Eunju Park, colourful, abstract collages brim with messages of optimism and encouragement. And Park’s work is literal. Her compositions resolve into 한글 Hangul – Korean characters. With titles/subjects such as 너는 아름다워 You Are Beautiful, 행복 Happiness and하하호호 the Sound of Laughter HaHaHoHo, the works overflow with light and infectious enthusiasm.
One of the goals of Park’s art practice is to share the beauty and richness of her Korean heritage. After living in Canada for 10 years, she felt disconnected from the traditions and culture that previously permeated her life. Each element of her artwork celebrates part of her heritage, from the subject to the materials. Park uses colourful strips of hanji to create her collages. Hanji is a traditional Korean paper made from dak - the bark of paper mulberry trees. With a history reaching back thousands of years, this amazing paper is soft, yet incredibly durable, versatile and beautiful.
Art making is a relatively new venture for Park. At the age of forty and having a chance introduction to the music of the K-Pop group BTS, she was inspired to find her passion. Growing up she enjoyed being creative but was never encouraged to pursue it. Following the positivity and affirmation that defines much of BTS’s music, she started to create with hanji.
Step by step, she gained confidence and experience, forging a beautiful aesthetic voice. Eunju Park hopes that 한지 – Hanji excites viewers to learn about Korea’s beautiful culture and craft traditions, and the elegant simplicity of the written language. But most of all, her work is about forging connections - through passion, knowledge and hope.
Image Credits: Eunju Park, You Are Beautiful 너는 아름다워, hanji on canvas, 24x36", 2022; Eunju Park, Let Your Dream Bloom 꿈 피어나, hanji on canvas, 24x36", 2022.