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This book is made possible with a grant from the Individual Artist Fellowship, courtesy of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, 2018.

2 ——— FOREWORD


Contents

Preface —— katherine anne paul

2

Transforming Century-Old Household Items with a Contemporary Sensibility: Wonju Seo’s Textiles —— jinyoung A. jin

4

Through My Window

14

White Wonderland

24

Inspiration of Blue

28

Wrapping with Blessings

36

Soft Sculpture

40

Wearable Pojagi

44

Bio and Resume

51

COVER

Through My Window: Seas of Blue, 2017 (details) 21 W x 90 H inches each, total of 3 pieces Hand-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread OPPOSITE

Through My Window, 2018 (details) 16 W x 32 H inches each, total of 5 pieces Hand-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread


Preface Katherine Anne Paul, Curator of the Arts of Asia, Newark Museum

I first discovered Wonju Seo’s work in 2010 at my

Fig. 7, Fig. 8, Fig. 13, Fig. 26] She utilizes cloth in a way

own institution, but not through an exhibition I

that makes it appear like textured stained glass. In the

organized. Ulysses G. Dietz, the Senior Curator of

2015 installation White Wonderland, Seo considered

Decorative Arts and my colleague, was the Newark

the unique opportunity afforded by a reflecting

Museum’s in-house curator for the New Jersey Arts

pool to create a white-on-white wall treatment that

Annual and the theme was “Make Me Something

would be amplified when viewed in concert with the

Beautiful.” Seo’s translucent Wearable Pojagi vest—

pool. [Fig. 4] The height of the atrium of the skylight

with its precise yellow hand-stitches, opalescent

gallery, as well as its layers of balconies and windows

colors, and intriguing lattice-like seaming—sang

and the action of the light well itself, interacts with

out visually from the other featured works. [Fig. 1]

how Seo folded and hand-sewed the artwork. While

I proposed it for acquisition into our permanent

the smaller shapes within the works echo snowflakes

collection, where it now resides. Wearable Pojagi

or ice crystals or even reflective patterns on the

epitomizes an intriguing transformation of pojagi

water’s surface, the irony is that in some ways the

from decorative wrapping cloth to wearable art. As

result looks more like a digitized computer product

this catalog demonstrates, the constant exploration

due to the squared outlines. However, it is the

and transformation of pojagi techniques informs

antithesis of that technology entirely—it was made by

and creates Seo’s artistic palette.

Seo’s own hands.

As one can see from the beautiful reproductions

The 2012 work Dual Identities splices silhouettes

of her work in the following pages, Seo has a

and poignantly articulate the tensions and

wonderful understanding of color, proportion,

connections between generations and within oneself.

texture, and sculpture. She embraces a number

[Fig. 25] Seo returns to this theme in her 2016 Dual

of techniques—silk painting, digital printing,

Identities, a work of pojagi that plays with opacity

collage, folding, piecing, and embroidery—much

and transparency, light and darkness. The jewel-

of it hand-sewn rather than machine-sewn. Seo’s

like 2012 Pojagi Cuffs delights me with its whimsical

training in silk painting is evident in much of the

embroidery and fashion-forward style that harkens to

cloth she employs, often creating the colors’ shades,

historical wristlets popular in the late Joseon period.

intensities, and fades she so desires by painting on

[Fig. 31] Similarly the 2012 Fantasia vest expands the

the cloth herself. The hand-sewn aspect likewise is

use of lively and colorfully embroidered lines that

of particular note given the large scale of some of her

wriggle over the pieced work to activate the surfaces

body of work.

of the garment, while the 2018 A Woman in Modern

Times embraces asymmetry. [Fig. 30, Fig. 28]

One of the things that most intrigues me about

Seo’s work is its translucency. As seen in the titles

of her “Through My Window” series and her 2018

the intensity, perseverance, and dedication of the

Through My Window: Peace and Freedom, the

artist, and I hope it increases appreciation for Wonju

transparencies of cloth is key to her vision. [Fig. 6,

Seo’s creations.

2 ——— PREFACE

I trust that readers of this catalog will recognize


FIGURE 1.

Wearable Pojagi, 2009 Hand-sewn and machine-sewn textile Korean white ramie Permanent collection of the Newark Museum, NJ

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Transforming Century-Old Household Items with a Contemporary Sensibility: Wonju Seo’s Textiles Jinyoung A. Jin, Director of Cultural Programs at the Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University

Born in 1964 in Seoul, South Korea, Wonju Seo has

discarded in the process of making garments. Since

made her name as a contemporary artist in New York,

fabric was incredibly valuable during the Chosŏn

specializing in textiles. Though she graduated from

dynasty (1392–1910), the cutting of textile material

Hong-Ik University, one of South Korea’s prestigious

for any reason other than making clothing was

fine art schools, Seo did not pursue her calling as

considered highly wasteful, even disgraceful. In this

a textile artist immediately. After graduation, she

context, the process of combining fabric remnants

worked for over four years as a commercial textile

and sewing them together into pojagi, to reduce

designer, applying acid dye pigments to silk. It was not

waste and utilize material for practical purposes,

until 2007 that she completely changed her preferred

was seen as an auspicious act by Korean women. Not

medium from paints to sheer textile. Seo herself has

only did creating pojagi demonstrate their frugality

pointed to this change of medium as a turning point in

and patience, but every stitch could be seen as an

her artistic style:

expression of a woman’s devotion to the comfort and

“I was trained to be a painter, but had a job in

well-being of her family in the Korean society.

a textile company. While I was working there,

I still pursued my artistic career by primarily

the chaos of world war, and the social turmoil brought

working with oil on canvas. Soon I serendipitously

on by the Korean War disrupted Korean life and art

discovered the purity of silk textile and the

traditions. Combined with the influx of ready-made

intense color and serene abstractness found in

clothing and textiles made from Western materials,

an antiquarian Korean patchwork pojagi. The

pojagi fell out of use and widespread practice. Koreans

piece was almost a century old, but I was visually

from this point on only tailored traditional clothing for

shocked by its vibrant color and geometric shapes.

very special occasions, such as weddings, funerals, and

It was so modern and contemporary. It was beyond

other ceremonial or memorial events. Furthermore,

what I used to create with brushes and oil paints.”

the recycling of fabric scraps was no longer regarded

However, the upheavals of Japanese colonial rule,

Now long based in New York and New Jersey, Wonju

as an act of virtue. Wrapping gifts and food jars

Seo is a Korean American artist whose primary

with fabric was still common, but pojagi cloths

medium has been textiles. In particular, Seo often

were replaced by simple sheets of nylon fabric. The

explores the bold and abstract color sensibilities of

colorfully sewn silk pojagi slowly disappeared from

pojagi. Pojagi is a centuries-old traditional Korean

households. This long absence from Korean daily life

form of patchwork used to wrap gifts, to cover

explains why the “antiquarian pojagi” Seo encountered

small food tray tables, and to carry around objects

for the first time in late 1990s sparked such a visual

of everyday life, from jewelry to heavy bedding. A

sensation. Pojagi had virtually vanished from everyday

utilitarian craft form, pojagi was originally made from

life until it was once more brought into the spotlight by

the small pieces of silk, ramie, and hemp left over or

the late Dong-hwa Huh (1926–2018), an avid collector

4 ——— TRANSFORMING CENTURY-OLD HOUSEHOLD ITEMS WITH A CONTEMPORARY SENSIBILITY: WONJU SEO’S TEXTILES


FIGURE 2.

Contemporary Pojagi, 2009 35Hx35W inches hand-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread

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6 ——— FOREWORD

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who had opened a textile museum in 1979 to showcase

White Wonderland

his vast pojagi collection.

Permanently displayed at Stony Brook University’s

The popularity of pojagi in South Korea nowadays

Charles B. Wang Center since 2015, Seo’s White

may be in part due to its visual linkage to American

Wonderland is integrated into a four-story skylight

folk quilts or to Western modernist art, from Bauhaus

wall. [Fig. 15] The patchwork is 32 feet long and 26

textile to the geometric abstraction of painters such

feet wide, hanging from the center’s fourth floor and

as Piet Mondrian (1872–1944) and Josef Albers (1888–

reaching to the ground just above a person’s height.

1976). Despite the comparisons, no direct influence

In this work, Seo tackles abstract patterns with a

between pojagi and these other genres can be

radical simplicity of vocabulary and on a gigantic

suggested; Koreans have enjoyed the strong aesthetics

scale, aspects that distinguish her work from many

of abstraction well before its emergence as an artistic

other pojagi artists.

movement in the West. Often copying the designs of

older pojagi, whether for functional purposes or for

navigation and transforms them to create another

decoration, many local Korean artisans craft pojagi in

reality, an entirely new spatial dynamic. But this

order to add vibrant color to life.

dynamism is not due solely to the vastness of the

Seo uses simple geometric forms related to

patchwork; the effect is also driven by the rhythmic Departure

small patchwork patterns that cover this four-story

The general public currently uses pojagi for solely

wall. Through the pattern and the sheer size of the

decorative purposes. Wonju Seo, however, creates

piece, she wanted the informality of this textile

entirely original variations of pojagi through constant

structure to become a part of the building’s structure.

experimentation. Departing from traditional pojagi

patterns, color schemes, and styles, Seo utilizes

sophisticated and ambitious work solely in terms of its

“domestic” mediums that are radically different

classic temple-door pojagi patterns, which maze across

and often on a much larger scale. She tries to closely

ten columns of 2300 folded quilt blocks. The patches

align her ethos with contemporary artists who

also vary in terms of size, the smallest at 3 inches and

incorporate their works into architectural spaces

the largest being 24 inches. The temple-door pattern

and who make sculpture from soft materials. This

in Korean pojagi does have an equivalent in technique

identity as a contemporary artist rather than a craft

to the cathedral window pattern found in American

artisan helped Seo direct her textiles toward the

folk quilting. Although the pattern is repeated

public sphere. She modifies space by introducing

throughout the work, the folds in the fabric completely

the supple, flexible element of textile and seeks to

transfigure the effect, exaggerating the work’s flatness

create a new spatial dynamism by means of seams,

and extraordinary scale.

folds, color, texture, and natural elements such as

light and breeze. Tradition is but the medium of the

deliberately avoids precision. Sophisticated though

message; the message itself depends on the richness

Seo’s patterns appear, they are never slick or

of the artist’s creative sensibility. Seo’s architectural

mechanical. There is something primitive about

soft sculptures have been displayed at Stony Brook

them that appeals on an elemental level, which to Seo

University’s Charles B. Wang Center and at the Faro

embodies the flexibility of textiles and the essence

a Colón (Columbus Lighthouse) in Santo Domingo,

of pojagi. Due to the large size of the installation,

Dominican Republic.

the imperfections are not easily caught by viewers,

White Wonderland can be said to be a truly

While aiming for purity and clarity, Seo

FIGURE 3.

White Wonderland, 2015 (work in progress) Folded, hand-sewn textile Nobang (Korean silk organza), thread

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but they are inherent elements in the hand-sewn pojagi process and complement the emphatically handmade artistic qualities of Seo’s design. Seo’s work carefully preserves the expressive imperfections of human craftsmanship with irregular stitches and many negative spaces in between patterns. White Wonderland is all the more vigorous and arresting for the subtle irregularity of the fabric pieces’ outlines as well. Such a willful asymmetry is another daring feature of Seo’s work. A reflection of her independent, free-spirited approach to traditional design, it signifies the strength of her determination not to be bounded by convention.

On the one hand, Seo chose a muted white and

gray palette and a subtle yet rhythmic interplay of vertical and horizontal patterns; on the other hand, Seo dramatically increased the size of her work to a truly massive scale. Although geometric abstraction is not new in pojagi, hitherto it has been limited to patterns with small repeats. The audacious maximization of temple-door pojagi patterns shows Seo strikingly ahead of her contemporaries. Rhythmic variety is also a crucial ingredient in bringing Seo’s work to life. Although limited to a white color scheme, the folded patterns and usage of different kinds of white fabric multiply the number of hues, thereby intensifying its impact.

Seas of Blue Seo’s growing confidence in creating large-scale works that are integrated into architectural spaces, sometimes to startling effect, is apparent over the course of her artistic career. Her audacity and bravado in the use of color is particularly noticeable in the work, Seas of Blue. [Fig. 20]

Seas of Blue, which is another creative usage of

traditional pojagi, was on display at the Faro a Colón in the Dominican Republic from 2014 to 2017. It was commissioned by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea as part of a larger exhibition by the Dominican

FIGURE 4.

White Wonderland, 2015 (installation view at Skylight Gallery, Charles B. Wang Center) 312 H x 384 W inches Folded, hand-sewn textile Nobang (Korean silk organza), thread Permanent collection of the Charles B. Wang Center Stony Brook University, NY

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government to showcase the art, culture, and history

in a range of rich indigos and blues. Inspired by the

of more than forty-eight countries. Inaugurated in

nearby sea, Seo was likely trying to evoke the fluidity

1992 in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of

of waves and the depth of the sea’s color.

Columbus’s discovery of the Americas, Faro a Colón is a memorial monument dedicated to Christopher

Conclusion

Columbus. A 680-foot corridor functioned as the gallery

The innovating textile artist Wonju Seo blurs the

for this artistic presentation. Although its ceiling is five

boundary between traditional craft, geometric

stories high, most nations used just the gallery’s floor

abstract painting, and architectural sculpture

space for their displays. Only one country, and one

with her vibrant textile works. Her works come in

artist, utilized the monument’s high ceiling.

in many shapes, sizes, and effects, ranging from

Seo’s site-specific exploration of indigo pojagi

wall mountings that mimic hung paintings to

consisted of six hanging bolts of flexible silk. By

soft sculptures that hang from ceiling to floor like

suspending the fabric from a beam three stories

textured columns. Maximized and minimalist in

above to hang just to a person’s height on the ground

equal measure, Seo’s works are at once restrained and

floor below, Seo radically multiplied the given gallery

expressive, expansive yet condensed.

space. The scale of the pojagi—a stunning twenty feet

in length—evoked the vastness of the ocean and the

sizes, she begins on a much smaller scale to better

variability of its waves. The different hues and sizes

command all the elements of the piece and to allow

of the massive patchwork pieces also generated a

her to imagine the structure at full scale. These types

radiating effect for the viewer, while a steady rhythm

of projects fascinate her more than any other. They

pulled the eye through multiple layers. The gallery is

enable her to influence architectural spaces and to

connected to an exterior corridor, so natural light and

link the small stitches of domestic sewing to the loud,

the outdoor breeze added to the work’s presentation

public life of the modern city. The two large-scale

as a whole. There is something intrinsically appealing

artworks discussed here perfectly capture how Seo

about the flowing effect of the silk through these

revitalizes the traditional, practical, and spiritual

natural elements. Seo’s objective was to integrate

values inherent in Korean pojagi in our contemporary

these forms carefully into the architectural space

age. She demonstrates that traditional craft textiles

without destroying its innate qualities while

are more than up to the task of adapting to our

simultaneously modifying the space, modulating it to

present times and engaging with today’s modern

give viewers a new perception of it.

sensibilities. An art that has been passed down for

generations, pojagi continues to show that it is a

In stark contrast to the intricate micropatterns

Although Seo’s works stand out due to their grand

of White Wonderland, Seas of Blue utilized bolder,

flexible and practical art form that can be reworked,

larger, and more loosely patched fabrics, overlapping

rethought, and recycled.

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FIGURE 5.

Seas of Blue, 2014 (installation view at Korea Hall of the Faro a Colon, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) 200 H x 45 W inches each, total of 6 pieces Hand-sewn textile Korean silk, digitally printed silk, colored silk thread

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FIGURE 6.

Through My Window: Peace and Freedom, 2018 (installation view at Gordon Student Center, Onondaga Community College, NY) 40 H x 120 W inches each, total of 5 pieces Hand-sewn textile Nobang (Korean silk organza) 12 ——— FOREWORD


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THROUGH MY WINDOW The square exterior design mirrors the “window” from where I used to gaze outside and imagine the wider world as a child. I was born in a city, so I never had the chance to experience the vast wilderness, lying beyond what the city offers, beautiful and alluring yet mysterious and frightening. The window also represents my dream and desire to explore the unknown world, much like so many Korean women who grew up in a traditional Confucian culture. My work reflects my past—where I came from—and my hopes for the future— where I will be going. ——artist note

14 ——— THROUGH MY WINDOW


FIGURE 7.

Through My Window: Seas of Blue, 2017 21 W x 90 H inches each, total of 3 pieces Hand-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread

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FIGURE 8.

Through My Window, 2018 16 W x 32 H inches each, total of 5 pieces Hand-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread

16 ——— THROUGH MY WINDOW


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FIGURE 9.

18 ——— THROUGH MY WINDOW

From East to West, 2014 36 W x 37 H inches Hand-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread


FIGURE 10.

From East to West, 2015 36 W x 36 H inches Hand-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread

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FIGURE 11.

20 ——— THROUGH MY WINDOW

From East to West, 2015 36 W x 36 H inches Hand-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread


FIGURE 12.

From East to West, 2015 36 W x 36 H inches Hand-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread

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22 ——— THROUGH MY WINDOW


LEFT: FIGURE 13.

Through My Window, 2009 76 W x 55 H inches Naturally dyed, hand-sewn textile Sumi ink, ramie, hemp, colored silk thread TOP: FIGURE 14.

Through My Window, 2009 (Installation view in a window)

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WHITE WONDERLAND White Wonderland expresses a memory of a snowy night in my childhood. I was amazed by the snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night. The big snowflakes almost immediately covered everything outside the glass window, including the roof, the fence, and the stairs as well as my mother’s garden. The scenery blanketed by so much snow under the moonlight had transformed into a mysterious white wonderland. This artwork visualizes that beautiful snowy landscape using Korean temple-door pojagi patterns called chill-bomoon-jeun-bo (folding and hand sewing). ——artist note

FIGURE 15.

White Wonderland, 2015 (Installation view at Skylight Gallery, Charles B. Wang Center) 312 H x 384 W inches Folded, hand-sewn textile Nobang (Korean silk organza), thread Permanent collection of the Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University, NY 24 ——— WHITE WONDERLAND


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26 ——— FOREWORD


FIGURE 16.

White Wonderland, 2018 90 H x 40 W inches each total of 2 pieces Folded, hand-sewn textile Korean silk, thread

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INSPIRATION OF BLUE Inspiration of Blue was created to celebrate the year 2014. The blue color and geometric abstract lines that I made on the transparent silk symbolize my personal feeling toward words such as “hope,” “courage,” and “challenges.” ——artist note

28 ——— INSPIRATION OF BLUE


FIGURE 17.

Inspiration of Blue, 2014 41 W x 41 H inches Hand-sewn textile Nobang (Korean silk organza), colored silk thread

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FIGURE 18.

30 ——— INSPIRATION OF BLUE

Inspiration of Blue, 2014 20 W x 20 H inches Indigo dyed, hand-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread


FIGURE 19.

Inspiration of Blue, 2014 20 W x 20 H inches Indigo dyed, hand-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread

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FIGURE 20.

Seas of Blue, 2014 (Installation view at theater of Flushing Town Hall) 200 H x 45 W inches each, total of 6 pieces Hand-sewn patchwork on digitally printed silk Received a space grant from Flushing Town Hall, Flushing, NY

32 ——— INSPIRATION OF BLUE


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FIGURE 21.

Inspiration of Blue, 2015 (Installation view at Stony Brook University Hospital, NY) 47 H x 350 W inches Machine-sewn textile Korean silk, thread

34 ——— INSPIRATION OF BLUE


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WRAPPING WITH BLESSINGS Wonju Seo’s Wrapping with Blessings showcases pojagi’s fundamental functions and captures the way in which the traditional, practical, and spiritual Korean values inherent in pojagi can be reborn and adapted in our contemporary age. The patchwork, with its various colors and thorough stitching, can be seen as an expression of the artist’s devotion to the comfort and well-being of the viewer. ——charles b. wang center, stony brook university, ny, 2014

36 ——— WRAPPING WITH BLESSINGS


FIGURE 22.

Wrapping with Blessings (wrapped box), 2018 (Installation view at Waterfall Mansion & Gallery, NY) Left: 11 L x 13 W x 4.5 H inches
 Right: 10L x 7W x 4H inches Hand-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread Photo credit: ESSO STUDIO and Waterfall Mansion & Gallery

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FIGURE 23.

38 ——— WRAPPING WITH BLESSINGS

Wrapping with Blessings, 2009 24 H x 24 W inches Hand-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread


FIGURE 24.

Wrapping with Blessings, 2018 20 H x 20 W inches Folded paper Han-ji (Korean rice paper), acid-free glue

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SOFT SCULPTURE I experimented with the typical square shape of pojagi and the traditional methods used in making pojagi to create soft sculptures in various geometric forms. I utilized techniques such as painting and collage in addition to hand-sewing. To emphasize my subject matter, I depicted natural scenery or painted abstract forms on silk using dye and Gutta resist, as well as brushes. Dye and Gutta resist are special materials used only for painting on silk. The ways they work on silk are similar to techniques used in traditional watercolor painting. I even wrapped different types of fabric around geometric shapes from precut form boards. Before wrapping the form boards, I used cotton to add depth and dimension. Soft Sculpture is one of the most representative examples of my contemporary pojagi art. ——artist note

40 ——— SOFT SCULPTURE


FIGURE 25.

Dual Identities, 2012 63 H x 30 W x 1.5 D inches Embroidery, collage, silk painting, hand-sewn textile Silk, colored silk thread, mixed media

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FIGURE 26.

42 ——— SOFT SCULPTURE

Through My Window, 2012 30 H x 50 W x 1.5 D inches Embroidery, collage, silk painting, hand-sewn textile Silk, colored silk thread, mixed media


FIGURE 27.

Jumping, 2012 24 H x 24 W x 1.5 D inches Embroidery, collage, silk painting, hand-sewn textile Silk, colored silk thread, mixed media

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WEARABLE POJAGI Wearable pojagi is based on Korean culture, my roots. Jeogori, a traditional top for Korean women with long and rounded sleeves, symbolizes Korean women, especially my mother, who devoted her entire life to her family and children and who was an excellent homemaker. It also evokes both the traditional Korean hanbok and pojagi, a traditional Korean patchwork wrapping cloth that has its origins in the 19th century. These wearable pojagi bring together dual identities of being Korean and being a woman living in a modern society. ——artist note

44 ——— WEARABLE POJAGI


FIGURE 28.

A Woman in Modern Times (pojagi shawl), 2018 Hand-sewn textile Nobang (Korean organza), colored silk thread, handmade beads

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46 ——— WEARABLE POJAGI


Domestic skills associated with women become symbolic objects that evoke religious faith and cultural traditions. Seo’s jeogori evokes both traditional Korean costume and the age-old craft of patchwork wrapping cloths known as pojagi.

——newark museum, 2010

FIGURE 29.

Mother (jeogori), 2010 14 H x 54.24 W inches Hand-sewn and machine-sewn textile Korean ramie, hemp, colored silk thread

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48 ——— WEARABLE POJAGI


FIGURE 30.

Fantasia (pojagi vest), 2012 Embroidery, hand-sewn and machine-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread Private Collection

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FIGURE 31.

Pojagi Cuffs, 2012 Embroidery, hand-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread, found buttons

50 ——— WEARABLE POJAGI

Permanent collection of the Newark Museum, NJ


WONJU SEO Wonju Seo was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, where she received her B.F.A in Fine Arts Painting from Hong-Ik University in 1988. After graduating college, she worked as a designer and silk painting artist. In 1998, she moved to the United States to continue her career as an artist. She currently lives and works in Bergen County, NJ. Seo is the recipient of the 2012 and 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and a QBL Fellowship from the Schweinfurth Art Center, NY. She also received the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Recognition Award (Collector’s Choice) from the Visions Art Museum, CA, and an Honorable Mention from the Smithtown Township Arts Council. Her works have been selected by juries in many national and international art competitions, and they have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums. Three of Seo’s works are in the permanent collections of the Newark Museum, NJ and the Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University, NY.

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Wonju Seo

2011

Tradition Meets Modern Beauty. Riverside Gallery, Hackensack, NJ

www.wonjuseo.com wjandart2013@gmail.com

2009

Drawing & Painting by Won Ju Seo. Multimedia Center, Palisade Park, NJ

Born in Seoul, South Korea. Living and working in Bergen County, New Jersey.

GROUP EXHIBITION

EDUCATION 1988

B.F.A. in Fine Arts, concentrated on Western Painting, Hong-Ik University, Seoul Korea Awarded by a regionally accredited U.S. College or University (Documentation as needed)

2018

New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship Awards in Visual Arts Exhibition. Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center, Millville, NJ

2017

Flight in Blue. BWI International Gallery, Baltimore Washington International Airport, Baltimore, MD

2017 In Residency: Selection from the Open Studio Residency Program. Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME 2017 Life Infinite: Works by 30 Korean American Diaspora Artists. Korean Culture Center, Washington, D.C. 2017

Stamp Exhibition in Celebration of the 115th Anniversary of Korean Immigration to America. Hosted by KFA, Washington, D.C.

2016

ASPECTS: Works by Korean Artists in America. Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY

2016

Seoul–New York Project. Hongik University Alumni in Korea and America Group exhibition. Riverside Art Gallery, Hackensack, NJ

2015

Origami Heaven. Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

Silk painting, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY

2015

WOW II. Sponsored by Hongik University Alumni in Eastern USA. Coohaus Art, New York, NY

SOLO EXHIBITION

2015

Illustrating Passion & Freedom in Unison. Korean Cultural Center, Washington, D.C.

ADDITIONAL ART TRAINING Embroidery, Certificate of Study, Seol Won Foundation, New York, NY Painting and Drawing, The Student League of New York, New York, NY Certificate of Completion, Professional Development, The Artist/Teacher Institute Arts Horizons, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ Textile design, Institute Korea Textile Design School (KTDS), Seoul, South Korea

2019

Tradition Meets Modern Beauty: Wonju Seo’s Contemporary Interpretation of Korean Pojagi. Flushing Town Hall, Flushing, NY

2014

Korea Bojagi Forum. Jeju Museum of Contemporary Art and other galleries, Jeoji Artist Village, Jeju Island, South Korea

2018

Through My Window: Peace and Freedom. Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY. QBL (Quilting by the Lake) Fiber Artist Fellowship from Schweinfurth Art Center, Auburn, NY

2014

Shades of Time: An Exhibition from the Archive of Korean-American Artists, Part Two (1989–2001). Gallery Korea of the Korean Cultural Service New York and the Queens Museum, New York, NY

2016

Dual Identities II: A contemporary interpretation of Korean Bojagi by Wonju Seo. MK Gallery, Vienna, VA

2014

Seas of Blue: Asian Indigo Dye. Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

2015

Wrapping with Blessings: Korean Patchwork by Wonju Seo. Stony Brook University Hospital, NY.| Co-sponsored by the Charles B. Wang Center of Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine.

2014

Korean American Pop Art. McGuireWoods Gallery of Lorton Workhouse Arts Center, Washington, D.C.

2014

Unusual Art. Belskie Museum, Closter, NJ

2015

Dual Identities I: A contemporary interpretation of Korean Bojagi by Wonju Seo. BBCN Bank Manhattan, New York, NY. In collaboration with the AHL Foundation and BBCN Bank

2013

Members exhibition. Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ

2014

The Deep Blue: Korean Patchwork by Wonju Seo. Korea Hall of the Faro a Colón, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Exhibition hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Dominican Republic

2013

2012 NJ State Council on the Arts: Visual Arts Fellowship Showcase Exhibition. Long Beach Island Foundation of Arts & Sciences, Loveladies, NJ

2013

Luciano Benetton Collection: Imago Mundi. Collateral event of the 55th International Art Exhibition. Querini Stampalia Foundation, Venice, Italy

2014

Inspiration of Blue. Office of Consular Affairs, Embassy of the Republic of Korea. Hosted by the Han-mee Artists Association, Washington, D.C.

2012

Through My Window. Coohaus Art, New York, NY

52 ——— BIO AND RESUME

2013 New Growth: Works by Members of Flushing Town Hall. Flushing Town Hall, Flushing, NY 2013

SquareS. Leonard Hansen Gallery, Englewood, NJ


2013

The Gathering of the Artists in 2013. Riverside Gallery, Hackensack, NJ

2009

29th Annual Faber Birren National Color Award Show. Stamford Art Association, Stanford, CT

2012

Korea Bojagi Forum (KBF): International Group Exhibitions. Heyri Art Valley, South Korea

2009

4th Seoul International Quilt Festival. Special Selection, Seoul COEX. Seoul, South Korea

2011

Life as Art. Lee Young Hee Museum of Korean Culture, New York, NY

2007

Annual New Jersey Small Work Show. Mikhail Zakin Gallery, Demarest, NJ

2011

Come from the Shadows: The Comfort Women. Holocaust Resource Center & Archives, Bayside, NY

AWARD

2010

The Comfort Women Memorial and Art Exhibit. Multimedia Center, Palisades Park, NJ

2018

Quilting by the Lake (QBL) Fiber Artist Fellowship from Schweinfurth Art Center, Auburn, NY

2010

Encyclopedia Britannica Project. Belskie Museum, Closter, NJ

2018

Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, NJ

2010

NoHo NY 7th Annual Art Walk. TD Bank, New York, NY

2009

20 Artists Group Exhibition. Ye Rang Gallery, Fort Lee, NJ

2012

Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, NJ

2009

N.A.W.A. 2009 New Members’ Exhibition. N.A.W.A. Gallery, New York, NY

2012

Thomas Contemporary Quilt Recognition Award from Visions Art Museum, CA

2009

SQA International Pojagi & Beyond. Paducah, KY

2011

Honorable Mention from Smithtown Township Arts Council, NY

2008

Ten Artists Show. Ye Rang Gallery, Fort Lee, NJ

JURIED GROUP EXHIBITION

ARTIST RESIDENCIE 2018

Quilting by the Lake (QBL) Artist residency, Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY

2016

Transgressing Traditions. Scwheinfurth Art Center, Auburn, NY

2014

Open Studio Residency, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME

2014

ITAB: International TECHstyle Art Biennial. San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, San Jose, CA

2013

Residency Program, Coohaus Art, New York, NY

2013

New Jersey Arts Annual. Noyes Museum of Art, Atlantic City, NJ

ARTIST TALK & PRESENTATION

2013

Quilt & Fiber Art Festival. La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum, La Conner, WA

2013

Variations on the Canon. Coohaus Art, New York, NY

2013

40th Anniversary Exhibition. Soho20 Chelsea Gallery, New York, NY

2013

ArtExpo NY. Group exhibition competition hosted by NEA, Piers 92/94, New York, NY

2012

More Art from Found Objects. Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, NJ

2012

Brainstorms: The 12th International Juried Exhibition. Visions Art Museum, San Diego, CA

2012

Crossing Lines: The Many Faces of Fiber. World Financial Center Courtyard Gallery, New York, NY

2011

American Mosaic. Smithtown Township Arts Council, Mills Pond House Gallery, St. James, NY

2010

(Un)Wrapped. Columbia City Gallery, Seattle, WA

2010

Whimsy. Morris Arts, Morristown, NJ

WORKSHOP

2010

New Jersey Arts Annual: Make Me Something Beautiful. Newark Museum, Newark, NJ

2010

New Biennial National Juried Exhibition: Nature by Design. Larson Galley, Yakima, WA

2010

Annual New Jersey Small Works Show. Mikhail Zakin Gallery, Demarest, NJ

2018

2009

Annual New Jersey Small Works Show. Mikhail Zakin Gallery, Demarest, NJ

2018

Quilting by the Lake (QBL) Conference at Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY Gave an artist talk for fiber artists and quilters participating in Schweinfurth Art Center’s Quilting by the Lake program.

2016

International Year of South Korea at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY Gave an artist talk for students and faculties.

2014

Open Studio Residency at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME Presented art works for 39 participating artists and board members

2013

August Town Hall. Hosted by the Asian American Arts Alliance, Greenwich House Music School, New York, NY Presented artworks

2012 Visions Art Museum, San Diego, CA Presented artworks for the staff and volunteers of the museum

Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University, NY Three-day workshop: “Creating a See-Through Window Hanging Patchwork” Taught classes to create a hot-bo (a single layer pojagi) by hand

2018 Newark Museum, Newark, NJ One-day workshop: “K-Fashion” Taught classes to create paper pojagi brooches using traditional pojagi colors and patterns

WONJU SEO ——— 53


2017

Korean Cultural Center New York, NY One-day workshop: “Making Mini Wrapping Cloth” Workshop for celebrating National Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day Taught classes to create a mini gub-bo (a double-layer pojagi) by hand

2017

Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University, NY Two-day Workshop: “Korean Patchwork-Korean Traditional Neck Pillows by Wonju Seo” Taught classes to create two neck pillows by hand using pine nut and other pojagi patterns

2016

Complex Art Space Haenggungjae Gallery, Suwon, South Korea Two-day workshop: “Creating a Pojagi Brooch” using silk, thread and mixed media Hosted by Korea Bojagi Forum (KBF)

2016

Western Kentucky University and Western Kentucky Museum, KY One-day workshop: “Korean Pojagi Workshop with Visiting Artist Wonju Seo” Taught classes to create a mini gub-bo (a double-layer pojagi) by hand

2015

Newark Museum, Newark, NJ One-day workshop: “Making a Pojagi (Korean Patchwork) with Wonju Seo” Taught classes to create a hot-bo (a single-layer pojagi) by hand

2015 Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University, NY One-day workshop: “Fabric Origami Techniques with Wonju Seo” Taught classes to create small pojagi using dragon ball patterns 2015

Korea Society, New York, NY Four-day workshop: “Lucky Pouches”

2014

Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University, NY One-day workshop: “Patchwork by Hand” Taught classes to create small pojagi as teacup saucers. Gave PowerPoint presentation to introduce Korean colors used in traditional Korean hanbok and pojagi

2014

Korea Society, New York, NY Four-day workshop: “Pojagi (Korean Patchwork) with Wonju Seo” Taught classes to create a hot-bo (a single-layer pojagi) by hand

2013

Korea Society, New York, NY Four-day workshop: “Traditional Korean Neck Pillows with Wonju Seo” Taught classes to create two neck pillows by hand using pine nut and other pojagi patterns

2012 Lee Young Hee Museum of Korean Culture, New York, NY Two-day interactive workshop: “Discovering Korean Colors” Workshop for multicultural families in New York hosted by the Ministry of Korean Culture, Sports, and, Tourism and the Korean Arts & Culture Education Service (KACES, http://eng.arte.or.kr)

54 ——— BIO AND RESUME

BIBLIOGRAPHY Min, Dami. “Dreaming Art as Life.” KoaLife Korean-American Lifestyle Magazine 13, no. 3 (March 2013): 34–39. Park, Jongwon. “Contemporary Bojagi Artist Wonju Seo; Korean Artist in NewYork Series 113.” Korea Daily (New York), January 31, 2011. PRINT MEDIA Jacobson, Aileen. ‘Origami Heaven’ Unfolds. New York Times, December 3 2015. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/06/ nyregion/origami-heaven-unfolds.html Jacobson, Aileen. “Seeing Asian Cultures, Through an Indigo Lens.” New York Times, April 13, 2014. https://www.nytimes. com/2014/04/13/nyregion/seeing-asian-cultures-through-anindigo-lens.html. Jin, Jinyoung. The Deep Blue: Korean Patchwork by Wonju Seo. Permanent exhibition of the Korea Hall at El Faro a Colón in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, exhibition catalogue. Published by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Dominican Republic, December 2014. Shine, Sunny. “Korean Color-field Abstract Bojagi Artist Wonju Seo.” Mom & I Korean-American Lifestyle Magazine (January 2015): 30–33. Sumner, Christina. “Considering Bojagi: Traditional and Contemporary Korean Wrapping Clothes.” TAASA Review: The Journal of the Asian Art Society of Australia 20, no. 3 (September 2011): 17–19. RADIO / TV/ ONLINE / BLOG Schweinfurth Art Center. “Art Installation at Onondaga Community College Celebrates Korean Culture.” Syracuse. com, July 18, 2018. https://www.syracuse.com/living/index. ssf/2018/07/art_installation_at_onondaga_community_college_ celebrates_korean_culture.html Deayton, Gail. “Artist of the Week: Wonju Seo, Contemporary Bojagi Artist.” Interview (in English). Hong Kong Art Tutoring, November 16, 2014. http://hkarttutoring.com/artist-weekwonju-seo. Ragans, Rosalind. “ArtTalk and Exploring Art.” McGraw-Hill fine arts textbooks. Online art textbook (in English, Spanish), 2012. Sung Yoojin. Interview (in Korean), March 21, 2013. KBR: Korean Radio Broadcast Co., New Jersey. COLLECTION Newark Museum, C. Cutting Bequest Fund, NJ Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University, NY Many wearable and hangable art collections were purchased by private individuals.


Through My Window, 2018 (details) 16 W x 32 H inches each, total of 5 pieces Hand-sewn textile Korean silk, colored silk thread

WONJU SEO ——— 55


56 ——— FOREWORD

Profile for Wonju Seo

Wonju Seo  

This book is made possible with a grant from the Individual Artist Fellowship, courtesy of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, 2018.

Wonju Seo  

This book is made possible with a grant from the Individual Artist Fellowship, courtesy of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, 2018.