Korean patchwork exhibit opens ‘Quilting Across the Globe’ series

Aug 29th, 2008 | By | Category: Arts & Entertainment, August 28, 2008

The traditional Korean quilting method of pojagi – which uses pieced and quilted wrapping cloths – is the focus of a new exhibit on display through Nov. 16 at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.

The exhibition, “Pojagi: Patchwork and Quilts from Korea,” includes more than 100 antique and contemporary pojagi and examples of traditional and contemporary pojagi costume.
POJAGI DISPLAY - Detail of a Korean quilt featuring pojagi design, which uses pieced and quilted wrapping cloths to make a final product. Courtesy photo.
Pojagi has been created for centuries in Korea and has become the textile wrapping material in Korean culture. The wrappings were made in bursts of colorful patchwork or imaginative embroidery, in fine and coarse materials, and from small to large scale. It was in pre-modern Korea, particularly during the Choson dynasty (1392-1910), that pojagi became a Korean cultural icon. This exhibition includes pieces dating back to the 19th century.

The pojagi on display is of the category called min po, which literally means “people’s wrapping cloths” and were made by ordinary women for domestic use. This Korean art tradition reflects simple and natural harmonies derived from nature and asymmetrical design. Korean music and poetry, painting are used to integrate the variety of textile interpretations in the exhibition.

The majority of pojagi on display are from the collection of Soon-Hee Kim, director of the Chojun Textile and Quilt Art Museum of Seoul, South Korea. Her collection is deemed a national treasure in her home country. Kim has been recognized by the South Korean government for her work in preserving Korean culture. She also creates her own artwork, many of which are included in the pojagi exhibition.

Kim is a member of the advisory board of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum. In honor of the new museum’s opening last spring she loaned a collection of clothing and ornaments of the Miao people (one of China’s national minorities) to the UNL’s Lentz Center for Asian Culture. The collection is on exhibition through Aug 29.

“Pojagi: Patchwork & Quilts from Korea” is the first exhibit in the quilt center’s “Quilting Across the Globe” series. The museum will present exhibitions on quilts of different countries – including India, Pakistan, France, Japan and the United Kingdom – through the next several years.

A special Pojagi Family Day is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 20.

Public guided tours of the exhibition are offered free with museum admission at 1 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays (starting Sept. 4) and Saturdays; and at 11 a.m. on Saturdays.

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  1. These are beautiful compositions. Was a brochure, or book published around the exhibition?

    Thanking you in advance, Pam Berry

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