UPDATE : 2019.12.17 Tue 01:21
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Hanji; a great achievement of design

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism held a design tournament for developing products of hanji for five months from August 2011. This tournament aimed to revitalize the business of hanji by developing products which are useful in modern society. Hanji is the traditional Korean paper handmade from mulberry trees. Twelve teams participated through a public naming contest and only four teams among them were awarded the minister prize.

Los team was awarded the prize for making hanji shoes. Hanji shoes are very light and absorbent. Because they mix two parts hanji thread to eight cotton thread, the tension of the shoes is very strong. Hanji insoles can be changed everyday. Some advantages from hanji such as a high hygroscopic and rostellum make it easy to slip on barefoot.

They were judged to show the vision of globalization of hanji and diverse possibilities of useful hanji. For the globalization of hanji, some products that are mass-produced with a large distribution system had a chance to submit there products for exhibition in the 2012 Maison & Objet. Maison & Objet is the biggest living goods exposition in the world and held every January and September in Paris, France. Spectators were gathered in the Korean Pavilion under the moniker of “Korean Craft & Design” which was displayed in Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre on January 20th. Spectators and buyers said that hanji shoes look refined and elegant and were impressed at the products eco-friendliness. But this exhibition was not a commercial display so the exact trade contract is on going to each designer now. In the case of hanji shoes, Los team is negotiating with European countries to export their designs.

But every designer who visited Paris said the biggest obstacle is that the hanji name recognition is low so most Europeans thought it was drawing paper from Japan or xuanzhi in China. Therefore, it is urgent to promote awareness of hanji for globalization.

이정은  veevvzzv@naver.com

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