An artist in residence at La Porte Peinte in summer 2015, Kum Joo Ahn describes her work:
Twenty years have passed since I studied Korean textile arts, bojagi (Korean wrapping cloth), and hand embroidery. When I discovered the bojagi 20 years ago, I was thrilled by the beautiful color combinations and patterns of bojagi and I took classes led by Korean national treasures in hand-sewn bojagi, hand-embroidery, and natural dyeing techniques.
The bojagi evokes for me the memories of earlier times. I had used bojagi at home and at elementary school for covering tables and wrapping clothes, bedding and books. All the works are hand-sewn and hand-embroidered, and some fabric is hand-dyed with natural plants and flowers. I have tried to develop my own unique artistry in order to combine practical use and traditional beauty, and to hand-craft modern artworks reinterpreting Korean tradition.
When I instructed bojagi and hand-embroidery in New York and New Jersey, the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts, USA, collected my bojagi works for use in workshops and for exhibition. Since 2007, I have participated in exhibitions and workshops in New Zealand, Malaysia and Seoul. I also instruct bojagi, Korean knotting techniques, and hand-embroidery for Korea-based foreigners from Europe, Asia, America and Africa.
The Peabody Essex Museum, companies in New York, an Indonesian corporate executive, and private collectors have collected my bojagi and hand-embroidered artworks. I plan to instruct Korean textile art and have exhibitions in the USA for three years beginning in August 2015.