|▲ Korean paper artist Gong Gyeong-ok|
Into the world of Korean paper art
Gong came to know about Korean paper art by chance in 1991. Finding her interest in the art ever growing, she enrolled a course at the Busan Women’s Center. “I just wanted to do something on my own rather than being a wife of a man and a mother of two children. And I carried on the course passionately for a good number of years in order to learn the necessary skills and to reach a certain level of the art with many thanks to my husband who had provided unsparing support all those years” says Gong. As a result, she has become more famous as a Korean paper artist today. “It started from just simple curiosity but gradually developed seriously and eventually became my job. I think it might be the best choice I’ve made in my life and I’m really glad I can do this job with support of my family.”
Deepening the knowledge
Creating a beautiful Korean paper work not only gave her the fun of the making processes but also required payments: she once had her finger nerves and ligament cut by a paper knife. “Yet the rewards were bigger” says Gong. “Because, such effort of tens or hundreds of making processes rewards you with a work that is stronger than a work made of wood.” To deepen her knowledge, Gong also took a couple of courses of color psychology and of art psychotherapy and obtained relevant certificates: and this newly added knowledge has been well presented alongside three-dimensional effect in a number of her antique furniture works.
Listing her name in the Korean Masters
It is praiseworthy that Gong has been actively engaging in volunteer activities: she has taught Korean paper art at Jamyung Hospital in Busan for the last 16 years; In return, the hospital made a space for her to use as a studio. What is more praiseworthy, however, is that her 20 years of devotion to spreading the beauty of Korean paper art was recognized by the Korean Masters which included her name in the category of Korean paper art in 2013. The recognition was followed by receiving a citation from the mayor of Busan Metropolitan City and winning an excellence prize at an international art fair celebrating the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. Currently, Gong is busy deepening her art to the level of perfection while determined to share this beautiful art with more people.
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