|▲ Woodcrafter Oh Eul-hyo|
Woodcraft has been developed close to furniture and daily goods in our lives. Woodcraft involves cutting, carving and grinding but lacquering takes importance when it comes to long lasting use. Some say a lacquered wood work can last more than 500 years.
Woodcrafter Oh Eul-hyo was born in Goryeong, North Gyeongsang Province. He liked Gogh since a child and dedicated much time to drawing pictures. This led him to woodcraft which he learned himself.
Starting to make presence in the woodcrafters circle from 1985, he has held, participated or been invited to many exhibitions and competitions home and abroad.
He has won 46 prizes including the grand prize at the Korea Traditional Craft Exhibition, special prize at the Grand Art Exhibition of Korea, grand prize at the Palgong Art Festival of Korea and silver prize at the Korea Handicraft Exhibition.
Alongside his artistic career, Oh is serving as a board member of the Korean Fine Arts Association, judge of the Grand Art Exhibition of Korea, board member of the Korea Traditional Craft Association, judge of the Palgong Art Festival of Korea, operating committee member of the Korea Festa, member of the Daegaya Artist Association and president of the Backdu Artists Society.
Oh gets inspiration from nature and daily life and uses a variety of materials for his works. He is especially famous for drawing pictures시간을 on the wood to add more visibility and recognition while practicality is intact. Zelkova, birch and chinaberry trees are some of his frequently used materials as the textures and intimacy with lacquer is excellent.
"I have carved wood for 39 years as of this year. I can say that the charm of woodcraft is at creating something from nothing. It is more active and three dimensional compared to painting and it involves a lot of creating processes from purchasing a right wood to carving, lacquering and drying which I enjoy very much."
For those who are willing to learn woodcraft, Oh is running beginners, intermediate and advanced classes one on one basis. The courses include all necessary skills from choosing a right wood to use of knife and style. It normally takes 1 to 2 months to finish the basic only. A number of his talented pupils have won prizes with which he feels proud of himself and of them.
"I focus on creating most Korean-like works by combining wood with pictures. As part of this effort, I'm planning to create works themed on animals and fish for my solo exhibitions in the coming years."
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