January 31, 2014 08:51
Korea's first chopstick gallery has opened in Seoul's Buam-dong, a neighborhood saturated with memories of the 1970s and 1980s.
A stairway leads to the gallery whose inner walls take on the color of monochrome black ink. From afar they appear made of fabric or stone, but in fact owner Park Yeon-ok dyed traditional Korean paper and applied it to the walls.
A variety of small dining tables are used to put the chopsticks in context. "I hope chopsticks will become the first thing that comes to people's mind when they think of Korea," Park said.
With her deep interest in traditional dining culture and experience of running a painting and ceramics gallery a decade ago, Park opened the gallery on Sept. 11, 2013. The idea came to her one day as she was setting the table.
She collaborates with craftsmen in Wonju and Jeonju to display chopsticks with traditional decorations like lacquer and shellac. Along with several delicate pieces, sets of spoons and spoon stands are also on display.
"I'd like to collaborate with more artisans in various fields so as for people to find out the artistic aspects of chopsticks," Park said.
She has set her eyes beyond the domestic audience so items are labeled in Chinese, Japanese and Russian. "I always think about what Korea's own style is. I'd like to introduce designs that are uniquely Korean to the world."
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