Artist Talk: The Legacy and Future of Korean Papermaking


In collaboration with the Glassell School of Art

Hanji Aimee Lee

Aimee Lee, Learning duck, 2018, Brazilwood and onion skin dyes on corded and twined hanji. © Aimee Lee.

Asia Society Texas Center welcomes artist Aimee Lee to discuss her work as part of The Magic of Korean Papermaking workshop at the Glassell School of Art. This presentation will use still and moving images to describe how hanji — Korean paper — is made in both Korea and the U.S. It will also provide insight into how contemporary artists are using hanji for books, sculpture, jewelry, and artwork. Different uses of hanji across daily life and special occasions will follow a brief overview of key points in hanji's history. Samples of hanji and artwork made from it will accompany the talk.

Related Event

The Magic of Korean Papermaking workshop
Saturday and Sunday, April 13–14, 2019 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The Glassell School of Art
Registration: $240 for entire workshop (includes admission to lecture at Asia Society Texas Center on Friday, April 12)

About the Artist

Aimee Lee is an artist, papermaker, writer, and the leading hanji researcher and practitioner in North America. (BA, Oberlin College; MFA, Columbia College Chicago). Her Fulbright research on Korean paper led to her award-winning book, Hanji Unfurled (The Legacy Press) and the first-ever American hanji studio, located in Cleveland. She specializes in creating and expanding spaces and studios to accommodate Korean and East Asian papermaking and teaches, lectures, exhibits, and is collected internationally.

Aimee Lee’s main material is paper and her central concern is how we use and consider it. She makes paper from abundant native and invasive species, which involves harvesting plants, processing raw material into pulp, forming sheets, and drying. With this paper, Lee makes thread, sculpture, books, drawings, prints, garments, and installations. Natural dyes and finishes add color and sheen while joomchi methods of texturing and fusing paper change the nature of paper with water and hydrogen bonding.

Most of her work is rooted in hanji (Korean paper) and its traditions. She especially loves jiseung, a method of cording strips of paper to twine like baskets, practiced hundreds of years ago to reuse scraps of precious paper. Lee is drawn to stories of repurposed paper, where civil service examinations, birth certificates, and genealogy records were transformed into household vessels, secret messages, shoes, and symbolic gifts. She alters these forms by changing proportions, groupings, and surface design to see how older technologies and stories inform contemporary versions. These pieces challenge assumptions about paper’s strength and its capacity to be both itself and something still to be imagined.

This program is co-organized by Asia Society Texas Center and The Glassell School of Art. Exhibitions and related programs at Asia Society Texas Center are presented by Wells Fargo. Major support also comes from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy C. Allen, and Leslie and Brad Bucher, as well as The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston Endowment, and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Generous funding also provided by The Clayton Fund, Texas Commission on the Arts, Wortham Foundation, Inc., The Franci Neely Foundation, Olive Jenney, Nanako and Dale Tingleaf, and Ann Wales. Funding is also provided through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional visual art to Asia Society Texas Center.

Presenting Sponsor

Wells Fargo

Program Sponsors


Additional Support

The Southmore Logo

Event Details

Fri 12 Apr 2019
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

1370 Southmore Boulevard

Houston, Texas 77004


Buy Tickets
$5 Members, $5 Students and Seniors, $10 Nonmembers. Admission is included in the April 13–14 workshop for those enrolled.
Add to Calendar 20190412T233000 20190413T003000 UTC Asia Society: Artist Talk: The Legacy and Future of Korean Papermaking 1370 Southmore Boulevard Houston, Texas 77004 713.496.9901