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 Home >> Art & Craft >> Colorful papercraft

The Beauty of colorful Papercraft

Papercraft, handicraft made of colorful paper is a traditional Korean art. It was of practical use in ancient times in Korea.   

History of papercraft

'Chae Yun, The Chinese invented the paper in the latter period of Han, and we suppose that it was imported from China to Goguryeo in the period of king of SoSuRim, in 372, at the same time as Buddhism was imported from China to Korea.   It is unfortunate that the colorful papercraft made before the period of Yi dynasty no longer exists as it was very popular at this time.   Documents and books were actively published in this period, and the paper was spread all over the country

There were artists cutting, smoothing, and polishing papers in the capital of the country and in the provinces.   Today a lot of pieces made in that period remain intact.   Various articles such as boxes made of colorful paper were seen on market day in the province until 1950.   After this time the papercraft was danger of dying out.

Recently an effort has been made to revive the colorful papercraft.   Artists try to reproduce its shape on the basis of pieces made in the latter period of the Yi dynasty, recreating the traditional beauty in a modern sense. The young generation are especially interested in papercraft.

Characteristics of papercraft

Artists made articles for marriage such as jewelry boxes, clothes chests, and white paper boxes using colorful papers. Colors such as red, blue, yellow, black, and white were used. Wishes were made while artists made boxes. Traditionally they painted oil such as sesame oil onto the surface for durability and to make the boxes waterproof. Recently artists have begun to use paint lacquer and varnish over the surface of the box.

Modern artists take Korean cultural heritage and create in a modern sense the beauty of papercraft using traditional patterns and colors such as red, blue, yellow, white, black.   

Papercraft is both decorative and practical. It represents Korean culture and art. Its a good souvenir as it shows a part of out unique cultural heritage.

The processes behind Papercraf

Our ancestors made paper by boiling Mulberry bark, smoothing it, dying it various colors, and then using it to coat various articles such as large scooped wooden bowls, and even bookshelves. Artists made pieces of papercraft while wishing for a long life, richness, happiness, and good health. To make fine quality papercraft items, it is better to use paper made of high proportion of mulberry.

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