Jiyoung Chung:The Healing Holes of JOOMCHI Paper

Air, Wearable Joomchi paper

This morning I was surfing my PAPER PAPER PAPER Pinterest Board looking at Jiyoung Chung's work I have collected there.... It made me want to see more of her recent work, so I did a google search. 

I first found the tantalizing site of the Surface Design Association (SDA). For a person like me, who loves to mar the lines between textile and paper this was like landing in a little bit of heaven! as the associating embraces surface design across all medium. (They happened to be featuring an image of the above "Air" garment).

SDA call the above image: "Air” Wearable joomchi garment." What is joomchi I wondered. According to Chung "JOOMCHI" is the unique Korean traditional way of making textured and painterly imagery hand made paper just by using water. Oh. Love the paper, did not know the title.

The danger of our image driven society is scanning the surface of ideas and not digging in enough into the content. Meaning, I was familiar, even a long time admirer of Jiyoung Chung's work, but had never visited her website. When I finally landed there the meaning of her work was a revelation and abundantly clear...

According to her bio:
"Jiyoung Chung is a Joomchi artist, Painter & Freelance Writer. She has developed an innovative method for utilizing a traditional Korean method of papermaking called Joomchi*. In Jiyoung’s hands, the ancient takes on a more contemporary appearance. The Hanji (Korean mulberry paper) reveals itself as a painterly, abstract and contemporary art form filled with sculptural and textural imagery. "

Whisper-Romance: The Life, 2009; handmade paper, paper yarn; 2.9 x 2 ft.
 She says her work is about “The relationship between God and Human.” The reoccurring holes in her work resulted from a conversation with her father in Korea, after reading a disturbing article about a son who killed his parents. Her father says the killings happened as a result of broken relationships.

Chung says we have "horse whispers" and "dog whispers," why not "human whispers"? In her artist statement says her work is about the need for human whispers to heal what is broken in the essential relationships in our lives... The wholes, layers, and free mounting processes she uses represents these conversations....

Whisper-Romance II-XXX, 2007; handmade paper, paper yarn; 3.1 x 2 ft.

Jiyoung Chung

May I say now, after digging below the surface that I am now an absolute fan. Love her work!


Chung's website and work are truly beautiful: http://jiyoungchung.com/ 

American Craft Council

Surface Design Association: http://www.surfacedesign.org/

National Art Education Association: http://www.arteducators.org/

Collage Art Association: http://www.collegeart.org/

* JOOMCHI is the unique Korean traditional way of making textured and painterly imagery hand made paper just by using water. The terminology originated from meaning, “making a Joomoney (Pouch in English)”. It creates strong, textural, and painterly surfaces. As time goes, the surface becomes more and more elegant like leather. It can be applied to make self-standing or suspended sculpture, new way of creating painting, surface design, collage making, drawing as well as functional daily life objects like basket, lamp, purse making, etc.  


  1. Yes India... I agree! And there is certainly a kindship with your work as well. So glad I have discovered you both.

  2. thanks for this nice blog about handmade leather journals and notebooks. you offers such a nice information for us.