Events | 28-10-2022

Korean culture and glass fashion accessories at International Festival of Glass

One of the highlights of the recent International Festival of Glass and British Glass Biennale was Hot Hanbok/Cool Glass, a celebration of Korean culture in partnership with the Korean Cultural Centre UK.

These glass crowns made a fitting match for two regal hanbok outfits. They were designed by Eunsuh Choi, who explained that she had used national symbols such as the Palace, Rose of Sharon, Phoenix, and Dragon for her designs, to show the dignity of the king and queen and the dignity of Korea. They are made from flameworked borosilicate glass, 23 carat gold paint and faceted glass beads. Photo: Andy Kruczek.

Featuring classical music by the Kasper Trio and contemporary dance by Ye Rin Lee and Jie Sheng, the evening culminated in a dramatic fashion show fusing colourful Korean clothing (hanbok) and wonderful wearable glass, with a specially designed soundtrack by Jun Seok Kim.

Detail of the back of one of the glass crowns. Photo: Andy Kruczek.

Candice-Elena Greer, the event curator, worked with 35 international glass artists from seven countries, supported by Dr Jung Taek lee from London Hanbok, who introduced the meaning behind the colours, patterns and symbolism of traditional and contemporary hanbok. Known for their flowing lines and voluminous forms, the hanbok designs were perfect for glass adornment. Some of the hanbok were flown over from Korea for the show by the design company Danha, which is famous for dressing K-Pop group Blackpink.

Specially composed music was part of the event showcasing Korean culture. Photo: Andy Kruczek.

Candice-Elena explained, “The challenges of making glass wearable should not be underestimated. The skill with glass techniques which cover such a breadth and range alone requires years of mastery, then to work this around the body and complement a hanbok. They [the artists] had to overcome technical challenges of wearability, how the glass responds to movement and eventually how the person wearing it will feel.”

Opal Seabrook’s ‘Dragon Shield & Ceremonial Moon Blade’ (right in picture) used multiple layers of hand cut, sprayed, hand painted, kiln-formed glass, along with wooden and leather accessories. On the left is ‘Leather Harness with Glass Pendants/Norigae’, by Katerina Handlova. The glass part is made using hand blown crystal clear glass with golden mica, optical moulds and sandblasting. Photo: Andy Kruczek.

Festival organiser Michelle Keeling added, “It was the first time we have held a major event in the middle of the British Glass Biennale, with the models and audience surrounded by the gleaming Biennale glass. It brought music, movement and magic into the heart of the exhibition.”

In addition, a documentary of the event will be available to watch soon.

Main image: A fusion of Korean fashion, music and intricate glass accessories at the Hot Hanbok/Cool Glass event. Photo: Andy Kruczek.

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