The Cheongju International Craft Competition Exhibition

See the passion and challenges of craft artists through 11 final prize winners

Cheongju International Craft CompetitionCheongju Craft Biennale

Honorary ambassador actor Ji Jin Hee's explain

The Cheongju International Craft Competition Exhibition started with the history of the Biennale since 1999. Following a short break in 2017, we celebrated our 10th anniversary in 2019.

At the competition exhibition hall, audiences will see the passion and challenge of craft artists from all over the world through 11 final prize winning and 120 selected works.

For the first time this year, we hold 'Crafted Urban Lab Competition’. 'Crafted Urban Lab Competition Exhibition' revealed the research process and the outcomes of 5 finalists.

We hope that the blueprint for world craft are mapped out here.

Slice of life by KIM junsuCheongju Craft Biennale

Slice of life

KIM junsu’s Slice of Life is inspired by the “vitality” inherent in leather. The artist deemed the process of producing with one’s hands as the critical value of craftsmanship and sought the ways of expression to maximize this. [...] He cut this leather into thin cords, stacked them up in a circular fashion, and finished the work by applying lacquer on the surface. [...] The process by which the thin, 2–4 mm leather cords are stacked up and grow in volume resembles the growth rings of trees that accumulate over several hundred years, enduring the seasons that come back time and again. The material that came from a once-living animal life is reborn as a plant-like piece that contains space through time and the handwork of the artist.

Soft sculpture by GO bokyungCheongju Craft Biennale

Soft sculpture

GO bokyung’s Soft Sculpture is a piece that reveals human perspective through the form of a vessel. Common vessels are made of hard materials such as glass or ceramic, but the artist has crafted one with the soft material of threads made from Korean traditional paper. With this, the artist overthrows our preconceived notions. Curiosity about the material arises in viewers’ minds, as it can appear hard or light depending on the light that penetrates through the gaps in the paper threads. [...].

Inborn OTT001 by PARK sungyeolCheongju Craft Biennale

Inborn OTT001

PARK Seongyeol’s Inborn OTT001 is a work shaped in the form of a ball, upon which lacquer, usually used for preservation, has been applied. The piece is not rigid and has certain elasticity and movement when touched. The artist focuses on the material property of the traditional lacquer that carries thousands of years of history, bringing depth through elegant technique and aesthetic quality. [...] The process of creating numerous lines of lacquer is time consuming, and in the contemporary world, the artist’s persistence of slow aesthetics may seem foolish and dull. However, he expresses the traces of such a lengthy period of time as if he were recording the time itself, not showing off an instant technique or cleverness. He allows visitors to face time head-on.

Naked the dreamer by PARK jieunCheongju Craft Biennale

Naked dreamer

PARK jieun’s Naked Dreamer is composed of 8 mm circular iron units connected by thread. This work started with the artist’s deep interest in humans, especially women. The artist imbues the work with diverse discourses on the form of reproductive organs based on her own experiences and emotions as she grew into womanhood through adolescence. She adds her imagination to femininity, sexuality, gender, and the various relationships stemming from them. The artist says that the greatest charm of accessories is being able to wear them on human bodies. The work was created based on profound thoughts and understanding of human bodies, taking into consideration the characteristics of accessories that could be worn in different forms based on human movements.[...] Her attempts to reach something essential that is beyond her own experience and emotions are presented in the conceptual expressions of what is innate in the unconscious, abstract, and invisible in the works.

Growth. Growing point by WON yusunCheongju Craft Biennale

Growth. Growing point

[...] The artist, WON yusun, closely observed and analyzed the organic forms of spines unique to cacti and studied their role and characteristics. [...] Her work, <growth. growing point>, connects the spines that are created first by a coiling method and subsequently modified by high temperatures in order to overcome the limitations of their material properties and the formation method of the material. As the clay twists and transforms in the high temperatures of the kiln, it bears a certain resemblance to the cactus spines that likewise transform depending on the environment. She materializes in her work the growth and order of a living organism that transforms itself to best fit its environment.

I am in my 30s Super Mom by YUN sangheeCheongju Craft Biennale

I am in my 30s super mom

YUN sanghee’s I am in my 30s super mom tells the story of women who are an oppressed social minority in contemporary society. This work is the place women want to go, the place they want to keep their secrets. This piece, which conveys the story of women’s life, is also the space where their mind can be embraced and heal. The artist finds a major source of anxiety in the self-inflicted oppression and trauma that women suffer in the course of their growth rather than pressure by institutions or regulations from the outside. Hence, she says that resolving this by “searching for the hidden self” is women’s fate. Through this work, she expresses that living a life of crafts not only entails producing and possessing the craftworks but is another healing method by which one can understand oneself and communicate with others through the spiritual communion with objects.

Transition III by LEE jaiikCheongju Craft Biennale

Transition III

LEE jaiik’s organic structural piece Transition III contains the transformation of life through the spatiality, form, and material property that is created by the combination of metal panels. This piece belongs to the Transition series , which was inspired by the irregularity of moon jars, and resembles the form of living organism. The piece appears flexibile as it consists of repeated patterns that show slight variation of form, becoming an organism that holds the entire process of creation under its skin. The form of this piece, which seems to have been inflated, and the material properties unique to metal can be interpreted as one moment in the life of an organism that has tried to preserve itself, an aspect of biological evolution. This piece was materialized traditional metal craft techniques. Porcelain pigments were thinly applied to the surface to express the outer skin and color of a living organism. The marks and discolorations created from welding the pieces together are intentionally exposed as part of the formative element of the work.

Open vase 0219 by CHEON woosunCheongju Craft Biennale

Open vase 0219

CHEON wooseon’s Open Vase 0219 is created with repetition of lines. Lines are both the decorative element and direct element that determines and constitutes form. A line as a unit is incomplete, but the repetition of lines forms a plane, and the planes envelop certain space to create a new form. The artist focuses on the gaps between the lines. The gaps do not divide spaces but allow the inside and outside to communicate with one another. Visually, the inside and outside are distinguished, but they merely define the form, and the distinction is nullified by the gaps. Therefore, the work exists in a space, and the space is also contained in the lines, which gives the manner in which the work occupies space a special significance. The process in which the artist creates his work is not simply a process of creating a three-dimensional structure, but more a way of depicting the space with lines. [...].

Pray by HEO yunhuiCheongju Craft Biennale


HEO yunhui’s Pray is a work that was produced as a result of studying the symbolic meaning, materials, technique, and design characteristics of traditional Korean embroidery and wrapping cloth called bojagi. Korean wrapping cloths are a cultural asset that embody religious wishes and national sentiments that are beyond their function of carrying or decorating things. They old value as artwork with formative beauty. The artist delivered the symbolic meaning of wrapping cloths, such as good auspice and prayers for good fortune, through the very familiar material of cotton. Without being restricted by its practical use, the work is a contemporary reinterpretation of the traditional textile craft that utilizes traditional hemming techniques. The regular division of surfaces by triangles, squares, and rhombi created from the intersections of horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines create morphological beauty. Soft light and shades that enetrate through the geometric surfaces symbolize the artist’s thoughts on the passage of time. The emotions that arise from the past constantly overlap with the present in the form of memories in the subconscious, and the wishes and prayers kept inside are revealed unconsciously to overlap with future, keys to artist’s motif.

Inner beauty of the green and white celadon porcelain by Jiang shaoqingCheongju Craft Biennale

Inner beauty of the green and white celadon porcelain

Jiang Shaoqing’s Inner beauty of the green and white celadon porcelain is white porcelain with celadon glaze. The artist highlights the beautiful effects of shades of celadon by varying the thickness of the glaze applied to the work. The white color revealed through careful control of the glaze maximizes its effects. He accentuates the contrast between the bright and clear color of the celadon glaze itself and the depth of celadon glaze thickly applied on the surface. To bring out this effect, he studied celadon glaze, the clarity and color of which is not affected by extreme temperatures and that does not melt and run at high temperatures. He completed the pieces by giving them a surface treatment, which leaves an even and special texture. “I have been working on a series of pieces that focus on the theme of Inner Beauty of the Green and White Celadon Porcelain over the past few years, as I could not give up any one of the allures of Goryeo celadon or Joseon and Ming Dynasty white porcelain. In other words, the deep yet brilliant glaze of the inlaid celadon of the Goryeo Dynasty, in which the soaring cranes and clouds shine brightly; the mellow depth of the heavy glaze that resembles Song Dynasty jade; and the clarity and softness of Joseon and Ming Dynasty white porcelain that is as bright as the white clouds and soft as human skin—I could not give up any of these.

Sangtu by Marion DelarueCheongju Craft Biennale


Marion Delarue’s Sangtu represents Korean men’s traditional hair style during the Joseon Dynasty a transformation from their long braid before marriage to the pulled-up topknot style, in which the hair is held in place by a donggot, which is then supported by the headband, manggeon. The artist focuses on the use, which may be the essence of craftwork. By carefully taking into consideration the use and form of sangtu, the artist chose seashells as the ideal medium for her craft. The piece, which is shaped like seashells, is designed to decorate sangtu. The artist was inspired by the morphological resemblance in the round shape of the sangtu topknot and seashells. A whole intact shell, which has not been deconstructed into small pieces, is covered in thin layers of seashells over the course of several weeks. It is finished with lacquer to give solidity, and the donggot hair pin is made of lacquered mother-of-pearl. Magnets are inserted underneath the mother-of-pearl to make it more convenient to wear the piece.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps