Husband and wife Jeong Han and Choon Hyang Yun are an artist duo that work intuitively and collaboratively, and create and exhibit together. They use mulberry tree bark to create paper artwork through Hanji, the ancient practice of Korean paper art, that dates back 2,000 years.
Their trees are kept in South Korea and are harvested for bark each year. They grind the bark by hand, and then use the resulting paper pulp, water and screens to press the paper. They create their own non-toxic inks that combine organic and inorganic components. Their paper creations are beautiful tapestry-like pieces that are made entirely through paper. The only time they’ll use a brush is to sign their names. The results are almost unbelievable – I am mesmerized by their process and craft!
Learn more and read my Q&A with Jeong and Choon, below.
5 Questions for Jeong and Choon Yun
1) What is your favorite kind of work to do at the moment?
The mulberry tree, which grows at the foot of a mountain or hill, has been used as a paper material in South Korea for a long time because its fibers are tough and strong. Although many years have passed, my wife and I are using this mulberry bark as a creative material. It takes a lot of labor to process it as a creative material, but there is a lot to gain and it has many advantages as an expression material.
2) What kinds of things inspire you?
Deep in the mountains where trees are intertwined, sedimentary layers bearing the traces of infinite time, and uncivilized pristine conditions—these are truly heart-fluttering beauty, curiosity, and energy of life. My wife and I also use bark taken directly from trees. It is slightly processed (for durability and solidity) to suit the expression material, but its materiality is maximized as much as possible. The durability of oil color appears to be less than 600 years, and for acrylic, although a little more than 50 years have passed, it is uncertain. However, the durability of the wood fibers, especially the mulberry bark, is still intact even after 2,000 years.
3) Who else do you admire in the art space?
There are so many artists whom my wife and I respect. American Abstract Expressionist artists, German Neo-Expressionist artists, and unknown oriental Zen painters. Among them, the artists that captivate our hearts are African primitive black sculptors.
4) Coolest possession?
This tool has always been with my husband and I – I can’t remember how long. It seems like 20 years have passed!
5) Favorite quote or words to live by?
Love! You will be the first beneficiary.
To see more from Jeong and Choon Yun:
See them in action, or visit their site for more.
I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the week!