One Artist’s Audacious Pursuit of Traditional Korean Hanji

In Korea, there’s a saying that “Good silk lasts 100 years, good hanji lasts 1,000 years.” Hanji, a special paper, is made through a complex, centuries-old process that combines mulberry tree pulp and hand threading. Aimee Lee, a Korean-American artist, received a Fulbright fellowship to learn the craft in Korea. There, she studied with master hanji-maker Jang Seong-woo. Despite being a male-dominated practice, Lee excelled. Her perseverance, audacity and aptness for hanji impressed her mentor so much, that he now refers to Lee as a colleague. Today, she’s the leading hanji weaver in the United States, and has dedicated her career to teaching others this ancient Korean practice. This Great Big Story is a paid contribution by Genesis.