Hansan Ramie Patchwork Wrapper W. 60~65cm, H. 60~65cm

The ceiling of the trieanalle exhibit hall for the Constancy and Change in Korean Traditional Craft 2014 is adorned with 92 wrapper cloths with lattice patterns as if they were fluttering at the low ceiling of the main wooden floor of a traditional Korean house in the summer breeze. These wrapper cloths are made of pieces of ramie fabric. They are sewn together to exhibit crisscross patterns of traditional Korean doors and windows. Ramie fabrics are for summer. They are woven in summer and clothes made of ramie fabrics are for summer use. Ramie threads are from the inside of the ramie plant stalk. The stalks of the plant are steamed and sliced and made into ramie threads. The threads from ramie plant are translucent white with greenish tinge. The rough fabrics make a good summer clothes which are cool to the touch.

Women in Hansan, where the best ramie fabrics are woven, worked in the field during the day and had to work on the loom to make ramie fabrics in the night. Every thread that is woven into ramie fabrics, therefore, carries the pain of these women weavers. Hansan ramie weaving is registered as an invisible cultural asset of the world by the UNESCO. Bang Yeon-ok, who has been designated as the Important Intangible Cultural property 44, said: “an experienced person can make ramie threat sufficient to weave a bolt of ramie fabrics in three month, and will take 10 more days to weave the threat into ramie fabrics.” Ramie fabrics, therefore, were precious. Any scraps cannot be discarded. The scraps were used to make wrapper cloths that are aesthetically pleasing with various shapes and lines.

The 92 wrapper cloths that are hung in the ceiling were finely sewn with multiple stitching inside and outside. The eight items displayed in rectangular frames are hand sewn to emphasize the freedom of the lines. To show the contrast in surfaces, dark beige raw ramie fabrics, lighted beige ramie fabrics, and bleached white ramie fabrics are used. To show different degree of transparency, thick ramie threads and hair-thin threads are used together.