Quilting Catharsis, Renewal & Reimagination
Artisans and leaders from Chicago's Korean and Cambodian communities shared their communities' migration stories and the role craft practices play in women’s resilience.
Community artist Ms. Myung Soon Chay co-led a workshop on Bojagi, a "green" Korean crafting tradition. Mrs. Chay and her family fled from North to South Korea during the war. She lived in occupied Korea where her family was forced to change their name. She moved to Japan and then the United States to begin life anew for a third time. Art and craft was a means of creative survival and cultural pride during her experiences of displacement, migration, and renewal.
For centuries, Korean women have re-used and recycled scraps from old cloth by quilting them into stunning geometric patterns. These become beautiful and functional objects used for various things. Workshop participants learned this "green" technique themselves. Each paricipant sewed their own Bojagi using quilting scraps donated by the Chicago Quilting Guild.
Participants received a personal tour of the National Cambodian Heritage Museum and Killing Fields Memorial and learned about the displacement of Cambodians due to the Khmer Rouge, refugees' migration to camps, resettlement in the United States, healing and re-invention of cultural traditions and community resilience through dance, art, and story-telling.
Wrapping cloth (bojagi), 1950-1960. Korea. Patchwork silk. Gift of Mrs. Ann Witter, 1998.57.
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Date :: October 10
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