Support for Traditional Craftsmanship

With the aim of reflecting the value of traditional craft and creating sustainable crafts for the future, YÉOL supports various programs funding master artisans, YÉOL Artisan of the Year Award, Young Craftsman Award, and Buyeo Culture Project.

  • Since 2013 YÉOL selects one master artisan who displays passion and commitment to traditional craftsmanship and systematically supports the award winner’s work from technical aspects to exhibition, promotion and sales support.
  • In 2013, YÉOL created the “Young Craftsman Award” to recognize promising young craftsmen. The prize is aimed at expanding the field of craftsmanship by encouraging young talents to develop new perspectives on traditional craftsmanship, as well as exploring new applications.
  • YÉOL carried out a project to reinterpret traditional crafts of Buyeo, inspired by the Baekje dynasty. Based on extensive research by the students of the Department of Traditional Arts and Crafts of Korea National University of Cultural Heritage, YÉOL developed works that included ceramics, woodcraft and paintings that suit everyday life. YÉOL will continue to develop regional culture by encouraging the interaction between local people, students craftsmen, and designers.
  • From 2006 to 2012, YÉOL has endeavored to preserve our heritage by supporting the works and exhibitions of traditional craftsmen. Since 2013, YÉOL has continued to support master artisans through the ‘YÉOL Artisan of the Year Award’ and through ‘Young Craftsman Award’ projects.
  • Since 2013 YÉOL created a disintermediated marketplace for honest retailing, where young designers and artisans can offer their wares at reasonable prices.
  • For Korean craftsmanship’s brighter future, a portion of the contributions raised annually for YÉOL is donated to the scholarship fund for students at the Korea National University of Cultural Heritage Since 2011.

Ceramics

Soil from Buyeo is used in order to develop a set of pieces for the desktop in Baekje’s traditional color of light gray. Compression modeling is used in the production, and all pieces are fired once in order to protect the environment.

Painting

After reinterpreting six patterns of excavated artifacts from the Baekje era, phrases are added to express the meaning of the paintings. Decolored cotton and Hanji paper are used for scroll and framed paintings.

Woodcraft

Instead of using nails and glue, traditional techniques for joining wood are employed. The joints intersect form with purpose – where everything is produced with purpose, rather than ornamentation.

Project Director: Choi Gong Ho (Professor, Korea National University of Cultural Heritage)
Art Director: Kosei Shirotani (Studio Shirotani)
Advisor: Rhee Sang Chol

The goal of the “Buyeo, Sprouting of Regional Arts and Culture” project was to create a new form of traditional
handicraft by resourcing the culture of the Buyeo region with its rich Baekjae heritage. Local artisans and
students led by Professor Choi Gong-ho at the Korea National University of Cultural Heritage worked on the
project. Mr. Sirotani Kousei, a Japanese designer known for leading local craftsmanship revival movement with
ethically and environmentally conscious designs, and Mr. Lee Sang-cheol, an advisor for YÉOL, assisted in setting the
direction of the project.
While the pottery, wooden craft, and paintings that resulted from the year-long project may appear homely, they
faithfully followed the principles of “Bring up to date Buyeo’s unique traits”, “Focus on the process of education rather
than the results”, and finally, “Create handy products that are often used”.