Support for Traditional Craftsmanship

Aiming to reflect on the cultural value of traditional crafts and to create sustainable craft traditions for the future, YÉOL has organized various projects that support craftsmanship, including the YÉOL Artisan of the Year project, the YÉOL Young Craftsman of the Year project, and the Buyeo Culture project.

  • Every year since 2013, YÉOL has selected one master artisan who displays passion and commitment to traditional craftsmanship and has provided systemic support to their work starting from technical aspects of design, production and packaging to exhibition, promotion and marketing.
  • In 2013, YÉOL also established the “YÉOL Young Craftsman of the Year” to recognize promising young craftsmen. It is aimed at expanding the scope of future handicrafts by encouraging young talent to develop new perspectives on traditional craftsmanship, as well as explore new applications for traditional craft methods.
  • YÉOL carried out a project to reinterpret the traditional crafts of Buyeo that are influenced by the Baekje dynasty. Based on extensive research by the students of the Department of Traditional Arts and Crafts at the Korea National University of Cultural Heritage, YÉOL created pieces that included ceramics, woodcraft and paintings. YÉOL will continue to support the development of regional culture in Buyeo through collaboration with the Korea National University of Cultural Heritage and local craftsmen.
  • From 2006 to 2012, YÉOL worked to preserve traditional handicraft by supporting the works and exhibitions of traditional craftsmen. Beginning in 2013, YÉOL has reinforced its efforts to support artisans through the ‘YÉOL Artisan of the Year’ and the ‘YÉOL Young Craftsman of the Year’ projects.
  • Since 2013, YÉOL has run a marketplace for direct retailing, where young designers and craftspeople can offer their products at reasonable prices to consumers
  • Since 2011, YÉOL has provided scholarship for students at the Korea National University of Cultural Heritage to support the future of Korean traditional craft.


Clay from Buyeo was used to create a set of deskware in a light gray reminiscent of traditional Baekje ceramics. Compression modeling methods were used in the production process, and all pieces were only fired once with environmental sustainability in mind.


The paintings were designed through reinterpretations of six patterns of excavated artifacts from the Baekje era, with phrases added to emphasize the meaning of the paintings. Natural fabric and hanji (traditional Korean paper) were used to create scroll and framed versions of the paintings.


Traditional techniques for joining wood were used instead of nails or glue. The interlocking joints are harmonious with the form and purpose of the pieces; all items were produced to be used in everyday life, not only as decorations.

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: the Sprouting of Regional Arts and Culture” project was to develop new handicraft products inspired
by the Buyeo region’s rich Baekjae heritage. Local artisans and students led by Professor Choi Gong-ho
of the Korea National University of Cultural Heritage collaborated on the project. Mr. Sirotani Kousei,
a Japanese designer known for leading local craftsmanship revival movements with ethically and environmentally conscious designs in Japan,
and Mr. Lee Sang-cheol, an advisor for YÉOL, also worked together with the university to guide the project.
The year-long project that brought together local ceramic artists, woodworkers and painters ultimately sought to revive the unique beauty
of Buyeo art, to focus on the process rather than the results, and to create practical objects that could be used in daily life.