The old Korean saying says the paper can last up to 1000 years. This statement is probably related to the traditional handmade Hanji paper, which is strong and robust. It is a unique material that is meant not only for writing but is used by artists and recently also by restorers.
It is made from the mulberry inner bark (dak in Korean), which is harvested from November to February. The inner bark is dried in the sun and this dried material, called heukpi, is soaked in water. The soaked and softened bark (baekpi) is boiled for five hours in water with added stems of soybeans and buckwheat skins. Afterwards, this material is rinsed, laid out on a stone surface, and manually pounded for an hour. Baekpi is then covered with plant juice, formed into large plates in bamboo forms and then dried.
You have the opportunity to see luxurious products from this paper from the remarkable and world-renowned Korean artist Young-Hee Kim in the Museum of Decorative Arts, where you can also try the process of making the paper yourself.
The Exhibition Hanji, a trip to the Czech Republic was organized by the Embassy of Korean Republic, and it lasts only to Thursday the 8th of November. Don’t hesitate too long!