▲ Jeju artist Koh Gillchun taking a rubbing of the boat Chetzemoka in Fort Worden State Park, Washington. Photo courtesy Gerald Kip Kania
Jeju artist Koh Gillchun held an open studio early in January as part of his second Centrum residency program at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, Washington.
Koh first visited Port Townsend as a Centrum artist-in-residence in 2003, during which time his imagination was sparked by a small wooden boat - the Chetzemoka - lying in the park’s shoreline grass. That image stayed with him over the years and he revisited to present his newest installation, titled Flying Chetzemoka.
Koh has created large origami representations of the wooden boat that he displays suspended, in order to connect the marine image to the freedom of flight. The show also features a life-sized graphic rubbing made of the Chetzemoka.
A graduate of Chosun University in Gwangju and Hong-ik University in Seoul, Koh has held shows throughout Asia and the United States. He said that he feels a connection between the culture of his homeland, Jeju, and that of the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest, evidenced in many similarities of their spiritual rituals. The open studio also featured Koh’s etchings, which he said symbolically depict the loss of bird habitat on Jeju Island.
During his residency, Koh also presented a free slide show on the art and technique of making Korean paper rubbings.
In another link to Koh’s home island, photographer Gerald Kip Kania who took the image shown here, lived on Jeju with his Korean wife for a couple of years, during which he worked as an English teacher. He also lived in Port Townsend during Koh’s first Centrum residency and the two reunited while working on this project.
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