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Paper & Meaning 2004

Paper- Ancient Material and New Meaning

October 25- November 14, 2004. Helsinki, Finland
Opening 25 October 2004 18:00PM at Arabia Centre, Helsinki Finland

The project is a meeting place for two different traditions. In workshops master paper makers from Korea will introduce traditional Hanji papermaking and artists and teachers from Finland will present European approaches. Participants will be artists, designers, students and children from the Nordic countries. One exhibition will then present results from the workshop. Another exhibition will show traditional Korean paper objects together with works by Nordic artists and designers.

Project manager
Funding / sponsoring

is to provide a meeting place for two different traditions for the production, the use and the conception of paper. It is the hope of the organizers that this project shall provide a collision area between different concepts connected to a material. If a collision can strip the material of its inherent meaning, new interpretations and conceptions may emerge. Design objects for everyday use, textiles, furniture elements or construction materials are possible results of the project.


To a textile artist paper turned out to symbolize a uniting element shared by people all over the world. While Korea has a long history in high quality hand-made paper.
Finland is renowned for its forest and paper industry. Paper can also be seen as a link between nature and humans, as the raw material for paper comes from nature.
Paper is an everyday media that is used to convey thoughts between people. This Paper exhibition started to take form by a group of artists visiting Tervakoski Oy last spring.

This exhibition space has been built into a meeting room: a meeting room for old and new, industrial and artistic as well as Finnish and Korean perspectives on how paper can be used creatively. The exhibition also proves that something that has no ommercial value can nevertheless be turned into something that has high artistic and aesthetic value to us.

Exhibition architect

The exhibition space at the Arabia Center is 'outside' space made 'inside'. The existing 'outer' walls of the buildings with it's windows and brick-red surfaces consitute the 'inner' walls for the space. As the busy traffic passes diagonally through the space, it works as an 'urban corridor'.

I proposed a long wall dividing the space into two triangular areas, accomodating the diagonal traffic and organizing the exhibition objects into two groups: the hanging structures to the active traffic side and the grounded objects to the quite 'back alley' behind the wall. The active traffic side of the wall is flat with long horizontal cut into which the Korean paper treasures are displayed. The 'back alley' side of the wall bends, focusing the visual attention to the traditional door and the window as if one walks the winding alleys in Korean urban fabric and discovers the openings.

Workshop I at Tervakoski Oy, May 27, 2004

Invited Artists

Finnish fashion designer Marja Suna together with visual artist Terje Risberg from Norway and artists and designers from the Nordic countries will explore new approaches to the use of industrially produced paper. (Objects, printed art and textile art)
Organized by Tervakoski Oy
Leader of Workshop Terje Risberg, visual artist Norway

Workshop II at Annantalo, Art Center of Helsinki September 6 - December 4, 2004

This workshop is aimed at giving children and young people the opportunity to play freely with different paper materials. Teacher Anna Hanninen will try to inspire the participants to connect the different paper materials and techniques to the world of fantasy.
Organized by Erja Mehto, Head Art Teacher, Annantalo, Teacher Anna Hanninen, Architect

Workshop III at Annantalo, Art Center of Helsinki October 30- 31, 2004

Photos by Amie Ann, Juho Nurmi

Master Jang Yong Hun and assistants will introduce traditional methods of paper making to art teachers and parents from Annantalo. There will be ample time to get a deeper understanding of the ancient production techniques based on fibers from the mulberry tree, and also to get an insight into the role of Hanji paper in traditional Korean society. An important aspect of these techniques is the use of only natural raw materials. The participants will also get an introduction to the contemporary use of traditional Hanji paper in Korea.
Organized by Erja Mehto, Head Art Teacher, Annalo
Teacher Amie Ann, Textile artist
Jang Yong Hun, Master of Korean paper making
Jang Seong Woo, Assistant


Helsinki School of Economic
Time: Monday, October 25, 2004, at 13.00
Place: Helsinki School of Economics, Lapuankatu 6, Room E-127, 1st floor
Organized by Kristiina Korhonen, Researcher, Helsinki School of Economics

Seminar with the theme Paper and Meaning will discuss the use and the conception of paper in Korean and Finnish traditions.
The Keynote Speech will be given by Professor Emerita Lee In-Ho of Seoul National University, also known as former Korean Ambassador to Finland.
Professor Ilmari Vesterinen of University of Jyvaskya will give an introduction to traditional Korean society and the impact of philosophical and religious thinking on craftsmanship and design in this culture. The modern Finnish perspective on paper is given by Professor Peter McGrory ,University of Art and Design Helsinki who discusses how design can be turned to business and by Director Jukka Pietil?nen of Tervakoski Paper who focuses on industrial use of paper.

Environmental issues

A focus point of the project is the problems connected to the use of waste paper and recycled paper. Representatives from the paper industry will give an overview of the present situation in this field.

Nordic countries

Denmark and Norway will host an extended version of the exhibitions in 2005- 2006. This part of the project is currently being processed. The extendable catalogue will follow these exhibitions:
Copenhagen exhibition is scheduled August-September 2004 in Black Diamond Building (Royal Library)
Oslo exhibition is being planned in cooperation with Norsk Form.

Catalogue and website

A documentation paper in English and Finnish will be produced at the end of the seminars. The catalogue will be designed so that it can be extended as the project evolves over the next couple of years.


An evaluation committee will evaluate the project.. All contributors will receive the evaluation report after the termination of the project.

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