58-year old Jang Eung-yeall has been making traditional Korean paper, or hanji in Korean, for the last 40 years.
He has devoted his life to the craft,. using the traditional techniques he learned from his father.
His family has been making hanji for four generations, and his business is one of about 10 remaining papermills in the nation that make this paper by hand.
[Interview : Jang Eung-yeall, Hanji Master ] "Handmade hanji is much stronger than machine-manufactured hanji, with one-to-two centimeters-long tree fibers closely sticking together, and the air is more permeable to the paper. We call hanji a "breathing paper". Simply put, handmade hanji is far superior".
This delicate but strong paper is made from the bark of paper mulberry trees.
All the necessary ingredients to make hanji come from the nature, and this traditional handmade paper-making process doesn't include any chemicals.
Koreans have been making the traditional paper for about 16-hundred years, since the ancient Three Kingdom periods.
[Reporter : Park Ji-won
[email protected]] "Hanji can be both exceedingly smooth and highly textured to the Touch. It comes in many colors and is extremely durable, lasting for more than a thousand years".
His papermill is located in the city of Wonju, some 120 kilometers east of Seoul, a city renowned for hanji.
Every September since 1999, the city hosts "Wonju Hanji Festival", and the city was designated as an industrial special zone of hanji in 2006.
[Interview : Kim Yang-jin, Executive Committee Chair
14th Wonju Hanji Festival 2012
] "From ancient times, Wonju has been famous for producing quality hanji. Many history books show that hanji made in Wonju was used at royal palaces.
The hanji festival was first organized by citizens who deplored the fading tradition, and this year marks the 14th festival".
Besides its main use as a paper,.. hanji is widely used for a variety of artifacts,. such as bowls, lanterns, furniture, and clothes.
Visitors to the festival can enjoy diverse programs related to hanji, including exhibitions, learning activities, and even a fashion show.
This year's Wonju Hanji Festival continues until this Sunday.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News, Wonju.
Reporter : [email protected]
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