Baeja, the beauty of Korea
Arumjigi intends to again direct public attention to the beauty unique to Korea, which can easily be overlooked in the name of tradition, and by showcasing traditional Korean beauty, Arumjigi will embrace it as the beauty of Korea that engenders both tradition and modernity.
Baeja, the Beauty of Korea is Arumjigi’s first overseas exhibition. Elegant and yet practical, baeja is a traditional Korean vest. It has evolved through countless unique styles for two thousand years, giving it a rich sense of beauty that can be applied to clothing in modern society today. Baeja, so loved in the past, can again be loved today to the point that it can be worn in contemporary settings for a number of reasons, including its beauty of simplicity and proportions, beauty of color arrangement with use of diverse color schemes, and beauty of harmony from the effective mixing and matching of very different materials and fabrics.
In discovering the aesthetic sense of baeja as ‘truly beautiful and yet comfortable to wear,’ this exhibition shows diverse views on baeja by master artisans and young designers working today. We saw the potential of beauty in Korean clothing to be used in the world through the eyes of master artisans of hanbok, the eyes of those seeking balanced coexistence of traditional and modern senses of beauty, and the eyes of young designers who reinterpreted traditional baeja in ways that are appropriate for modernity.
Image © Lee Jong Keun, Arumjigi Culture Keepers Foundation.