In the Spirit of Jeong
4 x 4” Korean silk patchwork, sewn in the format of bojagi; variable edition of 10
“For the portfolio project, I created a small-scale patchwork bojagi using Korean silk to express the idea of jeong. Inspired by its relational functions such as gift-giving and other expressions of care, the bojagi represents warm regards for others, a sense of community, and a spirit of generosity.”
Julia Kwon sews interpretative bojagi—Korean object-wrapping cloths historically created since the early Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910)—and wraps hallow human-scale figures with them to comment on the objectification of Asiatic female bodies. Further, she embeds patterns from contemporary sociopolitical events to challenge the notion of authenticity and examine the complexities of constructing identity within the context of globalism, cultural hybridity, and intersectionality. Kwon also explores community and personal relationship building through collaborative projects such as communal quilting, one-on-one portrait drawing, print fundraiser, and building a community that shares local artist talks.
Kwon earned her MFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University and BA in Studio Art at Georgetown University. She was also a participant at the Chautauqua School of Art residency program. Her work is included in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC and has been exhibited nationally including art galleries such as Hartnett Gallery of the University of Rochester and Torpedo Factory Art Center. Kwon won awards such as SMFA at Tufts’s Traveling Fellowship as well as artist residencies at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Vermont Studio Center, NARS Foundation, Textile Arts Center, among others. Her work has been featured and reviewed internationally, including the Smithsonian Magazine, Korea.net, BmoreArt, Craft Quarterly, The Coastal Post, PBS’s WETA Arts, and SBS international news. She presented artist lectures and workshops at Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Museum of International Folk Art, The Phillips Collection, Georgetown University, Lehigh University, University of Rochester, Emerson College, Montgomery College, among others.