One of the largest craft festivals in the world is taking place in South Korea's central city of Cheongju, Chungcheongbuk-do Province.
The 11th Cheongju Craft Biennale came back for its 20th year with 2,000 pieces of craft arts by 1,200 artists from 36 countries. It's a place for leading and emerging craft artists to show off the traditional beauty and contemporary value of craft arts. Five main exhibitions and three special exhibitions are being held at several venues across the city.
"Culture Factory C, the main venue of the craft biennale, used to be a tobacco factory but it has been turned into a cultural facility where artists from around the world can gather and share their work."
Exhibitions display items made from metal, ceramics, wood, textiles and glass and showcase diversity and artistic efforts to connect traditions with the practical values of modern times.
"Our biennale shows new and experimental value. It's more than just making and presenting good artworks so I created exhibition space that's comfortable for all. I wanted to present not only traditional crafts but also various aspects of craft art from the past, present and future."
There are three special exhibitions, including one to celebrate the 30th anniversary of relations between South Korea and ASEAN countries. Crafts from 10 ASEAN countries show the unique culture of each of the countries yet display some common characteristics that exist across the region.
On the weekend, visitors can also participate in an Art Bridge program that connects 7 art museums and galleries in Cheongju. Those with tickets to the biennale can join the tour bus program that runs free of charge.
Those who want to take some craft work home with them can check out Cheongju Craft Fair taking place at the main venue. With some 150 participating artists and shops, visitors can purchase small items from the global craft marketplace or make their own craft art at the experience space.
Cheongju Craft Biennale runs through November 17th.
Lee Min-sun, Arirang News, Cheongju.