Oh Yumi is a craft artist who makes wooden lacquerware by following the tradition in her own language. After pursuing BA degree in business administration and Chinese language and literature, she decided to learn her father’s skills and continue the tradition. As a daughter of Oh Wang Taek, a renowned artisan of lacquerware inlaid with mother-of-pearl, she is inspired by her father’s delicate works and aspires to keep the tradition of handwork. Her works have been exhibited in Korea, China, Taiwan, USA and France.
Everything around Oh Yumi becomes an inspiration: architecture, fashion, nature and the contemporary society where she lives in. She studies forms from architecture, colors from fashion and paintings, and patterns from nature. While utilizing the traditional technique of lacquerware inlaid with mother-of-pearl, she combines contemporary elements to create a new work that has not been showcased in the world yet.
Oh has contemplated the balance of tradition and trend in the process of interpretation and convergence of the two contradictory experiences; her reflection on this is indicated in the keyword, ‘Trad in Trend.’ First, experiments have led her to create color studies. Her approach to work is the inclusion of a contemporary twist to the traditional frame while maintaining the basis of tradition. Starting from the traditional color palette, Obangsaek, which is comprised of red, blue, and yellow as well as black and white, she mixes the colors from Obangsaek to result in pastel colors that go well with modern lifestyle. Another experiment was to discover different textures of the lacquerware. Instead of hemp cloth that has been used in the past, she applies lace for her lacquerware, which is in the ‘Lature: Lace + Texture’ series. She is adept at crossing over the boundary of tradition and trend without formality and constraint.