A Beautifully Complex Machine Stitched Vintage Pojagi: White Hemp or Ramie
mid twentieth century
26 1/4" x 29", 66.5 cm x 73.5 cm
This translucent beauty is a piece constructed, traditional Korean wrapping/ covering cloth or pojagi, in this case, one referred to as chogak po.
It is meticulously machine stitched together from small, leftover pieces of hand woven hemp or ramie, the pieces likely from clothing or other textiles hand made in the home. Because they are composed of handed-down fabric pieces, pojagi can be thought to hold sentimental family value in the way that quilts do, if they are made from discarded family clothing. In the case of this stunning, rough-hewn beauty, there is evidence that this piece is both hand stitched and machine stitched.
This chogak po is well used and shows some ingrained stains, each of which is pictured individually on the attached detail photographs, so please pore over all of them to get a sense of its condition. Because it was used in the home, the textile is well-worn which somehow makes it more beautiful. And please note a wonderful detail which is most easily seen in the lead photo of the group that accompanies this posting: on the proper, top, left corner try to find a very odd-shaped piece, which is seven sided--fabulous!
It is easy to draw analogies between these type of pojagi and Modernist painting, which is probably why we love this type of traditional Korean textile art as much as we do. They are forever fascinating to look at, and there is something sublime in their casual yet profound beauty.