Friday, June 30, 2017


This month, HanjiNaty is taking part in a collective multidisciplinary exhibition titled "Speechless", presented at the RedBox Gallery in Jeonju, until July 5, 2017.

"Speechless" is an exploration of words through images. While English is a language with a massive vocabulary base, there are still words existing in other languages that do not translate directly into this global tongue. 

Foreign words, with no direct translation into English, are expressed through visual arts and poetry.
On the left: "Yugen" created by Natalie Thibault (Hanji Naty).

In this exhibition, seven English speaking expat artists living in Jeollabuk-do composed pieces using some of these words, trying to depict feelings from concepts that do not exist in their own native language. 

The artists of "Speechless". From left to right : Anjee DiSanto, Olivia Laurel, Natalie Thibault (HanjiNaty),
Bonnie Cunningham, Damien Sullivan. Absent from photo: Ash Dean and Sarah Hodgkiss.

The show includes more than two dozens works of art: oil paintings, ink drawings, poetry displayed on traditional Korean scrolls, mixed-media artworks and, of course, Hanji paper cuttings.

The artists were given the creative freedom to come up with any concept that the chosen foreign words inspired them. Some works are more evocative and symbolic, while others chose a more concrete approach.

The "Speechless" exhibitions includes about 30 works of art, created by seven expat artists living in Jeollabuk-do.
The pieces of art are displayed in alphabetical order, to present a sort of "creative dictionary" of the chosen foreign words. The visitors were then invited to explore this beautiful glossary, that goes from "Boketto" to "Yugen", in which they could read the original meaning of the words and let the artists take them into the special and unique world they created around or about every single word.

For this exhibition I created three pieces, inspired by Japanese and French words. For the first time, I chose to display Hanji paper cuttings between two sheets of acrylic, rather than create a 3D object, such as a chest, a box or a lamp. I made the creative decision to let the paper speak for itself, and this new freedom led me to some incredible results.

"Komorebi" is a Japanese word that describes the beauty of sunlight filtering through the trees. 
It evokes the dreamlike translucent interplay between the light and the leaves.

"Yugen" is a Japanese word that evokes in a poetic way the profound and mysterious
sense of the beauty of the universe, along with the sad beauty of human suffering.
"Retrouvailles" is a French word that refers to the overwhelming joy, happiness
and excitement you feel upon reuniting with someone after being apart for a long time.

It was a very interesting experience for me to work on flat surfaces, rather than 3D objects. It allowed me to let the paper speak more freely, and it almost acquired a movement of its own.

I would have liked to create more pieces for the show, but the lack of time forced me to limit myself to three artworks. I am hoping that new occasions will arise soon for me to create new pieces, inspired by other evocative and beautifully exotic words.

Here are some pictures of the gallery, show, and amazing artists who took part in this great creative adventure:

RedBox Gallery is located on the edge of the Jeonbuk University Campus.
Left to right: "Kintsugi" by Anjee DiSanto, "koi no yokan" by Olivia Laurel, "Iktsuarpok" by Bonnie Cunningham.

Amazing artists! What a joy to be part of that creative bunch!

Left to right: "Shuushi" (oil painting by Damien Sullivan), "Solregn" (photographic triptych by Anjee DiSanto)
and "Tosca" (oil painting by Damien Sullivan). 

"Duende" by Bonnie Cunningham.

 (Jeollabuk-do, South Korea). The exhibition is open from June 22nd to July 5th, from 10am to 6pm seven days a week. Admission is free.

Directions to get to the gallery:

I really hope you have a chance to visit this truly unique art show! If you do, please make sure to leave a note in our guestbook. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

2017 Jeonju Hanji Festival~ It starts tomorrow!

I am excited to announce that HanjiNaty will once more participate in the Hanji festival in Jeonju, in the province of Jeollabuk-do, South Korea!

The 2017 edition of the festival will be held from May 19 (Fri) to May 21 (Sun), in two locations, downtown Jeonju. The core of the festival will once again happen in the site adjacent to the Korean Cultural Center in Jeonju, but a satellite location in the Hanok village will allow more visitors to enjoy what the festival has to offer.

New! 2 locations for the festival!

An exciting change will make the 2017 edition especially interesting! The festival will be held in two different locations: most of the activities will be held on the festival site (close the the Cultural Center) and a satellite market will be installed in the heart of the Hanok village, Jeonju's most popular neighborhood!

The Hanji open market and the hands-on zone will be duplicated to accommodate more visitors. Paper and culture enthusiasts will have a chance to get to make interesting discoveries in both places, either by creating Hanji items themselves or by choosing to buy handcrafted items, unique gifts, or sumptuous high-quality Hanji paper.

A variety of events and activities to enjoy

Once again the festival visitors will have a chance to enjoy an interesting variety of cultural events and activities on the festival site. Different performances will be given on the main stages, including the famous and popular Hanji fashion show.

Visitors will also have a chance to visit the cultural garden, admire the Hanji sculptures and lanterns installed on site, including a giant Hanji paper tree that was recently erected.

HanjiNaty will be there!

HanjiNaty will be in both locations for the long weekend of the Festival. Come to say hello and take a look at our selection of handcrafted jewelry (earrings, necklaces, brooches), hair accessories (hair pins, ties and headbands), and decor items, such as coasters, plates, cabinets, boxes and pen holders.

The first HanjiNaty booth will be located on the edge of the festival site:

The second HanjiNaty booth will be located in the parking lot of the Gyeonggijeon Shrine (경기전):

We can't wait to see you there!

How to get to the main Jeonju Festival site:

Information in Korean:

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hanji crafts for kitties

As a self-declared (and rather proud!) "crazy cat lady", I am thrilled and delighted to support, in my own creative way, The Cat House on the Kings, which is California's largest no-cage, no-kill, lifetime cat sanctuary and adoption center.

For their Spring Open house, held on May 6, 2017, a silent auction is organized to raise funds for the cats and kitties sheltered, rescued and nursed by the CHOTK devoted team.

I am excited to announce that I have crafted a few cat-inspired pieces of jewelry that will be available for purchase at the silent auction!

I have made two pairs of earrings and one pendant that will be up for grabs at the silent auction on May 6, 2017. Hopefully they will pleased the cat enthusiasts who will visit the Cat House in Parlier, California for their Spring Open house event.

In addition to the silent auction, visitors will have a chance to tour the facilities and meet the amazing furry inhabitants of the Cat House. A raffle with beautiful prizes is also organized to raise funds.

I really hope that this small gesture will contribute to the success of the Spring Open House, and more importantly, to the continuous care given to all those beautiful felines.

For more details on the important work the Cat House on the Kings does every day for hundreds of cats and kittens, visit their website:

Beautiful encounter with a Vietnamese kitty who lives in a newsstand in Hanoi (Vietnam). Summer 2015.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

HanjiNaty is now on Twitter!

HanjiNaty has joined the Twittersphere!

You can now follow HanjiNaty's tweets on the famous microblogging social media platform:

The new HanjiNaty Twitter account will be used to promote our latest creations and projects, the news regarding our Etsy shop, along with the work of great Etsy teammates, collaborators and friends.

Keep an eye out for #hanjinaty!

You can also connect with HanjiNaty on all the following platforms:


Let's stay connected!

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Seven foreign artists and artisans living in the province of Jeollabuk-do have decided to get together and present their work in a multidisciplinary art and craft exhibition titled HUMAN NATURE.

I was thrilled and honored to be invited to showcase my Hanji paper items for this fantastic occasion, that combines illustration, oil painting,  street art, drawing, costume making and hanji crafts. 

This exhibit is held at the charming Cafe Misulgwan, a newly-opened coffee shop in the University district of Iksan (Daehangro).

For more information on the venue, click here.

HUMAN NATURE is held in Cafe Misulgwan, in Iksan.

HUMAN NATURE opened on November 19, 2016 and for the occasion many visitors came to Cafe Misulgwan to admire the artworks and meet the artists.

The exhibition comprises the work of Tara Beck (art enthusiast and hobbyist), Bonnie Cunningham (painter and illustrator), Damien Sullivan (visual artist), Sabrina Pinksen (artist and writer), Sara Hodgkiss (street artist and illustrator), Sarah Vetter and myself, Natalie Thibault (hanji artist).

The seven artists of HUMAN NATURE.

For the exhibition, I worked on two special items: a 6-drawer cabinet with an intricate peacock design and a vertical lamp embellished with a phoenix design. As the theme of the exhibition was humanity and natural elements (therefore the title "Human Nature") I decided to choose glorious birds to represent the animal reign.

I also included several other items that I have created in the last few years. All the objects on display feature animals and/or floral designs, in order to represent vividly yet symbolically some of the most beautiful creatures of the vegetal and animal kingdoms.

Among the objects on display for the exhibition you can see a chest with a metallic bee lock, several plates, pen holders and coasters, and a tea tray adorned with a bird and flower traditional design.

All of the items are available for purchase. Some of these items are available in the Hanji Naty online shop, and you can contact me directly if you are interested in acquiring some of these objects.

HanjiNaty items on display at the Cafe Misulgwan.

Here are some pictures of the amazing artworks created by my fellow artists. If you have a chance to visit the Cafe Misulgwan please do not hesitate! Their unique pieces of art deserve to be seen in person, as photos do not do justice to their creativity and talent.

The art will be on display until the beginning of 2017.

Bonnie Cunningham
Damien Sullivan
Damien Sullivan
Sabrina Pinksen
Sarah Hodgkiss
Sarah Vetter
Tara Beck

You can visit Cafe Misulgwan from 11am to 1am everyday. This cozy coffee shop offers a variety of hot and cold drinks, along with homemade cakes.

For directions:

One of the HanjiNaty items on display at Cafe Misulgwan.

Friday, September 30, 2016

HanjiNaty featured in "JB Life" !

HanjiNaty is thrilled and honored to be featured in the Jeonbuk Life (JB Life), an English magazine published four times a year by the Jeollabuk-do provincial Center for international news (JBCIA).

A two-page portrait of HanjiNaty, titled Hanji Naty : Korean Crafting, Canadian Flare is published in the 2016 Summer issue of the JB Life magazine : it contains segments of an interview I gave to the reporter Anjee DiSanto, along with colorful photos taken by the same talented person.

To read the full article in an easy-to-access web viewer, click here :

The JB Life magazine focuses on our province's international community, of which I am a proud member. The paper magazine is available in different locations in Jeollabuk-do, and an easy-to-read digital version of the publication is available online.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Looking back on the 20th Edition of the Jeonju Hanji Culture Festival

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Jeonju Hanji Culture Festival.

The annual event was held from May 5 through 8, 2016, and HanjiNaty was there to celebrate Hanji paper, one of the cultural treasures of Korea.

Before writing this blog post, I took the time to re-read my observations and comments on the previous editions, in which I participated both as a visitor (see the text on the 2013 Festival), and as a vendor in the Hanji market (take a look at last year's blog post, which covers my first experience as a vendor at the Jeonju Hanji Festival).

While re-reading my previous blog posts, I quickly came to this conclusion : not much has changed. I still love and appreciate many aspects of this singular event, but the grievances and concerns I had regarding the Festival organization are still lingering. Some things have been addressed, but there are still issues that need to be improved, in order to bring to this event the notoriety and popularity it deserves.

Let's take a look at some of the great aspects of the 2016 Festival, along with the elements that would deserve to be reconsidered and reworked.

New location for the Hanji market

This year, the vendors were located closer to the main stage area, and it was a very pleasant change. There was more foot traffic, and we could all feel more excitement and enthusiasm in the air, due to the proximity of the performances, the increased number of passer-by, and the general conviviality of the festival atmosphere. 

Even if the proximity to the stage came with loudness, it was definitely more pleasant - and more profitable - for the vendors, including myself.

The market was slightly smaller this year (there were 15 vendors present for the festival this year, compared to 20 in 2015), but visitors still had the chance to purchase high-quality Hanji paper, Hanji fans, umbrellas and small objects, along with hair accessories, jewelry and deco items designed by HanjiNaty. There was also a convenience store stall and several food stands, where people could purchase snacks, cold drinks or ice cream.

A nice spread of cultural performances

During the four days of the Festival, numerous cultural performances were held on the main stage. Visitors were invited to enjoy - for free! - various dance and musical performances, including Korean traditional dancing, belly dancing, K-pop performances, opera, and even a big band concert!

Sadly, some performances were given in front of a very sparse group of festival goers. That's unfortunate for the performers, who surely spent a lot of time and energy to prepare their shows.

The afternoon dress rehearsals for the fashion show and the Costume show were more popular; people had a great time admiring the amazing garments made of Korean paper. Unfortunately, the rain chased away many spectators for the evening performances. What a shame, especially considering the amount of work and effort were poured into the creation of these amazing costumes!

How about organizing a parade in the streets surrounding the site, and even in the Hanok village? It would be a great experience for the fashion models and designers, and it will bring attention to the Festival, and hopefully attract more visitors and tourists who might not have been aware of the event.

A new website.... but where's English?

The Jeonju Hanji Festival recently redid its website, to modernize it and make it more vibrant and user friendly. You can visit it here :

The new hot pink titles and the colorful pictures are very attractive! I especially like the large picture banner and the fresh look of the site. Unfortunately, there is still something major missing : there is no English version! It appears especially problematic this year, as the theme of the 20th edition of the Festival was "Hanji into the world."  How can we expect foreign visitors to learn about Hanji if they can't read anything about it? It is foolish to think that the internationalization of Hanji can be done without a minimal amount of English language material available. In this digital era, an English version of a website is a obvious necessity.

I have been talking about this issue for years now (on my blog, as well as in person with some people involved in the organization of the Festival), but it seems that my message hasn't reached its target yet. I will keep on beating my Hanji drum as loudly as possible, but it is not a mission I can tackle alone.

I had the occasion to discuss and share ideas with a few members of the organizing committee; I offer my help for next year's edition, and they seem happy to hear that I wanted to get involved in the organization. I really hope they indeed contact me, so I can give a hand to this event that I sincerely love.

A team of KTV produced a TV segment on the 2016 Jeonju Hanji Festival.
HanjiNaty in the news

This year, my presence drew interest from different media outlets, including KTV, the Jeonju City blog, and the JB Life Magazine. Wow!

I was thrilled to be able to talk about my craft and my passion for Hanji paper.

You can take a look at different segments and blog posts featuring HanjiNaty :

KTV segment on the Hanji Festival (HanjiNaty featured from 1:48) :

Blog post on the Jeonju City blog (in Korean) :

Blog post by "HanjiMaster" (in Korean) :

Thank you for your support!

Once again, taking part in the Jeonju Hanji Festival was an interesting and inspiring experience, despite certain frustrations. It is a beautiful event, and I really want to see it thrive. I am hopeful that the organization will accept my offer to give them a hand, and that this way I can contribute concretely to the development and promotion of this important event.

Finally, I want to take the time to thank all the visitors who took the time to visit my booth at the Festival, with a special thought to my dear friends who travelled to come and support me. Thank you! I also want to sincerely thank my dear husband and partner for his constant help and support.

See you next year, Jeonju!