Jaehyun Yang Veenstra

Jaehyun Yang Veenstra

About The Artist

Jaehyun Yang Veenstra • Edina, MN
Fiber and Textiles - Homegoods • CUSTOM COMMISSIONS

I am pursuing a Master of Fine Arts at MCAD. I have a BA degrees in Applied Arts from Baekseok Arts University (Seoul, Korea) and Package Design from Sheffield Hallam University (Sheffield, UK). I worked as a designer and art director in a number of companies in Seoul, Korea for over 10 years before moving to the United States. I studied the Korean art of gyubang craft with Kim Ae-kyung, the Korean artistic and Cultural Master of gyubang and jogakbo (traditional Korean patchwork/ wrapping cloths). I vividly remember the first day of that class: I felt like a child who had been given a toy that she loved very much. I am practicing gyobang craft and jogakbo in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The work I do is hand sewn and uses traditional Korean fabrics. My practice consists primarily in traditional techniques. I teach weaving classes at Hennepin County Libraries and Textile Center MN. I am investing more time in creating my work and am planning a jogakbo exhibition in 2024.



Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

All my work is made by hand. It's time consuming and slow. I call these processes mindful time. All work is done using naturally dyed traditional Korean fabrics or purchased hand-dyed traditional Korean fabrics. I combine my skills as a graphic designer with traditional Korean craft by hand-sketching layouts of each patchwork piece before I begin the work of hand-stitching the final design design and plan in advance, then cut and hand sew. The plan and design of the work is based on old patchwork, and most pieces of patchwork are created using new designs I have created. I still receive mentorship from my master. She helps me strive for high quality and care in craftsmanship.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

The reason why I am obsessed with Jogakbo is that, it means a lot to me that my mental healing is achieved by resting my mind while I sew. The events of my life over the past few years have been a tool of maturity for me to accept them as just a part of life that can happen and will pass, and a process of looking into my inner self, stitch by stitch. Small pieces come together to form a work of art, as if every moment of our lives becomes me. All of my work has been done using only traditional Korean fabrics. While studying traditional Korean fabrics, I especially like to work with Oksacheon, a silk fabric made from the roughest silkworm cocoon thread, and sometimes the color of the thread is black and irregular due to changes in the environment. I love the ripeness stage at which these beautiful pieces of fabric come together. I hope that these works will help others find reasons and perspectives for healing.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

All my practice has been faithful to the traditional Korean gyubang craft. And although I will continue to practice traditional crafts, my new creations are guided by my own experimental expressions. Jogakbo, which has historical significance, is a wrapping cloth made of leftover scrap cloth. The beginning of Jogakbo is the history of poor women, and it is also a flower that blooms in the cold winter. Although my patchwork is fundamentally different from historical patchwork and is not made from leftover fabric, it has the same meaning to me today as the women of old found joy and healing through artistic creation. Carrying out my traditional Korean crafts and demonstrating my creative potential is just as important for everyone as it is for us to put down our roots and grow.