Sep 30, 2009

To Kajok Yorobun

Because we are kajok (family), we should have a family picture.
I wanted to take a picture with all of you today, but our sponsor won't let me. But I know there will be future opporutunities, like in Seoul, when we can take it together. - BYJ

Sep 28, 2009

Welcome to Japan!

Good to see you smiling!

Lovely as a flower!



Lee Na Young at the Burberry Show, London Fashion Week.

With ... Twiggy!

Sep 25, 2009

Past, Present and ...

His knees were shaking. The endless wave of people... watching all the women waving to him from inside the car, he could utter but one word. "Wow..." After that,he was speechless. President Sohn of IMX who was sitting next to him looks back and claims "You rarely see BYJ wearing such an expression revealing his nervousness." How could he have expected a crowd of 5000 people waiting for him? The frenzy of excitement was something he had not even experienced in his own country, and he was absolutely overwhelmed.

- as witnessed by a reporter of Nikkan Sports, April 2004
source: BAE YONG JOON 04-05 (Nikkan Sports)

I was able to win an award (Blue Dragon Film Awards 2003, Best New Actor for "Untold Scandal") for a movie for the first time after 10 years since my debut. I would like to promise that I would make an even greater effort in the coming 10 years."

- Answering a question in an interview held during his second official visi t to Japan, "what are your plans for the future?"

Let's see, where should I take him?It would be nice to take him to a folk village where he could understand the history and culture of Korea. I would also like to invite him to a restaurant where he could enjoy the traditional Korean cuisine. How would I explain Korea...? Umm, I think it is a country made of compassionate people. Because of this, the way we express ourselves towards others tend to be very direct. But I think the countries of Asia all live in the frame of what we can call "family". I think we have many things in common.

- In answer to a question, "where would you take a friend who has visited Korea for the first time". (Exclusive interview of Nikkan Sports 050902)

I forget everything that has passed (laughs). We are always living our lives making choices , isn't that so? Every moment in each day is made up of choices. For instance, thinking about what to eat is a choice too (laughs) . But there are a lot of choices that may seem very important at the time, but later make one feel on hindsight that it wasn' such a big deal. I think time is something that makes us forget what has happened. If we remembered everything, I don't think we human beings can go on living.

- In an exclusive interview for AERA 080707 edition

Excerpt from an article from The Asahi Shimbun 090917 edition

(Kang Sang Jung,one of the most influential ethnically Korean residents of Japan is a political science professor at the University of Tokyo and a social commentator. His recently published book includes an interview with the late ex-president Kim Dae Jung.)

2005. When Kan-san went to Haneda airport to welcome the ex-president who was invited to Japan to give a lecture at the University of Tokyo, the airport lobby was overflowing with Japanese women. Kim-ssi waved in response at the crowd, but he had made a mistake. These women were fans of Hanryu star Bae Yong Joon who was to arrive on the same day.

According to Kan-san, Kim-ssi looked back on this incident most fondly. "If it weren't for the steps the ex-president took to open up his country to Japanese popular culture the hanryu boom never would have happened". Kim-ssi confessed there was strong opposition to his ideas in the administration. "Kim-ssi convinced these people that if their own culture was something that would be easily swallowed up by others, it is not a culture worth maintaining. He was that proud of his ethnic culture."

(all translations by flowerbossa)

Sep 18, 2009

MCs for the "Beauty of Korea" Event

Takaharu Miyamoto

“Do your best, this very moment!” became my motto when I heard Bae Yong Joon-san say it when I interviewed him on NHK 5 years ago. I look forward to seeing him again.

courtesy of 430miki

Miyamato-san revealed in the program “OMOIKKIRI DON” (Sept.11):

"Having interviewed him 5 years ago, they apparently remembered me and asked me to be MC for this event."

And the other MC is is wuri lovely Kim Tei-ssi

She was the MC for all of BYJ's major events in Japan. This photo is from last year's event at Kyocera Dome.

(Incidentally, the gentleman translating for BYJ in the NHK program is IMX president Sohn-ssi. Kim Tei-ssi's boss!)

Hide Nakagawa and Kaori Manabe will be the MCs for the Red Carpet event celebrating the the opening of DATV on Oct. 1.

At the Lake

Sep 13, 2009

Excerpt from the BOOK

Translated into Japanese by chunsengyo
(original text added)
Originally posted on PESASA 2009/09/13



ペ・ヨンジュンの人物エッセイ「韓国の美をたどる旅」 韓国の観光地を訪れるだけにとどまらず、”文化”、”芸術”、”伝統”というテーマをより知るために旅行に出たペ・ヨンジュンの話が広がる。ペ・ヨンジュンは韓国の美を探す為に、旅行を企画し13種類のテーマを決めて、三日から長い時は一週間余り滞在し体験した話を謙虚な姿勢で伝える。又、ペ・ヨンジュンの気さくな様子が収まった生き生きとした写真が収録された。




イ・オリョン 初代文化部長官
パク・ドンチュン 東アジア茶文化研究所長
チェ・グァンシk 国立中央博物館長








チョン・ヨンボク 岩山漆芸美術館長
吉祥寺 チョンリム僧侶
イ・ヒョジェ 韓服デザイナー


ルート (経路)










ペ・ヨンジュンが韓国の津々浦々をかけずり回った理由 "未熟だが真剣にやりたかった旅の記録”




















배용준, 한국의 아름다움을 엿보다!
평소 생활을 잘 드러내지 않던 그가 전하는 서툴지만 진지한 여행의 기록~

배용준 인물 에세이 『한국의 아름다움을 찾아 떠난 여행』. 한국의 관광지를 찾는 것에 그치지 않고 ‘문화’, ‘예술’, ‘전통’이라는 테마를 더 잘 알기 위해 여행을 떠난 배용준의 이야기가 펼쳐진다. 배용준은 한국의 아름다움을 찾기 위해 여행을 기획하고, 13가지의 테마를 정하여 3일에서 길게는 일주일 여간 머물며 체험한 이야기들을 겸손한 자세로 전한다. 또한 배용준의 소탈한 모습이 담긴 생생한 사진을 수록했다.

이 책은 총 6장으로 나누어 배용준이 찾아낸 한국 이야기를 펼쳐낸다. 1장에서는 문화의 근간을 이루는 의식주를 탐구하고, 2장에서는 배용준이 직접 차, 도자기 등의 명인들 곁에 머물며 탐색한 체험과 경험을 담아냈다. 3장은 황룡사지, 미륵사지 등 역사를 간직한 공간을 바라보며 사라지는 것에 대한 아름다움에 대해 논한다. 4장은 문화유산 속에서 발견한 숨은 이야기를 소개한다.

5장은 여행을 통해 배용준이 느낀 삶의 이야기를 전한다. 마지막으로 6장은 여행을 정리하는 배용준의 애틋한 에피소드를 펼쳐낸다. 이 책은 배용준이 한국문화에 다가가는 모습을 통해 우리 문화의 아름다움을 느끼고, 살펴볼 수 있는 책이다. 또한 잘 알려지지 않았던 배용준의 사진작가적 면모를 드려내는 풍경사진을 만나볼 수 있다.


이어령 초대문화부장관
박동춘 동아시아차문화연구소장
최광식 국립중앙박물관장


한복과 살림살이



황룡사지, 미륵사지

한글과 세종대왕
경복궁과 천상열차분야지도

술과 풍류

다시 떠나다

전용복 이와야마칠예미술관장
길상사 정림스님
이효재 한복 디자이너


경기도, 강원도

나는 비록 다른 종교를 갖고 있지만 한국의 사찰이 그 장구한 세월 동안 어떻게 수많은 문화재를 배출하고 공동체를 유지할 수 있었는지 늘 궁금했다. 사실 한국 문화에서 불교적 색채를 제외한다는 것은 핵심을 제외한 그 나머지만을 논하는 것과 같다는 생각을 해왔다.

인정이란 말이 있다. 아무리 유능하고 똑똑하고 합리적이어도 남을 배려하는 인정이 모자란다면 우리 사회에서는 인간미가 덜한 사람으로 평가된다. 어떤 경우는 이 인정주의가 한국사회를 망친다고 하는 경우도 있지만 나는 그것은 인정을 잘못 활용하기 때문에 생기는 오해라고 생각한다. 사람은 누구나 바람이 있다. 내가 바라고 네가 바라는 것이 있다면 그것을 ‘서로에게 주자’라고 대등하게 인정해 주는 것, 주되 시원하고 망설임 없이 주자는 것, 그게 인정이 아닐까. 그 인정이 의식주를 관통하고 있다는 것이 우리문화의 특징 중 하나가 아닐까 하고 막연히 생각해 본다.

내 경우엔 한 명이라도 동지(同志)가 있는, 함께 마시는 차를 좋아한다. 혼자 마실 때는 굳이 대단한 노력과 정성을 들이지 않고도 잘 마시는 편이지만, 내 옆에 누군가 한 명이라도 있다면 더욱 정성을 들여 차의 맛과 향을 전달해주고 싶어진다. 나는 “혼자 마시는 차는 명상을 할 수 있고, 둘이 마시는 차는 소통을 할 수 있으며, 셋이 마시는 차는 공감대를 만들 수 있고, 넷이 마시는 차는 화합을 할 수 있다”고 생각한다.

문화란 어렵고 재미없는 것이 아니다. 그렇다면 그토록 무수한 드라마나 영화의 소재로 등장하진 않았을 것이다. 삼국 문화와 차별되는 철기문화를 가졌던 가야(伽倻)나, 아시아에서 유럽을 잇는 수많은 이야기가 숨겨진 실크로드의 문화에 관심이 많은 사람을 만나면 반갑게 한 시간이고 두 시간이고 수다를 떨 수 있을 것 같다.

시끄러운 일이 있건 힘든 일이 있건 김이 모락모락 나는 밥상에 마주 보고 함께 앉으면 일상의 걱정 근심은 연기처럼 사라졌었다. 이겨낼 힘이 나게 했었다. 이불 뒤집어쓰고 온몸으로 화를 표현하고 있어도 그저 “밥 먹고 다시 자라”였다. 끼니는 거르지 말라는 어머니의 속정이었다. 그게 밥상의 묘한 힘이었던 기억이 난다.

뉴욕의 고층빌딩에 한옥을 지어 올리고 싶다. 누군가는 “그게 가능할까?” 하고 의문을 표시했지만, 나는 불가능한 일은 아니라고 생각한다. 위로만 솟아 자연의 섭리에 반하는 마천루가 꽉 들어찬 뉴욕에 멋들어지게 살아 숨쉬는 우리의 집 ‘한옥’이 자리잡고 있다면 얼마나 근사한 일일까. 최근 들어 고층빌딩의 옥상을 공중정원으로 가꾸는 곳들이 많이 늘어났다. 그런 것처럼 빌딩 옥상에 한옥이 한 채 지어져 있으면 도시의 삭막한 스카이라인에 악센트가 주어질 것 같다.

-본문 중에서 발췌

[ 책속으로 더보기 닫기 ]


배용준이 한국의 방방곡곡을 누빈 이유 ‘서툴지만 진지하고 싶었던 여행의 기록’

‘한국의 관광지 중 추천하고 싶은 곳이 어디냐’는 외신 기자의 질문에 선뜻 대답을 주지 못해 부끄러웠던 기억에서 시작한 배우 배용준의 여행.

단순히 유명한 여행지를 돌며 한국에서 가장 맘에 드는 곳은 어딘지 찾는 것에 그치고 싶지 않았던 배용준의 선택은 다름 아니라 ‘문화’, ‘예술’, ‘전통’이라는 테마와 엮어 이를 더 잘 알기 위해 여행을 떠나는 것.

13가지의 각기 다른 테마를 가진 곳을 직접 찾아 명인들과 만나는 것에서 그 해답을 찾았다. 그들과 만나는 것 만으로도 많은 감화를 받았을테지만 그는 여기서 그치지 않았다. 본인이 체험해야 더 잘 알 수 있다고 생각해 모든 테마를 직접 시도해 몸과 마음으로 익혔다. 여기서 한 단계 더 나아가 명인이 전해주는 이야기를 무조건적으로 흡수하기 보다는 숙성과정을 거쳐 자신만의 것으로 만들어내는 과정까지 드러나 테마를 학습하는 전 과정이 잘 나타나 있다. 현상만 알려주는 어떤 다른 문화 테마의 책들보다 의미가 있다는 평이다.

어쩌면 이 여행은 단순한 떠돌기가 아닌 한 편의 ‘우리 문화 학습기’라고 하는 것이 더 정확한 표현일지도 모른다.

한국 사람의 공감을 불러 일으키는 13가지 테마

책을 기획하는 순간부터 배용준의 땀방울이 베어있지 않은 곳이 없어 더욱 의미 있는 책 <한국의 아름다움을 찾아 떠난 여행-배용준>.

책 속의 전통 문화 13가지 카테고리는 그가 평소 관심 있고 눈 여겨 본 것들을 테마로 구성되어 있다. 한류의 중심에 서있는 배우로서 다양한 문화를 접한 배용준이 선정한 우리 문화 카테고리 13가지는 오히려 그 날카로운 시선이 닿아있어 보편적인 한국인이라면 누구나 공감할만한 소재들이다.

‘김장’, ‘가정식’, ‘차(茶)’와 같이 우리가 평소 가깝게 여기고 있는 것들을 재발견, 재인식 할 수 있도록 돕는 테마가 있고 ‘칠’, ‘도자기’, ‘한옥’ 등 알고 싶지만 어렵게만 여겼던 것들에 대해 쉽게 접근할 수 있도록 조언하는 테마도 있다. ‘경복궁’, ‘국립중앙박물관’, ‘템플스테이’ 등의 테마를 통해서는 우리 문화의 정수를 이루는 것들에 대한 그의 경외심과 단상을 읽어낼 수 있으며 ‘한복과 살림살이’, ‘술과 풍류’ 등에서는 한국문화 특유의 해학과 소박함 그리고 삶의 지혜 등을 엿볼 수 있다.

12명의 명인, 장인과 나눈 대담

여행을 기획하고 13가지의 테마를 정한 순간부터 자료 조사와 공부에 매달린 배용준. 자료 조사 과정에서 자연스레 드러난 전통 문화의 명인?장인에게 직접 연락을 취하고 취재를 허락 받았다. 귀한 시간을 내준 장인들에게 누가 되지 않을까 누구보다 열심히 공부해 그들의 앞에 섰을 때도 겉만 훑고 마는 질문을 던지기 보다는 한 걸음 더 깊숙이 들어간 본질에 가까운 질문으로 장인들을 놀라게 하기도 했다.

특히, 하루나 이틀 정도 짧게 관찰만 하다 떠난 여행이 아니라 짧게는 3일 길게는 일주일 여간 그곳에 머물며 테마가 가진 전 과정을 가볍게라도 한 번 몸소 체험하는 시간을 가졌다. 그런 과정에서 그는 한 명의 톱스타가 아닌 문화를 배우고 싶어하는 학생의 자세로 돌아가 스폰지처럼 마음 깊이 그 정신을 흡수해 나가는 모습을 엿볼 수 있다.

시골 산 속에서 야생차밭을 가꾸는 이름이 알려지지 않은 농부나 시골밥상을 차려내는 촌부부터 이름 석자만 대면 모두가 알고 있는 명인들까지 우리 문화를 배울 수 있는 이라면 누구든지 차별하지 않고 숙연하고 겸손한 자세로 배움에 임한 배용준의 모습이 새롭게 다가온다.

생동감 넘치는 사진과 평소 생활이 잘 드러나지 않는 톱스타의 진솔함

일본과 한국을 오가는 톱스타로 평소 생활을 좀처럼 알 수 없는 배용준의 진솔한 모습도 책 속에서 만나볼 수 있다. 헤어와 메이크업 그리고 스타일링에 가려진 배우나 스타로서의 그의 모습이 아니라 여행하고 배우기 좋은 간편한 옷차림을 한 그의 소탈한 모습이 이번 책의 가치를 더욱 빛낸다. 본문 중 간간히 찾아볼 수 있는 스태프들과의 대화나 가족, 친지 등 지인에 대한 이야기들이 인간 배용준으로서의 따뜻하고 대범한 면모를 찾아볼 수 있게 해 또 다른 재미를 준다.

알려지지 않은 그의 취미 생활 중 하나인 ‘사진 찍기’도 이 책을 엮는데 큰 도움을 주었다. 책 속에 실린 풍경 사진 모두는 그가 찍은 것으로 눈 여겨 볼 만 하다. 문화예술 인사로서 그가 가진 날카로운 시각과 풍부한 감성을 엿볼 수 있는 부분이다.

결과보다는 방법을 일러주는 책

<한국의 아름다움을 찾아 떠나는 여행-배용준>은 우리 문화에 대해 시시콜콜하게 알려주는 사실에 집착하는 문화 교과서가 되고 싶다기보다 배용준이 문화에 다가가는 모습을 통해 보통의 한국사람들이 어떻게 이에 접근하는지를 알려주는 방법의 한 예시를 일러주는 책이다.

책을 읽고 난 후 우리 문화의 아름다움을 느낀 독자라면 배용준의 예를 통해 누구든지 자신만의 방법으로 또 다른 여행을 기획해 볼 수 있다. 책 뒤쪽에 참고로 만든 ‘Route(경로)’ 챕터에는 배용준이 여행을 떠난 경로와 함께 근처에서 체험하거나 즐길 수 있는 곳들을 따로 표기해 독자들도 충분히 좋은 경험을 할 수 있도록 돕고 있다.

‘나를 사랑해주는 가족들(팬들) 한 사람 한 사람과 같이 나 또한 삶이 여전히 벅차고 궁금한 한 사람에 불과하다. 내 마음속에 무언가 그리워 할 수 있는 것이 사라진다면 그것은 얼마나 삭막한 삶일 수 밖에 없는가를 요즘 들어 뼈저리게 느낀다 . 나는 그것을 문화 속에서 그리고 사람 속에서, 마음 속에서 찾고 싶었다. 이 책이 한국 문화를 대표하는 것은 결코 아니다. 오히려 잘못 전달 될 수도 있다는 두려움도 있다. 다만 이 책은 그것을 구하는 초보자로서 나의 서툴지만 진지하고 싶었던 여행의 기록일 뿐이라고 이해 해 주었으면 생각한다’

Sep 12, 2009

Japanese Actor Joe Odagiri in Korea

From the magazine 『HIGH CUT』
Japanese actor Joe Odagiri with Korean actress Song Hye Gyo

Posing for Levi's

Odagiri speaks about the movie "Sad Dream"
source: Yahoo Japan Movies

Q: Did you experience cultural differences during the shooting?

Odagiri: Oh, there were many. For better or worse, problems came up every day, and that was the interesting part. For instance, Director Ki Duk's shooting schedule would not be ready until the very day. So, all I could do was adapt on the spot. Also, the director had a distinct sense of speed. We would not have any tests, and just start shooting right off. That was something I would not be able to experience in Japan.

Q: You worked on 3 films abroad in 2008 ("Sad Movie", "Plastic City", and "The Warrior and the Wolf"). Did this journey bring about a change in Joe Odagiri as a human being?

Odagiri: Recently, I could just let things pass peacefully on many matters that would have infuriated me in the past. I've become such an adult that it's almost amazing (laughs). Emotionally too, right now for some reason, I want to go back to the earth. I want to live on solid earth rather than in the city... I even have thoughts on quitting my job and moving to the coutryside to start farming (laughs). I think I've been too caught up in the flow of city life in the past, working too much, and often lost my self. So, from now on, I'd like to place more emphasis on my life.

Sep 10, 2009


Great news for vegetarians!

My yoga mate Chii-chan and her friends made a map of vegetarian restaurants and cafes in the Kamakura area.

A Kamakura resident herself, Chii-chan shared the following infomation with us.

Kamakura is where "shojin ryori" (Japanese vegetarian cooking) originated, and even today,the people seem to be very conscious about food.

With Yotchan (who is an ayurveda therapist) as the leader, we set out to create a map that would help vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike enjoy the cafes in Kamakura.

Volume 1 completed in Dec. 2008 ...

and this is the new Vol. 2 !

The map offers English translation, and its FREE!!
You can find them in the Tourist Information Center at Kamakura Station and the respective restaurant/cafes.

All of the places that listed are really great places, and non-vegetarians should find them enjoyable too ヽ(^-^ )/

This is the cold pasta set served in one of the cafes listed on the map, "Cafe Life Force".

Whole grain pasta with lots of raw vegetables, miso soup, and a rare pink potato and capers dressed with sauce, and the fresh salad is topped with millet and red onion dressing.
The bamboo chopsticks from the shop "Torado" are the elegant and the perfect size to hold, and the chopsticks holder made of coral is unique too.
Cafe Life Force" is a cafe located on Yuigahama Odori, and is a delicious place to dine for macrobians and non-macrobians alike.

I especially recommend their lunches!

Thanks Chii-chan! I hope to visit Kamakura again soonヽ(^-^ )/

Sep 8, 2009

A Bold Step

The new president of the Korea Tourist Organization

Lee Cham

BYJ with First Lady Kim Yoon-ok, President Lee and others of a committee launched to promote the globalization of Korean food

Article from the Korean Times

Aug.1, 2009

Foreign Critic Turns Into a Mentor

“Dog meat and wine goes well,” said Lee Cham, 55, a German who has been living in South Korea for 31 years, at a wine-tasting event a few years back.

Now he is the new head of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), the nation’s primary body in charge of promoting the country’s tourism abroad.

“French eat horse meat. But few people criticize it. It’s because people think the French culture is a ‘high-end culture.’ I know Koreans don’t eat dogs they raise because the dogs used for cooking are raised in dog farms.

“So, the key here is to raise the status of the Korean culture abroad and give it a ‘high-end’ image and sophistication. Then people won’t quibble on what you eat,” Dong-A Ilbo cited him as saying on Saturday.

Two years ago, Lee, a naturalized Korean citizen, published a book, titled “South Korea: A stifling nation with unlimited potential.”

In the book, he criticized Korea as a place that is run by “bosses,” lacking a healthy debate culture. “An organization cannot be built on a single leader, who orders around,” he said, emphasizing the need for more communicative culture in the stratified corporate hierarchy.

Apparently, the Korean government took his advice as a medicine. It noted his vantage point of understanding both Western and Korean culture and decided to utilized him to promote the Korean tourism abroad.

As a foreigner in the past, Lee said he had mixed feelings about living in South Korea. “I’ve always felt that there is an invisible wall for foreigners in this country. The Korean society is quick to give a second place to a qualified foreigner. But it rarely offers a top position to someone from outside the country.

“Now, with this new responsibility, I feel I am fully recognized as a ‘Korean.’”

Years ago when he married a Korean woman, some Koreans looked at his wife with a disdainful look because the society placed a great emphasis on the “pure blood” of the Koreans and was against international marriage.

His new appointment shows how the society has since changed in this ever “global village.”

“I have a Western face. And this face represents the Korean tourism abroad now,” Lee said.

As part of promoting Korean tourism abroad, he first wants to enhance the visibility of the nation internationally by bidding to host more international conferences in the nation. Secondly, he also plans to vigorously promote Korean festivals abroad. Thirdly, observing the nation’s unique religious and traditional heritage, which even includes shamanism, he wants to promote Korea as a place for ‘spiritual pilgrimage.’

“But what is the most important is for Koreans themselves to enjoy when they tour around the country. If that happens, then foreigners will find the nation as an attractive travel destination as well,” he said.

writer: sunny lee

Lee Cham has appeared in such dramas as "Stairway to Heaven" and "Love Story in Harvard".

Sep 6, 2009

More on Hanbok Artist Lee Hyo Jae

Lee Hyojae in barefoot at her garden.Table on right is originally a sewing machine.She places things where it looks most beautiful.

Hanbok" designer, Lee's home
translation by tomato99
source: Yomiuri Shimbun

date: 29 May 2009

Decorate simply

20 minutes drive from downtown Seoul.

Along two lane loose slope mountain road, the house surrounded by high stone walls appear. Korean traditional clothing “hanbok” designer, Ms.Lee Hyojae(李効斎)(51)told us the concept of her proud home, “I decorated simply to be environment-friendly.” In May last year, she rented this 4story building at “one of the highest rent range in Seoul.” Walls are all white in the rooms, marble and dark brown wooden floor are polished to mirror-shine. Building is 25 years old but does not look old. 1st floor is a shop which sells cushions and other goods, 2nd floor is hanbok shop, there is endless line of female visitors.

You can sense lived-in feel from 3rd floor. In kitchen, she equips German knives and measuring spoons as she “loves their accuracy.” Still there are so many visitors to this floor as Ms. Lee teaches cooking and embroidery to housewives twice a week in her “lecture room” located next to the kitchen. Room opposite to kitchen is filled with comics and novels. She started buying and collecting from 30 years ago and smiles “my collections has more than 1000 books.”There is a beautiful garden(approx. 400square meters) outside. A maple tree in center surrounded by mat of lawn. On a sunny day, she brings out a table outside and enjoys her meal at garden. In one corner, there is a field where she grows green pepper, corn, and hot pepper.

There are various sized traditional crocks with hot pepper paste "gochujang" or soybean paste "doenjang" which are essential for Korean cuisine. “Process of making home-made food is part of designing. (Working in field) may be a labor for someone who does not like it, but it is a day to day activity for me.”

There was no major renovation considering negative effect to earth atmosphere by waste. Instead, she elaborated interior decorating. Felt uneasy with light switch on wall, she covered it with white cloth box. It matched with white wall and felt comfortable. There is a stone mill in one corner of the lecture room. Waterweed in water shows graciousness and adds humidity.

Shelf on hallway displays boxes and wine bottles wrapped up in red, yellow and other colorful bojagis. To save paper bags and plastic bags for shopping, I like bojagis.

“Basics for design is simplicity and usefulness. It's the same both to earth's environment and daily clothing, food and housing.” Her philosophy shows in every part of her home. There is no visitors in 4th floor. It is a private floor for Ms. Lee and her 5 female staffs whom she affectionately calls “children.” “It is a place we have not opened to anyone,” she did not disclose it to us in this coverage…..

Dignified stately dwelling

stone mill filled with water shows calm atmosphere

Hanbok displayed on 2nd floor

bojagi covering wine bottles. knot resembles traditional hairstyle of Korean single women.

▼exterior is western style.
fences and outside walls are surrounded by ivy, building speaks for its years.
total floor space is approx. 400square meters.
▼along the mountain road, residential area where relatively grand houses stands
▼there is a temple on other side of the road, you can see visitors.
but, there is not much car traffic, surroundings are isolated from bustle of downtown.

household accounts(living of 6people, Lee and 5 female staffs):
monthly income: 18,000,000won
food expense: 3,700,000won
water,electricity, phone expense: 1,600,000won
travelling expense: 700,000won
car maintenance fee: 2,500,000won
savings insurance: 4,500,000won
others: 5,000,000won

(story and photos by Yasuhiro Maeda, Seoul)

Hanbok artist makes Korean style simple and easy

source: korea .net
BY Lee Ji-yoon KOREA, December 2008

Lee Hyo-jae, traditional clothing artist, had no idea when the media first introduced her as Korea’s Martha Stuart or Korea’s Tasha Tudor -- both internationally well-known for their dexterity in homemaking and gardening respectively.

"I could learn about Martha from her book, which was sent by a reporter. And Tasha’s book is what I receive most frequently as gift," she said.

Now 51, she runs a Hanbok workshop which was passed on by her mother nearly twenty years ago, along with sewing skills. She usually creates Hanbok, traditional Korean dress, and other goods such as bedclothes and Hanbok accessories, used especially for wedding preparations, called "yedan" in Korean.

After her house and homemaking activities based on tradition were featured through several publications and television programs, her name "Hyojae" became a household brand that reinterprets Korean style in a simple and practical way.

"People easily misunderstand that I’m good at decorating. But I pursue extremely simple and practical style. I just put some hint of tradition and my style to hide some ugly things like a nail on a wall," she said. "For me, roses are too complicated."

She has recently moved to a new house and a TV channel aired a one-hour program featuring her moving process in May. Located in Seongbuk-dong, northern Seoul, the two-story house, once the former residence of a foreign ambassador, has transformed into a beautiful home with a Korean touch.

Even though it is rented, her care reaches each corner of the house. The empty walls of the house were covered with ivy. A small space in the corner of a dining room turns into a tea room with a small pond. Electronic devices are covered with a white cloth hand-embroidered with colorful flowers.

And she relocated her Hanbok shop and showroom to a garage at the entrance of the house, which has become a popular spot for visitors.

"My friends and husband say I’m addicted to working, but for me it is a kind of time to reflect and conceive designs, concentrating solely on my inner self," Lee said as she kept sewing a piece of white linen, which would become a dishcloth with delicate embroidery.

Another important reason her ideas are spotlighted is they are eco-friendly. When serving food, she puts pine needles on the plate not to wash it. And she always reuses empty plastic bottles or boxes with a little design.

"I don’t think I’m special. Mothers are professional. You know, people always say their mother’s Kimchi is the best. People pay attention to me just because I’m a designer who does daily activities artistically and happily," she said.

Despite her humble remarks, the seats for her living class, which takes place at her house sponsored by a local home decorating magazine, have already been fully-booked until next spring. Recent lectures in November were focused on Korean-style ornament making, gift packaging and table setting for Christmas.

Along with Koreans who started sensing a new aspect of Korean style, many people from abroad such as wives of foreign ambassadors to Korea visit her house and workshop to experience Korean culture.
Among her several lectures, the most favored is Bojagi wrapping, a traditional way of packaging by using Bojagi, square-shaped clothes made of a variety of materials. She has some 60 patents for unique and different styles of wrapping and knotting.

Lately, she has taken part in an eco-friendly product exhibition, making a performance wrapping Volkswagen’s New Beetle with Bojagi clothes.

"It was a symbolic performance breaking borders between two worlds and connecting them. Although it’s physically painful, I will continue to do those kinds of experiments -- like wrapping a building -- to make people think differently," she said, still sewing, with her left hand bandaged.

"I’m trying to enjoy every moment of my life. If I’m not happy, I couldn’t do things this fiercely," she said.

"I will keep doing what I’m doing now such as Hanbok design, doing lectures, writing books and homemaking. And I want to make my creations to be not only praised for high quality but also enjoyed widely by ordinary people," she said.

(Photos by Eric Gillet)

Lee Hyo Jae-ssi also worked on the costumes for the drama "King's Woman"