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Aimee makes hanji


Aimee Lee is an artist, papermaker, writer, and the leading hanji researcher and practitioner in North America. (BA, Oberlin College; MFA, Columbia College Chicago). Her Fulbright research on Korean paper led to her award-winning book, Hanji Unfurled (The Legacy Press) and the first-ever American hanji studio, located in Cleveland. She specializes in creating and expanding spaces and studios to accommodate Korean and East Asian papermaking and teaches, lectures, exhibits, and is collected internationally. [Download Aimee Lee CV]

Artist Statement

My main material is paper and my central concern is how we use and consider it. I make paper from abundant native and invasive species, which involves harvesting plants, processing raw material into pulp, forming sheets, and drying. With this paper, I make thread, sculpture, books, drawings, prints, garments, and installations. Natural dyes and finishes add color and sheen while joomchi methods of texturing and fusing paper change the nature of paper with water and hydrogen bonding.

Most of my work is rooted in hanji (Korean paper) and its traditions. I especially love jiseung, a method of cording strips of paper to twine like baskets, practiced hundreds of years ago to reuse scraps of precious paper. I am drawn to stories of repurposed paper, where civil service examinations, birth certificates, and genealogy records were transformed into household vessels, secret messages, shoes, and symbolic gifts. I alter these forms by changing proportions, groupings, and surface design to see how older technologies and stories inform contemporary versions. These pieces challenge assumptions about paper’s strength and its capacity to be both itself and something still to be imagined.


eyeseverywhere | ojosportodoslados : 10 años | 10 years, ed. Elizabeth Ross (Blurb, 2016)
Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop: A Modern Guide to the Ancient Art of Mokuhanga, April Vollmer (Watson-Guptill, 2015)
A Song of Praise for Shifu, Susan Byrd (The Legacy Press, 2013)
500 Paper Objects: New Directions in Paper Art (Lark Books, 2013)
1,000 Artists’ Books: Exploring the Book as Art, Sandra Salamony with Peter and Donna Thomas (Quarry Books, 2012)
Design and Make Paper Jewellery, Sarah Kelly (A & C Black Publishers Ltd, 2011)
Handmade Books, ed. Ray Hemachandra, (Lark Books, 2010)
Making Beautiful Book, Narae Kim (Bookpress, 2009)
500 Handmade Books (Lark Books, 2008)
1,000 Artist Journal Pages, Dawn DeVries Sokol (Rockport Publishers/Quarry Press, 2008)

Film / TV / Radio / Podcasts

Paper Talk podcast interview with Helen Hiebert, Jan 25, 2019
Great Big Story, “One Artist’s Audacious Pursuit of Traditional Korean Hanji,” Aug 2, 2017
Voice of America, “Artist Carries on the Ancient Tradition of Handmade Korean Paper,” reporter June Soh, May 17, 2017
YTN (Global Korea)—”천년 한지, 미국에가다…공예가 에이미 리,” 청춘, 세계로 가다,” Apr 2, 2016
Creative Voice—”Korean Art Workshop,” Mar 19, 2016
KBS World Radio—한민족 네트워크, interview, Mar 16, 2016
Applause, ideastream WVIZ/PBS—Dennis Knowles, producer, “Papermaker Aimee Lee,” Jan 14, 2016
MBC Prime (Korea)Hanji: Dreaming of a New Millennium, documentary aired Jan 1, 2015
Asian Art Museum—Korean Culture Day, Dec 16, 2013 (hanji segment 2:21 – 2:35)
Bookbinding Now with Susan Mills, Jan 16, 2013
“Maria the Korean Bride: A Film by Maria Yoon” (2013)

Newspaper Feature

The Advocate—Lachlan Bennett, “Artist Aimee Lee teaches Korean papermaking as part of paper on skin,” Jun 18, 2018
The Albion Pleiad—Beau Brockett Jr., “Like Her Hanji, Artist Aimee Lee Is Resilient, Versatile,” Oct 30, 2017
JoongAng Ilbo—Hwang Joo-young, “2세 예술가 에이미 이씨, “한지로 정체성을 찾았다”,” Mar 11, 2016
The New York Times—Martha Schwendener, “Highlights From Asia Week,” Mar 10, 2016
Yonhap News, “뉴욕서한지 우수성세미나…”NASA 첩보위성에 한지 사용Oct 9, 2015
The Plain DealerGus Chan, “Ancient art is a study in patience, perfection,” Aug 9, 2015
Oberlin News Tribune—”See breathtaking works of ancient paper,” Jan 26, 2015 (print only)
The Korea Times—Chung Ah-young, “Korean-American dedicated to papermaking tradition,” Jan 8, 2015
The Korea Times San Francisco—Shin Young-ju, “”CKS, 한지예술가에이미리씨강연,” Mar 7, 2013
The Columbus Dispatch—Elizabeth Trapp, “Sheafs-d’oeuvre: Works of paper defy expectations of supposedly fragile material,” Sept 8, 2013
The Rivertowns Enterprise—Jackie Lupo, “Papermaker broaches art and ancient craft,” Nov 30, 2012 (print only)
The Martha’s Vineyard Times—Pat Waring, “Show to highlight many personalities of handmade paper,” Sept 12, 2012
The Detroit NewsMichael H. Hodges, “Expect the unexpected at Butter Projects in Royal Oak,” Jun 14, 2012 (print only)
South Florida Times—Nicole White, “Gallery Adds Caribbean Twist to Art Basel,” Nov 11, 2009
The Post-StarDoug Gruse, “The Fiber of Korea: ‘Abundance’ explores hanji paper making,” Nov 10, 2009
The Rivertowns Enterprise—Dina Sciortino, “Hastings grad’s Fulbright extends her paper trail,” Feb 27, 2009 (print only)
The Providence Journal—Bill Van Siclen, “You’ll never look at paper the same way again,” Jun 28, 2007 (print only)
The Grand Island Independent—Mike Bockoven, “Exploration in Isolation: Artists find inspiration down on the Art Farm,” Oct 29, 2006 (print only)

Magazine Feature

DEMO Magazine—Audrey Mast, “Paper Pusher,” issue 19 (fall/winter 2013)
Korean Quarterly—Libby Pomroy, “Can you believe this is paper?” vol. 16, no. 4 (2013, print only)
Textile Fibre Forum Magazine—Janet De Boer, “Wandering into Jiseung: Aimee Lee” Issue 113 (print only), May 2013
Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot—Judy Dominic, “Aimee Lee and the Art of Hanji,” vol. 44, no. 2, Issue 174, Spring 2013 (print only)
Interweave KnitsSabrina Gschwandtner, “Artist Spotlight: Knitting the unspoken,” Winter 2010
Fiberarts Magazine—“Craft Centers Expanding,” Nov/Dec 2010 (out of print)
Korean Quarterly—Amber Dorko Stopper, “Sustained: The Work of Aimee Lee,” vol. 13, No. 3 (Spring 2010)
HAND/EYE—Rebeca Schiller, “Fiddling with Paper: Aimee Lee’s Paper World,” Apr 22, 2010
Diaweb—María de Jesús Cordero, “The Restless Landscapes of Aimee Lee’s Hanji Paper Art,” 2009
Hand Papermaking—Rory Golden, “Working the Mulberry: Kozo Paper in Book Art,” vol. 23, no. 2 (Winter 2008)
DEMO Magazine—”Portfolio,” vol. 7 (Summer 2008)
American Craft—Christine Temin, “Pulp Function: The Constant Is Paper,” Oct/Nov 2007 (print only)
Ampersand: The Quarterly Journal of the Pacific Center for the Book Arts—Steven C. Daiber, “Exhibition Review: Fiber + Book,” vol. 25 no. 1 (Fall 2007)


Paper Talk—Podcast interview with Helen Hiebert, Jan 25, 2019
Oliver + S—Todd Gibson, “An Interview with Hanji Artist Aimee Lee,” Mar 7, 2017
Firstindigo and Lifestyle—Inka Juslin, “Aimee Lee about sound, art books and hanji,” Aug 19, 2016
Zoneone Arts—Deborah Blakeley, “In Conversation with Aimee Lee,” Jan 17, 2016
Barbara Landes—2014
Inspire We Trust—Valentina, “Korean Paper,” Dec 5, 2012
Diaspora Vibe Gallery—Wura Ogunji, “Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator interviews artist Aimee Lee,” Nov 6, 2009—Brian Sherwin, “Art Space Talk: Aimee Lee,” May 15, 2008


Herb Childress, June 8, 2019
John C. Campbell Folk School, May 16, 2019
Distinct Papers—Apr 2, 2017
Clever Charlotte—Feb 22, 2017
Helen Hiebert—Jun 20, 2015
Paperslurry—Apr 14, 2015
Paris To Go—Jan 2015
Ann Starr—Sept 19, 2014
Janet Dodrill—Feb 9, 2014
Anne Marie Desaulniers—Dec 16, 2013
Christine Mauersberger—Aug 4, 2013
Green Chair Press—Jul 23, 2013
Making Handmade Books—Mar 11, 2013
Cari Ferraro—Feb 28, 2013
Susan J. Tweit—Feb 1, 2013
Susan Gaylord—Nov 14, 2012
Friends of Dard Hunter—Oct 24, 2012
Paper Connection—Oct 3, 2012
All Things Paper—Oct 22, 2010
All Things Paper—Oct 18, 2010
Paperphine—Apr 12, 2010

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