Weaver and textile designer Jungeun Lee moved to Aotearoa in 2017: in Korea she founded her own textile practice, Kohn. Now, she’s started an online shop stocking handmade items by Korean and New Zealand makers. “I wanted to mutually introduce the genuineness of Aotearoa and the delicacy of Korea, like an exchange of letters,” she says.
Why have you started a store?
I have two homes, where I live now and where I have lived for a long time. It all started with a small question or a frustration that both countries had limited keywords for each other’s respective beauty. I hope this platform will grow step by step and continuously together with makers.
What will we find?
Handcrafted everyday-use items from independent makers. Some are that you already know, but mostly fresh to the eye and one of a kind.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Made based on an understanding of the material. Technically meticulous, but relaxedly embodied. Something that has room for users, which means ageing relationally over time. For certain, I praise the beauty that comes from practicality. However, practicality here may be far from what is commonly thought.
How did you choose the pieces – what did you look for?
I tried to be very selective. It is curated by a single person; the process is quite personal. The ideas were gathered from every nook and cranny of life. Then I talked with the makers about what I felt was needed. Gratefully I could have some very special objects like a hand-hammered metal tea strainer or an exquisitely detailed wooden trinket box.