Tag Archives: korea

WHY IT MATTERS: North Korea and the 2016 election

THE ISSUE: Pariah state North Korea could soon be capable of targeting America with nuclear weapons. Economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation have failed to halt its progress. What can the U.S. do to stop the authoritarian government from building up a nuclear arsenal that threatens the United States and its allies in Asia?

WHERE THEY STAND

Republican Donald Trump says the U.S. can put more pressure on China to rein in its unpredictable North Korean ally. He has suggested that Japan and South Korea could get nuclear weapons to defend themselves rather than depend on the U.S. military. But he’s also ready to meet the North Korean leader.

Democrat Hillary Clinton isn’t contemplating a face-to-face with Kim Jong Un, who has met no other foreign leader. She wants the international community to intensify sanctions on North Korea as the Obama administration did with Iran, which eventually opened the way for a deal to contain its nuclear program.

WHY IT MATTERS

Unlike Iran, North Korea already has the bomb. It has conducted four underground nuclear test explosions since 2006. The most recent test was in January, when it claimed to have detonated a hydrogen bomb — a much more powerful device than in the previous tests — although the U.S. government doubts that claim.

North Korea is also working on ways to deliver nuclear weapons. After five failures, it successfully test-launched in June a ballistic missile that puts U.S. military bases in South Korea, Japan and Guam within reach. North Korea has displayed an intercontinental missile that could potentially hit the mainland U.S., although it has not yet been flight-tested. It could take several more years to perfect that missile, which can be moved by road, making it harder to destroy pre-emptively. The U.S. military has said North Korea may by now have developed a nuclear warhead small enough to mount on such a missile.

The U.S. keeps 28,500 troops based in neighboring South Korea as a deterrent force, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended without a formal peace treaty. North Korea is unlikely to launch a nuclear attack on the U.S. or its allies, a move that would invite its own destruction. But, mindful of the fate of ousted dictators in Iraq and Libya who gave up nuclear weapons programs, Kim is clinging to his. He views atomic weapons as a security guarantee for his oppressive regime. That is the main obstacle to resuming negotiations in which the North could win much-needed aid in exchange for disarming.

International attitudes to North Korea are hardening. The nuclear test in January triggered the toughest sanctions yet, restricting the North’s access to foreign currency and weapons technology, but it remains to be seen how aggressively China enforces them. In a sign of how seriously the U.S. takes the emerging North Korean threat, it is investing in missile interceptors in Alaska and California to combat it. U.S. experts estimate that North Korea has 13 to 21 nuclear weapons, and could have as many as 100 by 2020. That’s about 20 weapons fewer than what India is estimated to have in its arsenal today.

WHY IT MATTERS: Health care and the 2016 election

THE ISSUE: About nine in 10 Americans now have health insurance, more than at any time in history. But progress is incomplete, and the future far from certain. Millions remain uninsured. Quality is still uneven. Costs are high and trending up again. Medicare’s insolvency is two years closer, now projected in 2028. Every family has a stake.

WHERE THEY STAND

Hillary Clinton would stay the course, making adjustments as needed to major government health insurance programs. She’d build on President Barack Obama’s health care law, with one exception — a tax on generous coverage that she’d repeal. Medicare, the health care program for older Americans and the disabled, would get new legal powers to negotiate prescription drug prices with pharma companies. Clinton would also offer some relief from rising out-of-pocket costs, like deductibles and copayments.

Donald Trump would repeal “Obamacare.” But a recent study found his plan would make 18 million people uninsured. Stay tuned, because Trump has also said he doesn’t want people “dying on the street.” Similar to Clinton, he has promised not to cut Medicare. He agrees Medicare should be able to negotiate drug prices, unusual for a Republican. Trump’s campaign has said he may revisit major health care programs once in the White House.

WHY IT MATTERS

Patients from all over the world come to America for treatment. U.S. research keeps expanding humanity’s ability to confront disease. But the U.S. still spends far more than any advanced country, and its people are not much healthier.

Obama’s progress reducing the number of uninsured may be reaching its limits. Premiums are expected to rise sharply in many communities for people covered by his namesake law, raising concerns about the future.

The health care overhaul did not solve the nation’s longstanding problem with costs. Total health spending is picking up again, underscoring that the system is financially unsustainable over the long run. Employers keep shifting costs to workers and their families.

No one can be denied coverage anymore because of a pre-existing condition, but high costs are still a barrier to access for many, including insured people facing high deductibles and copayments. Prescription drug prices — even for some generics — are another major worry.

The election offers a choice between a candidate of continuity — Clinton — and a Republican who seems to have some core beliefs about health care, but lacks a coherent plan.

If the presidential candidates do not engage the nation in debating the future of health care, it still matters.

Even if you’re healthy, deeper national debt affects the economy and in some way everyone’s standard of living, especially the next generation. If the government has to spend more on health care, it comes at the expense of more debt, cuts in something else or higher taxes.

America’s problem with health care spending can’t be ignored or wished away. Political leaders can postpone hard choices, but that will mean consequences even more wrenching when the bill comes due.

This story is part of AP’s “Why It Matters” series, which will examine three dozen issues at stake in the presidential election between now and Election Day. You can find them at: http://apnews.com/tag/WhyItMatters.

WHY IT MATTERS: The opioid crisis and the 2016 election

THE ISSUE: More Americans are dying from opioids than at any time in recent history, with overdose deaths hitting a peak of 28,000 in 2014. That amounts to 78 Americans dying from an opioid overdose every day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC uses opioid as an umbrella term for synthetic painkillers and for drugs derived naturally from opium (known more specifically as opiates), such a heroin.

It’s not just the use of illicit opiates like heroin that is on the rise — overdose deaths from prescription painkillers have quadrupled since 1999, tracking a similar increase in the amount of these drugs being prescribed by doctors.

WHERE THEY STAND

Donald Trump sees his plans to build a wall along the Mexican border as essential to stopping the flow of illegal drugs into the country. The Drug Enforcement Administration reports the seizure of drugs at the Southern border quadrupled between 2008 and 2013.

Hillary Clinton proposes spending $10 billion to tackle the drug crisis. Her plan would send more money to states to expand drug treatment and mental health services, promote greater availability of the overdose reversal drug naloxone and support better prevention programs in schools, among other things.

WHY IT MATTERS

More than 2.4 million Americans were addicted to synthetic pain relievers or heroin in 2014, according to the latest federal survey on drug use and health. And that number excludes the millions more — family members, first responders, taxpayers — who feel the ripple effects of addiction in their daily lives.

Clinton has called drug addiction a “quiet epidemic.” But it’s one that’s getting louder, as more and more Americans share their stories and prove that drug addiction follows no standard profile of age, race or class.

For decades, drug addiction was viewed as a criminal justice problem, not a health one. The stigma is lessening, but many states simply don’t have the capability to provide treatment and recovery for people who need it, leaving police departments and emergency rooms to fill the void. Lawmakers and advocates are fighting for precious tax dollars to expand services, but the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that just 0.9 percent of people seeking treatment for a problem related to drugs or alcohol received it.

Experts now believe the sharp increase in prescribed painkillers is to blame. People are quick to share stories of being prescribed dozens of pills for pain relief following procedures as simple as wisdom teeth removal. The strength of these medications can easily cause addiction, forcing many people to turn to a cheaper alternative — heroin — when their prescriptions run out. Roughly 75 percent of new heroin users report first using prescription opioids, the government says.

Lawmakers are beginning to take notice: At the meeting of the National Governors Association in July, 45 governors signed on to a compact aimed at tightening prescribing rules. Several attorneys general are engaged in or considering waging legal battles against major pharmaceutical companies, alleging they played down the risks of addiction when marketing their painkillers.

At the same time, the illicit drugs people are turning to are becoming even more deadly. The synthetic painkiller fentanyl, which is up to 50 times as potent as heroin, is now being manufactured illegally. By sight, it’s impossible to tell the difference between heroin and fentanyl, leaving people unaware of the deadliness of the drugs they are consuming. Northeastern and Midwestern states, such as New Hampshire and Ohio, are seeing a dramatic rise in the use of fentanyl. More than 5,000 people nationwide died from a synthetic opioid like fentanyl in 2014, and that number is only on the rise.

As most politicians know, families and communities are demanding change, and fast.

This story is part of AP’s “Why It Matters” series, which will examine three dozen issues at stake in the presidential election between now and Election Day. You can find them at: http://apnews.com/tag/WhyItMatters.

WHY IT MATTERS: China, trade and the 2016 election

THE ISSUE: Tensions have been rising between China and the United States. China is modernizing its military and pressing its sovereignty claims over the disputed South China Sea, an important route for global trade.

The U.S. is pushing back by increasing its military presence in Asia, which China views as provocative. The U.S. also accuses China of unfair trading practices and cyber theft of business secrets. Tough action by either side could spark a skirmish at sea or a trade war that would make many goods in the U.S. more expensive.

WHERE THEY STAND

Hillary Clinton says the U.S. needs to “stand up to China” and press the rising Asian power to play by international rules — in trade, in cyberspace, and in territorial disputes. But she’s also said the two nations need to cooperate where they can.

Donald Trump says the high volume of U.S.-China trade gives Washington leverage over Beijing. He accuses China of undervaluing its currency to makes its exports artificially cheap and he proposes tariffs as high as 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports into the U.S. to force it to trade fairly and support other U.S. policy goals.

WHY IT MATTERS

The U.S. and China are the world’s two largest economies and biggest military spenders. The wider world needs them to get along, to keep the peace and tackle global problems like climate change and a nuclear North Korea. The U.S. and China also depend on each other economically. Two-way trade topped $600 billion in 2015. China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, and by some estimates, Chinese foreign direct investment into the U.S. has started to outstrip the flow of U.S. investment into China.

President Xi Jinping is trying to manage a soft landing for a slowing economy, and boost domestic consumption to reduce China’s reliance on foreign trade to drive growth. That goal is supported by Washington as it could help reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China, which hit a record of nearly $370 billion last year. But China has a mixed record on economic reform. It has allowed market forces to play a bigger role in its currency exchange rate, but the U.S. has other complaints: restrictions on market access for foreign companies, economic espionage, and state subsidies, including cheap imports from China’s bloated steel industry.

China is building Asia’s strongest military and wants to be treated as a global leader, but its assertive behavior has unnerved its neighbors who look to the U.S. to help preserve order.

The U.S. worries that China, which has built several artificial islands in the South China Sea, wants to control crucial sea lanes. China denies this but refuses to compromise in what it says is a historical right to tiny islands and adjacent waters in the South China Sea where five other governments have territorial claims.

The U.S. Navy has periodically sailed close to the islands to demonstrate its freedom to navigate the area, angering China. In July, China rejected an international tribunal ruling in a case brought by a U.S. ally, the Philippines, that invalidated the legal basis of China’s claims. The U.S. hopes China will moderate its position, but it shows no sign of doing so, although Beijing says it is ready to negotiate directly with other claimants.

Such economic and strategic tensions between two world powers can directly affect American jobs, wages, consumer prices and security.

This story is part of AP’s “Why It Matters” series, which will examine three dozen issues at stake in the presidential election between now and Election Day. You can find them at: http://apnews.com/tag/WhyItMatters.

From Copa To Korea: Winter Games in Pyeongchang next up

Organizers of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, set up a virtual-reality ski simulator — complete with fake, blowing snow — on Copacabana Beach.

“Having sun and sand is normal here, but not snow,” said local Danieli Evangelista, stepping off the make-believe ski slope after waiting in line for 30 minutes for a taste of winter during the Summer Olympics held earlier this month in Rio. “Hardly anyone here ever sees snow. It’s very cool, a very real effect.”

It’s also about to get very real for the next hosts of the Olympic Games.

“We’re not ready to go today, but we’re getting ready,” Kim Jaeyoul, vice president of the Pyeongchang organizing committee, told The Associated Press.

South Korea’s games will be the first of three straight in Asia, joining the Tokyo Summer Games in 2020 and the Beijing Winter Games in 2022. These come after a run of difficult games in Sochi, Russia, and now Rio de Janeiro, with the International Olympic Committee looking for “a safe pair of hands,” as Japan labeled its winning bid three years ago.

Yet organizers in Pyeongchang have struggled with construction delays, local conflicts over venues and a slow pace in attracting domestic sponsorship. This contrasts with the smoother run-ups to the 1988 Seoul Olympics and the 2002 World Cup that South Korea co-hosted with Japan.

“Unlike the 1988 Olympics and the 2002 World Cup, it was not the central government but a province that led the efforts to bring the Olympics,” said Heejoon Chung, who teaches sports science at South Korea’s Dong-A University. “There is a sentiment that the Winter Games are more about Pyeongchang than the nation as a whole.”

The Pyeongchang organizing committee named Lee Hee-beom its new president three months ago. It was the second leadership change in two years, and that’s worried the International Olympic Committee.

Lee bowed to IOC President Thomas Bach, and then to almost 100 IOC members, before addressing the full membership just days before the Rio Olympics opened.

“I’d like to assure you that our preparations are fully on track,” Lee told them.

In introducing him, Bach called Lee a “very dynamic and reliable leader,” and joked that he “promised he will be with us” until the games take place.

Organizers say that after a rocky start, 90 percent of the sponsorship target of $760 million will be met at the end of the year. Sponsorship will provide about one-third of the 2.2 trillion won, or $2 billion, operating budget. Kim said the budget would be adjusted in the next few weeks, compensating for inflation.

Six new competition venues are about 80 percent complete, and a new high-speed rail line will be finished in June of 2017 and in operation the following January. The line will link Incheon airport to Pyeongchang and reduce travel time to 90 minutes from almost twice that much.

Pyeongchang is also building a controversial sliding center for bobsled, luge and skeleton, after rejecting an IOC suggestion that it use a complex previously constructed for the games in Nagano, Japan, to save money. The cost is 124 billion won ($112 million) for a venue that could be a white elephant if not managed properly.

Gunilla Lindberg, the IOC member heading the planning for Pyeongchang, said the sliding center and the International Broadcast Center are “slightly delayed.”

Meantime, competition is heating up between South Korea and China over whose Olympic ski venue might ultimately become a destination for Asian tourists. Beijing planners have picked Zhangjiakou as the ski site for the 2022 games. Pyeongchang has some advantages, as it gets more natural snow than Zhangjiakou.

“A ski resort built for the Beijing Games is not going to be enough, considering the population of China,” Kim said. “We want to attract Chinese, but also Southeast Asians.”

Pyeongchang is in South Korea’s Gangwon Province, and the central and provincial governments have been battling over who should pay the Olympic bills as skepticism grows about the long-term economic benefits of mega-sporting events, said Chung, the sports science professor.

“Pyeongchang mostly got what it wanted,” Chung said, noting the province has pushed off costs to the central government. “It has no choice. It’s still the Olympics, and you don’t want to look bad hosting it.”

WHY IT MATTERS: Trade and the 2016 election

THE ISSUE: In this angry election year, many American voters are deeply skeptical about free trade — or downright hostile to it.

The backlash against trade threatens a pillar of U.S. policy since World War II: Through trade pacts and institutions like the World Trade Organization, the United States has sought to rip down barriers to global commerce, including quotas and taxes on imports.

Economists argue that the benefits of free trade outweigh the costs. Imports cut prices for consumers, and exposure to foreign competition makes American firms and the overall U.S. economy more efficient. There’s a geopolitical angle, too: Countries that do business with each other are less likely to go to war.

Free trade, it seemed, paid off.

But doubts lingered, especially as China emerged as an economic power. China overwhelmed the world with hundreds of millions of low-paid factory workers who could crank out products for less than just about anybody else. And critics charge that China doesn’t play by the rules — unfairly subsidizing exporters, manipulating its currency to give them a competitive edge and condoning the theft of U.S. trade secrets. Whatever the reasons, the United States last year ran a $334 billion trade deficit with China — a big chunk of America’s $500 billion total trade deficit.

Even economists are having second thoughts. David Autor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Gordon Hanson of the University of California, San Diego, and David Dorn of the University of Zurich looked at the American workers most exposed to competition from China. They got an unpleasant surprise. Instead of finding jobs in newer, growing industries, as economic theory dictated, Americans thrown out of work by the “China shock” bounced from job to job and suffered a drop in lifetime pay. China’s rise has “challenged much of the received empirical wisdom about how labor markets adjust to trade shocks,” they concluded.

WHERE THEY STAND

Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton oppose the trade agreements that are a hallmark of U.S. economic policy.

Clinton has broken with President Barack Obama by opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement that Obama’s administration hammered out with 11 Pacific Rim countries (excluding China) and that awaits congressional approval. Awkwardly for Clinton, she had called the agreement the “gold standard” for trade deals when she was Obama’s secretary of state.

Trump vows to tear up existing trade deals, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, and to slap huge tariffs on Chinese imports. He traces America’s economic problems to bad trade deals reached by clueless U.S. negotiators outfoxed by craftier foreigners. The author of “The Art of the Deal” says he can do better.

WHY IT MATTERS

Foreign competition is one reason America has lost 3.4 million factory jobs since China joined the World Trade Organization and became a bigger part of global trade in 2001. It’s also partly responsible for stagnant American wages. Adjusting for inflation, U.S. households earn less than they did in 1997.

But trade isn’t the only culprit: Technology allows factories to cut jobs and still increase production.

Despite the campaign rhetoric, trade deals have far less impact on jobs than forces such as automation and wage differences between countries. The controversial Pacific deal, for instance, probably would have a negligible impact on American employment, the International Trade Commission concluded.

Trump’s plans to impose punitive tariffs would risk setting off a trade war and driving up prices for American consumers. Pulling back from trade agreements could also reduce America’s diplomatic influence. The Pacific agreement, for instance, is aimed partly at countering China’s clout in Asia.

This story is part of AP’s “Why It Matters” series, which will examine three dozen issues at stake in the presidential election between now and Election Day. You can find them at: http://apnews.com/tag/WhyItMatters.

Why it matters: America and the world

THE ISSUE: How should America use its influence in a world where being a superpower doesn’t get you what it once did? As instability and human tragedy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria have shown, the U.S. alone cannot impose solutions or force the surrender of adversaries like the Islamic State group, which cannot be deterred by the threat of nuclear attack.

WHERE THEY STAND

Donald Trump says his approach is defined by the phrase “America First.” He says, for example, that if allies in Europe and Asia won’t pay the full cost of U.S. contributions to their defense, then the U.S. should let them defend themselves. He is sour on “international unions that tie us up and bring America down.”

Hillary Clinton takes the view that America benefits from a wide network of alliances, both for security and for economic strength. She says she would work to widen and strengthen that network. She criticizes a “go-it-alone” approach for the U.S. and asserts that international partnerships are “a unique source of America’s strength.”

WHY IT MATTERS

The way America wields its power around the world affects people in every walk of life, in every corner of the country. Going to war in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 profoundly changed the lives of tens of thousands of people whose loved ones were killed or grievously wounded. It also raised questions that confront Clinton and Trump: How can American influence be used most effectively to protect the homeland and prevent future wars?

In Iraq and Syria, President Barack Obama has chosen not to use the full force of the U.S. military against IS. Instead he has sent small numbers of troops to prod and coach local forces to do the main fighting, backed by U.S. airpower. He says this is more likely to create a durable success than fighting the Iraqis’ and Syrians’ wars for them. Trump says this is an abdication of a commander-in-chief’s responsibility to extinguish as quickly as possible the most immediate threat to the United States. Clinton supports the thrust of Obama’s approach to avoiding another U.S. war in the Mideast.

The Iran nuclear deal, which Trump trashes and Clinton praises, is an example of diplomacy with the potential to change the course of history, for better or worse. Critics like Trump say it opens the door for Iran to get its hands eventually on nuclear weapons, which would threaten America. Clinton says it blocks that path and provides possibilities for change in Iran that could reduce the chance of war.

At its core, the discussion about U.S. leadership gets down to this: How much can the U.S. accomplish acting alone, compared with allying itself with like-minded nations? The question applies not just on the military front but also in economics. Trump argues the U.S. gets too little out of current trade arrangements as well as decades-old security partnerships like NATO, which is anchored in Europe but traditionally led by the U.S. He has called NATO “obsolete” and a bad deal for America.

Clinton, by contrast, sees NATO and alliances with Japan and South Korea as a pillar of U.S. strategy for promoting peace and preventing war.

Trump is right when he says NATO was created to confront a threat – the Soviet Union – that no longer exists. The question is whether the alliance is capable of adapting to 21st century threats like a resurgent Russia, instability in the Middle East and the appeal of the Islamic State group. Whereas Trump suggests the U.S. can be better off going it alone, Clinton aligns herself with the more traditional notion that there is strength in numbers.

This story is part of AP’s “Why It Matters” series, which will examine three dozen issues at stake in the presidential election between now and Election Day. You can find them at: http://apnews.com/tag/WhyItMatters.

WHY IT MATTERS: All will be touched by choice in November

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump offer voters distinct choices this fall on issues that shape everyday lives. Actual ideas are in play, as difficult as it can be to see them through the surreal layers of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Washington, even in normal times, may feel like a foreign capital far removed from the places politicians love to talk about — the proverbial kitchen table, Main Street, your wallet.

But decisions to be made by President Trump or President Clinton are going to matter to home and hearth. The tax bite, the social safety net, the social fabric, potholes, prices, jobs, war, the air we breathe, personal debt and national debt — all that and more are touched in some way by the ballots of Nov. 8.

America’s place in the world is in the balance, too. So is the direction of the Supreme Court, tied between Republican and Democratic appointees. In a sense, a vote for president is also a vote to break the court’s left-right divide. Which side are you on?

Whichever side, voters are in the driver’s seat, not the cheap seats, for this election spectacle.

Clinton brings some predictability. She has a public-service record and an economic agenda rooted in the traditions of the Democratic Party.

Trump at the core is a party of one. The Republican nominee serves up ideas in improvised explosive tweets and broad brushstrokes from the stage.

That contrast is a guide to what to expect, not the whole story. Both are known to have shifted with the political winds. And their plans require the approval of that famously ornery place, Congress, to become real.

Even so, they point to divergent paths for the country on immigration, the economy, health care, global warming and any number of other topics. They present, in short, discernible choices.

In Why It matters series, Associated Press writers who cover subjects at stake in the election illuminate the economic, social and foreign policy landscape, summarize the positions of the candidates and look at why those choices matter.

‘New Hanji’ joins modern craft with Korean tradition

“Paper changed everything,” notes Chelsea Holton, co-curator of New Hanji: A Korean Paper Tradition Re-Imagined,the latest exhibition at Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum. The invention of paper around the year 100 A.D. in China opened a new world for documentation, as well as for art. 

Hanji art was originally developed in Korea, before spreading to other civilizations. The handmade hanji paper is produced from the inner bark of mulberry trees and is renowned for its durability. Hanji can be treated like regular drawing paper, but its versatility also allows for it to be used in the production of textiles and ornaments, molded as decorations for vessels or carved and attached to furniture.

Taking this ancient material as a starting point, five artists from Milwaukee and four from Korea incorporate it into contemporary art. Holton says hanji is enjoying something of a renaissance as it is adopted in the West and revived in its native land. 

One artist, co-curator Rina Yoon, is the origin point for New Hanji, Holton says. “(Yoon) had taken a couple of trips back to Korea in the last five years or so, and she took a group of students to Korea in 2012 along with all of the Milwaukee artists in the exhibition. They studied the techniques and all started to incorporate hanji. Rina organized an exhibition in 2013 that went really well — and this seemed like a valuable thing for Milwaukee.”

That prior showing of these pieces occurred in South Korea at the Jeonju Hanji Festival. At Villa Terrace, a historic venue with a similar attentiveness to both present and past, the show represents a melding of traditional and current artistic trends. 

The Milwaukee-based artists, to varying degrees, have used paper mediums previously in their work. They found that having learned of this material, they were each using it in new work. Viewers also will see that there are identifiable approaches that connect their past endeavors with this medium. 

Jessica Meuninck-Ganger has for a long time used a combination of drawing and video in her installations. In “Trace,” footage of Milwaukee neighborhoods passes by in ephemeral light behind small, sculptural buildings made of hanji. It is meant to evoke thoughts of the transitory nature of spaces. An adage about hanji proclaims that it lasts for 1,000 years. Could the same ever be said about today’s built environments? The sense of the present is simultaneously fragile and nostalgic.

Paper’s three-dimensional possibilities are explored by Christiane Grauert’s Block series. Tall and angular, her skyscraper-like forms are a translation of Hong Kong architecture. The carved spaces of the windows are done with a process learned from Haemija Kim, a master of the technique whose work is featured in the exhibition. 

Master Kim, as she is known, was drawn into the traditions of hanji through an interest in handmade paper objects such as sewing boxes. For her study of these and her endeavors in their recreation, she was given the Presidential Award of Excellence by the South Korean government in 2009. 

In the world of fashion, Korean artist Yang Bae Jeon has become interested in the study of traditional garments associated with funerary practices. In the interests of ecological and other concerns, Jeon’s work in the making of hanji burial shrouds has been influential and an example is on display here. 

Yoon also synthesizes the body and methods of artistic construction in her work. She uses jiseung, a process of paper coiling in large wall pieces that produce cloud-like forms in brilliant white. They originate as pieces molded from her body, transformed into dramatic billows of round and sharply pierced shapes in “Earth Between In and Yeon.”

One Buddhist concept Yoon frequently comes back to in her work is inyeon. She says, “The body returns to the earth and emerges from it. The earth and the body are separate and one at the same time.” 

In her capacity as an art historian and writer, Holton traveled to Korea with the artists as well as students in order to produce scholarly research for this project. One of the strengths of this exhibition is that curatorial approach, which introduces visitors to the context and process of this traditional craft. It wraps multifaceted artistic endeavors together, connected through knowledge of the past and the fibers of hanji which reach far beyond their point of cultural origin.

On Display

New Hanji: A Korean Paper Tradition Re-Imagined continues through Jan. 3 at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, 2220 N. Terrace Ave. Visit
villaterracemuseum.org for more details.

‘Fear 12’ 

Art Bar, 722 E. Burleigh St. 

Through Nov. 2 

Ever since its opening, Art Bar has held this yearly exhibition where artists present visual images of all things sinister and strange. This year’s display ranges from sci-fi fantasy digital art to prints, paintings and assemblages delving into the dark corners of the psyche.

2015 Dia de los Muertos Exhibition 

Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, 

839 S. Fifth St.

Through Nov. 21 

For 23 years, WPCA has held an annual exhibition featuring the traditional ofrendas, or altars, which commemorate deceased loved ones at this time of year. The ofrendas are made by members and community groups, each a distinct portrait to honor and revive the memory of those who have passed on. 

Day of the Dead Ofrendas 

Latino Arts Gallery, 1028 S. Ninth St. 

Oct. 28 – Nov. 20

Located inside the United Community Center, the Latino Arts Gallery will host a display of ofrendas, honoring the traditions of the community. An opening reception will be held on Nov. 6 from 5 to 7 p.m.