The Paper Mary

A Precious Gift

Clara In recently donated to The Marian Library one of her exquisite paper figures of Our Lady. Clara is a renowned artist from Seoul, Korea who works with Dakjogie, a special kind of paper typical of Korea. “Dak” is the name of a tree; “jogie” stands for paper in Korean.

We would like to express our gratitude to the artist for this very valuable gift. We are equally appreciative of Clara’s religious commitment and insights. Her gift, entitled Mother and Child of Korea not only expresses a beautiful intimacy between mother and child, it also carries a message of peace and joy reflected in the subtitle of this endearing paper sculpture, meaning “in his mother’s arm.” As Jesus finds comfort in his mother’s arms, his face and gesture convey a similar message of welcome and hospitality. It is as if Jesus would say, “Here is my mother. I am her son. You are her son or daughter too.”

The artist gave mother and son an oriental expression with dark hair, round face and almond shaped eyes. Both figures are dressed in white. The color white is a favorite of the Korean people. In fact, Korean people were traditionally called “the white clad folk.” In Korean culture, the white color conveys the spiritual world, even divinity. The white robes of mother and child are a tribute to God: Father, Son and Spirit.

 

Mother and Child of Korea: ‘In His Mother’s Arms’
15 cm x 15 cm x 40 cm, 2007

The artist wanted to show us the oriental image, and she gave a round face form of Our Lady. The garments of the Madonna and of the Child Jesus are united with the color white. White is a traditional favorite color of the Korean people. In fact, Korean people have been called “the white-clad folk.” They wear white “Han-bok” (traditional Korean garment), “Bo-sun” (traditional Korean socks), and “Go-mu-shin” (traditional Korean shoes) in traditional ceremonies and commemorations.

The Madonna has a loving expression. She and her Child Jesus are looking out at the world. The artist emphasizes a close relationship between the Mother and Child Jesus. She wanted to express that Our Lady is more beautiful and honorable than all others and thus reflected in the very pale, white skin color.

 

 

 


Clara In’s Adoring Gaze at Our Lady

Sainte Mother Mary: Pray for Us
15 cm x 20 cm x 55 cm, made in 2006.

The artist wanted to give Mary an extraordinarily gorgeous appearance. She wears a white dress and billowing white robe and mantle. On her head, a golden crown with twelve stars as described in Revelation. The crown is adorned with white jewels and tiny blue stars. Mary holds a rosary in her hands. To truly enjoy this statue we should look up to it from a stance below. The artist herself prays the rosary in front of this Madonna. Looking at the statue, she sees different faces depending on the prayer of the moment.

The Visitation
15 cm x 20 cm x 60 cm, made in 2005.

This statue expresses the day when Mary visited Elisabeth. Korean people have round faces, but the artist gave this figure a long, thin face to emphasize the look of a pregnant woman. Mary wears a white dress and a violet mantle. Her scarf is intended to protect her slender body. This work of art was donated to the oratory of the “Samsung Jaeil” Hospital which specializes in obstetrics and gynecology. The day of installation was May 31, 2005 which happened to be the memorial day of the Visitation.

The Assumption – Following Her Son…
20 cm x 15 cm x 50 cm, made in 2005.

The artist made this statue one year after her baptism. She was not yet familiar with liturgical terms. She made this figure while meditating on a Madonna image that seemed to ascend to Heaven. Upon completion of the work, the artist realized that the feast day of the Assumption was near and was awed by this mysterious coincidence.
This Madonna wears a “Han-bok” (Korean traditional garment), “Bo-sun” (Korean traditional socks), and “Go-mu-shin” (Korean traditional shoes). The blue mantle inspires peace. In fact, blue is one of the colors of the Mother of Heaven. The artist prays, “Mother, I also want to go to Heaven, holding on to your mantle.”

Love: The Baby in His Mother’s Arms
30 cm x 30 cm x 40 cm, made in 2006.

The artist discovered common features between a baby in his mother’s arm and the Baby Jesus at the breast of Saint Mother Mary. The Madonna looks at the Baby Jesus with loving eyes. This scene inspires serenity and peace reminiscent of a beautiful, peaceful afternoon.
The artist used smooth colors to express the peaceful sleep of Baby Jesus in the arms of his Mother.
The artwork highlights the loving relationship between the Madonna and Baby Jesus.


The Many Facets of Clara In's Religious Art

Creation of Adam: ‘In the Beginning’

Jonah: Waiting for Light in the Darkness

Adoring Baby Jesus: Become True Love

The Good Shepherd

Stations of the Cross: Tribulation and Suffering

Stations of the Cross: ‘With Jesus’

Resurrection: ‘Light in the Darkness’

Saint Fr. Andre Kim: ‘The First Fruit’

Servant of the Lord: ‘Here I Am’

Go Up to Heaven: ‘Let's go there together’

 


 

About the Artist: Jeong-ok, In (Clara)
 

At present Ms. Clara In is a teacher of Dakjongie dolls at the Hwa-jung-dong parish church in Ui-jung-bu Diocese and teacher of Dakjongie doll research class at Dae-chi-dong parish church of Seoul. She is a member of Yo-ul Hue.
 

Her past accomplishments include:

- Prize winner at Public Exhibition of Korean paper (2004-2006).

- Display of the prize winning work at the Won-ju Chi-ak Art Festival (2004-2006).

- Six exhibitions of Yo-ul Hue (2001-2006): Kyong-in Art Gallery, In-sa Art Center, ‘Iye-surae-Jun-dang’ (Palace of Art).

- Her works were shown in Canada, Japan, Germany, and the USA.

- Operated ‘In’s Workshop’ (School of Dakjongie Dolls).

 

 



Why are the Korean people called “Bae-ghi Min-jok” (the White-clad folk)?
Color has different meaning depending on geography and culture. In ancient China the people wore white clothes in times of food scarcity, flood, drought and mourning. The color white symbolized ominous circumstances. The color blue held the same meaning for the Japanese and, for Westerners, it was black.
The Korean people, on the other hand, wore a white robe not only as funeral garments, but also as ordinary dress. The difference is a cultural characteristic which, to an extent, reflects traditional beliefs surrounding God. To the ancient Korean, the color white represented divine presence and therefore they attributed divine characteristics to this color. That is why they preferred to wear white robes. It was an outward expression of their respect for God. To this day, this tradition continues in various Korean ceremonies.

 



This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, was created by Cindy Osborne and was last modified by Sumithra Kulkarni on 03/07/2012. Please send comments to jroten1@udayton.edu.

 

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