Thursday, February 28, 2013

Faces from Australia - Korea Foundation Cultural Gallery Opening

Our relationship with the Australian Embassy and the Australia Korea Foundation has been facilitated by Ms Lee Hyo-Jin - Jinny. She has been and is always with our projects in Korea, so supportive and well organised. She has co-ordinated all three incarnations of this 'Hello! from Australia exhibition' - at Paju Booksori Festival; at the National Library for Children and Youth; and now, here at the Korea Foundation Cultural Centre Gallery. A beautiful space!

It is a totally new realisation of the work, our book illustration exhibition in collaboration with photographic works by Mr Lee Kyung-wook and jointly named, Faces of Australia. Our part is designed sensitively again by Mr Kim Dae-il, who designed the exhibition when it was at the Library. The photographic section handsomely curated by Ms Park. Young-Mi.

We were there for the set up, the opening and the first couple of days to carry out workshops and interviews with the media.
Setting up the exhibition
Completing the type!

Gallery opening ready for the official launch on Friday February 15

Ann J being interviewed for television report before the exhibition opening

Ann H & Ann J with Mr Kim and his wife and baby. Mr Kim was the designer of the 'Hello! from Australia' section of this joint exhibition 'Faces of Australia'.
His design was fabulous!
 Mr Lee's family at the opening
Workshops in the gallery
Ann James demonstrating her illustration style
Workshops at the gallery

Goodbye Australia, Hello Korea! - Nami Island

We left Melbourne on a 35 degree day and stepped out of Incheon Airport, South Korea, to minus 3 degrees and snow! 

Our first day was an adventure we'd been really looking forward to - a visit to Nami Island - the very tiny Naminara Republic of Korea. At the Nami office in Seoul we met Fred Minn (grandson of Nami Island founder,  Min Byaong-do) publisher of NAMI Books, and Olivia who was our guide for the day.

The ferry ride vistas were teeth shatteringly beautiful - luckily the journey took only ten minutes - The island celebrates peace, nature and creativity - the core values of its founder, Mr Min Byaong-do.
We spent a wonderful day exploring with our very generous host,  Bobby Minn, also grandson of the founder.

Nami is host to many cultural events and exhibitions including NAMBOOK, an International Children's Book Festival, and the Asia Folk Music Festival.

Our very own Frane Lessac & Susanne  Gervay were guests at the Nambook Festival in 2010 when they painted the rock photographed below!

Nami is also the major sponsor of the Hans Christian Anderson Medal, administered by IBBY.
This year from April through May, Nami will host Nambook-013 and the Inaugural Nami Island Illustration Concours for Picture Book Illustrations (NiiiC).

We met the marvelous and very generous Mr Kang Woo Hyon, artist, illustrator and President of Nami Island, and spent precious time in his studio.

'Hello! from Australia' exhibition... we're back from Korea!

'Hello! from Australia' exhibition includes 30 illustrations from recent Australian picture books and was put together as a promotional display for the Australian Publishers Stand at Bologna, 2012.

With support from the Australia Korea Foundation and the Australian Embassy in Korea it is having quite an extended life.  It toured on to be shown at the Paju Booksori Festival in Korea in October last year, and then to the National Library for Children and Youth in Seoul where it opened on November 29. 

We visited the exhibition on it's last day at the National Library, on February 13. It was specially curated for the space by designer Mr Kim Dae-Il and the Library director, Ms Wee. It was playful, busy and child-centred,  and we were impressed to hear it has had 6000 visitors! 

Ann Haddon gave a talk to over 100 librarians gathered from around Korea for an in-service seminar day at the National Library about the Australian Children's Book scene and Books Illustrated, and then we accompanied them to view the 'Hello! Australia Exhibition.'

See more photographs here....

Friday, February 15, 2013

'Hello! from Australia' exhibition at the National Library for Children & Young Adults

When we arrived in Korea we went straight to the 'Hello! from Australia' Books Illustrated and APA exhibition at the National Library for Children & Young Adults in Seoul. 

While we are here we will be taking it down and helping to install the exhibition at the Korea Cultural Foundation Gallery, Seoul.

We were thrilled to see new additions to the exhibition, which help bring the books to life for children and adults visiting.
Arriving at the exhibition. 
Beautiful banner.
A Bear and a Tree

Bath time comes to life! (Goodnight, Mice!)
A Bus Called Heaven
Australian memorabilia
A whole section on the Laureate (with Magpie sculpture included!)
Are We There Yet?'s famous map... with photos too.
Lots of books on display. 

News from Nami Island

Nami Island is a major sponsor of the Hans Christian Andersen Award. 

The president of Nami Island is 
Mr Kang, who has been an author & illustrator since 1980 and now focuses his creativity chiefly on Nami Island.

Here are some pics of his paintings, playful sculpture and studio. Later that day when visiting him in his studio I remembered that we'd meet before and corresponded about trying to set up a KOREAN/AUSTRALIAN illustration exhibition in 1996!

King Kang
Snow sculptures
Internal Reflections
Mr Kang signs a cup for Ann Haddon
Mr Kang painting for Ann in his studio

My painting by Mr Kang!
Inside Mr Kang's Studio

New Prints by Sue de Gennaro

Sue is a Melbourne-based illustrator who has illustrated ten picture books.
Her most recent The Pros and Cons of being a Frog, written by Sue, was published in 2012.
Sue has a degree in film and trained as an aerialist/ performance artist, but says that she has always found her fingers searching for a pencil! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Look! The art of Australian Picture Books Today

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery - 27 February to 21 April, 2013
This is  the last venue of the two year touring of this wonderful exhibition toured by the State Library of Victoria.
Don't miss the free opening celebration on Saturday March 2, and the variety of other activities, sessions and workshops, being run throughout the exhibition

Click here to download the program of events!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Alison Lester's Kids' Antarctic Art

Kids' Antarctic Art exhibition, curated by Books Illustrated, is being shown at the Newcastle Region Library from 17 January to 23 February, 2013

In late January, Alison Lester had an inspiring day at the Big Draw Newcastle, with 400 kids coming through the foyer to take part in her Antarctic mural. Activities were also going on in the Lovett Gallery inspired by her Kids Antarctic Art exhibition, see the beautiful watercolour illustrations above.

If you'd like to hear more about the exhibition and the Big Draw listen to Alison Lester and Julie Swane from the library on ABC Newcastle Radio.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Travelling exhibitions

Exhibition in Korea: Hello! from Australia 
We are looking forward to installing the ‘Hello from Australia’ exhibition at the Korea Cultural Foundation Gallery in Seoul on February 11. Leaving tomorrow, it's going to be an exciting trip. 

This is the promotional print exhibition shown at the 2102 Bologna Book Fair. These promotional exhibitions are an initiative of Books Illustrated and the Australian Publishers Association to promote a range of contemporary picture books through an exhibition of specially selected images from these books, presented as giclee digital prints. When invited to take this exhibition to Korea, we added a section onThe Lost Thing by Shaun Tan - from book to film, the DVD being screened as part of this extended exhibition.

During our visit we will  take part in workshops, talks and we'll visit Nami Island – also known in Korea as the Republic of the Imagination - more on this later!

This is the third venue for this exhibition in Korea, and with requests from some regional libraries, it looks like the tour will continue into 2013!