Join our workshop for an exploration of Obangsaek (오방색, 五方色) , immerse yourself, feel the colors, create your own collage work using these symbolic colors with Artist designed and handmade materials, capture your memory in front of the tailor-made collage photo booth.

Event date: Saturday, March 23 · 1 - 3pm CDT

This session offers a unique opportunity to engage with Korean heritage in a creative and meaningful manner. We designed the patterns from level 1 to level 3 and encourage everyone to come and experience.

Welcome to sign through our webiste! LIMITED SPOT, RSVP REQUIRED.

Event Highlights -

A 30-minute lecture about the traditional Korean color combination - the meaning of Obangsaek(오방색), its cultural significance, and how they are used in everyday objects.

A 60-minute collage making workshop -  enjoy the pure experience of color combination.

A flexible 30-minute photo time - capture your memories at our tailor-made collage photo booth!

Koreans, believing that Obangsaek conveys fortune, protection, prosperity, and harmony, have applied to their cultures: architecture, food, clothing, and art. The architect of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) adorned the places with dancheong (단청) in the symbolic Korean colors to protect the wooden structures and infuse the meaning of the nation's prosperity. Babies wear the rainbow-colored hanbok, the traditional Korean cloth, on their first birthdays and holidays, which wish them a long life and protect them from misfortune and evil spirits.

Obansaek (오방색, 五方色) is the Korean traditional color scheme of blue (green), red, yellow, black, and white. Obang 방 means five directions - center, north, south, east, and west; saek 색 indicates color; thus, it literally means “the five directions of color.”

These Korean traditional colors were inspired by the concept of the ancient Chinese philosophical theory of Yin and Yang (阴和阳) and the Five Elements (五行) – presenting a belief that there are two forces (energies) -yin and yang - creating the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. The theory describes that everything in life - the universe, nature, and humans - must be balanced.

In addition, Obangsaek and its meanings were employed to make bojagi, a wrapping cloth used to wrap, carry, and store objects - sometimes for marriages and religious ceremonies. The meaningful Korean colors are found in the food. For instance, bibimbap (비빔밥) is one of the well-known Korean foods, incorporating Obangsaek decorated with various colored vegetables, fried eggs, and meats on the rice. So do kimbab (김밥), gujeolan (구절판), japchae (잡채), and more.

About Young Kim

Young Kim is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist from South Korea who works with painting, weaving, installation, hand papermaking, and performance. She received a BFA in Textile Art from Hongik University in Seoul and an MFA in Fine Arts at Columbia College Chicago in 2023 and has participated in considerable solo and group exhibitions throughout Korea, the U.S., and abroad. She is a recipient of the Albert P. Weisman Award and the Haystack Fellowship in 2023.

Young values Buddhist conversations that express this world as the suffering world, sabba, where humans undergo dukkha, meaning unhappiness, despair, or pain, due to excessive attachment to tangible or intangible materials. These conversations also promote practicing wisdom and loving-kindness to reduce dukkha and achieve nirvana, the ultimate state of serenity. Believing that the work of art can be another instrument to lessen individuals' hardships, Young composes artworks to deliver life-affirming sensations – such as hope, joy, respite, transcendence, or tranquility. She dreams of her showcase offering a sanctuary to the people of sabba.



Heritage Museum of Asian Art (3500 South Morgan Street 3rd Floor Chicago, IL 60609)

More Info (External Link)
March 26, 2024

More from 


View All

Join Our Newsletter and Get the Latest
and Greatest on Asian American Communities

Stay in the loop. No spam ever. Read our Privacy Policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.