The Ontario College of Art & Design is pleased to announce that 27 OCAD community members will represent Canada at the prestigious Cheongju International Craft Biennale, taking place from Sept. 23 to Nov. 1 in the city of Cheongju, South Korea. As this year’s official guest country, Canada will be centre stage at the biennale, which attracts over one million visitors from around the world.
Two of OCAD’s Material Art & Design (MAAD) faculty members, assistant professor Robert Mitchell and associate professor Chung-Im Kim, will be giving lectures on their creative processes and the MAAD program at OCAD. Their work, along with that by dozens of other OCAD alumni, faculty and former faculty, has been selected for the Unity & Diversity exhibition of Canadian craft, curated by Dr. Sandra Alfoldy of NSCAD University.
“OCAD’s MAAD program is renowned for launching the careers of Canada’s most acclaimed craft artists,” says Mitchell. “The Cheongju Biennale is really a pinnacle event celebrating fine craft on the world stage, attended by the most influential and respected curators, collectors, craft historians and critics. I am honoured to have this opportunity to showcase the vitality and excellence of OCAD’s students, alumni and faculty to the rest of the world.”
In addition to representing Canada and OCAD at the biennale, Chung-Im Kim has played a vital role in establishing Canadian presence at the event. Kim acted as translator between the biennale’s visiting officials and representatives from local organizations coordinating the Canadian exhibition – the Canadian Crafts Federation, the Ontario Crafts Council and numerous other provincial and territorial councils.
“Our largest group of international students at OCAD is from Korea,” says Kim. “This year we have 203 Korean international students, in addition to many Korean-Canadian students. More than 13 per cent of our students in the MAAD program, for example, are Korean. We’re thrilled to be able to showcase OCAD in their home country to an international audience.”
In addition to the OCAD students, alumni and faculty who will showcase their work at the biennale, alumna Maegen Black (BDes, Material Art & Design, 2006) continues to liaise with biennale officials in Korea in her role as administrative director at the Canadian Crafts Federation.
“It has been both a real pleasure and a challenge to coordinate the event,” Black says. “I’ll be on the ground in Cheongju throughout the entirety of the biennale, directing all the activities. Korea is a beautiful country with friendly people and a real respect for craft.”