Paper Mary

A Precious Gift

Clara In 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’

Clara In’s Adoring Gaze at Our Lady

The Many Facets of Clara In's Religious Art

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.

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