The gift-giving season is upon us, and for those running out of ideas the upcoming Craft Trend Fair may be helpful.
Korea's biggest craft fair will start its four-day run on Dec. 21 at COEX Hall C in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul. It will showcase a variety of innovative handicrafts by 600 artisans.
Hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and organized by Korea Craft & Design Foundation, the annual event has attracted more than 20, 000 visitors each year.
The event explores the use of materials and techniques in handmade crafts. A variety of resources — project exhibitions, contest winners, rented booths — will be featured, showing an array of traditional and modern handicrafts.
This year, the event will be organized around the theme "Rediscovery! Craft and Locality."
Lee Sang-cheol, the fair's director said "This year's fair will display traditional and modern craftwork, with the focus on introducing unique works from various regions of Korea."The remarks were made at a press conference in central Seoul Monday.
More than 110 companies will set up around 122 booths in the industry section to showcase their products ranging from furniture, tea ware, jewellery and a variety of everyday goods, while more than 100 artists and designers selected through a competition will display their own work in 102 booths.
There will be a section devoted to foreign experts, such as the members of "Atelier d'Art de France," an organization of French artisans.
As one of the side events, experts from Japan, Thailand and Vietnam will hold a seminar on Dec. 22.
Ahead of the event's opening ceremony on Dec. 21, promotional activities for the fair will start in Dec. 1 at stores in key tourist areas in Seoul specializing in craft works, including Insa-dong, Bukchon in central Seoul and the Garosu Road in Sinsa-dong.
"The event covers a variety of objects and visitors can also purchase Christmas gift items there," Lee Yoon-se, PR manager for the fair said.
A popular booth for K-drama fans is expected to be actor Ji Jin-hee's, where he will showcase and sell craftwork he has made. He is known to have an interest in craftwork, and took this opportunity to learn skills from Jeong Yeon-taek, a professor at Myongji University. Ji is also the goodwill ambassador of the fair.
The event is one of the major activities of the Korea Craft & Design Foundation, an affiliated organization of the culture ministry. The foundation was established in 2000 to support the promotion and development of the Korean crafts industry and build a network of professionals in the field.
Visitors can register online for the fair in advance.
The tickets are 5,000 won but visitors will receive gift certificates of equivalent value when they buy tickets. These can be used to buy craftwork or to participate in charged programs.
For more information, call (02) 733-9014 or visit craftfair.kcdf.kr. Visitors will have a chance to create their own craftwork in an interactive zone throughout the event.