Here are Christmas gift ideas for this year

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The Korea Craft & Design Foundation has launched products with traditional Korean patterns that are available online. (Korea Craft & Design Foundation)

Christmas always comes.

While some have small family or friends gatherings here, others prefer to fly overseas and meet their loved ones. Expressing gratitude and giving a small gift to loved ones will be more encouraging than ever after years of battling the pandemic.

This year’s booming art market has expanded to include the creation of a wide variety of artifacts in museums or galleries, especially for younger people whose interest in art in South Korea has grown in recent years. If you are looking for Christmas gift ideas this year, checking out artistic offerings is a great option.

The Korea Craft & Design Foundation has launched 24 daily products, including cup coasters, blankets and trays that feature traditional Korean patterns seen in architecture and on artifacts. The trays are available in two designs, with a peony pattern or a representation of royal palaces.

“We launched some products that feature Korean traditional patterns that we have reinterpreted in a contemporary way as people become more interested in Korean traditional culture,” said a foundation official.

While the goods are available from their online store, the foundation also operates the KCDF shop in Insa-dong, an attractive place for travelers in central Seoul that is jam-packed with Korean restaurants and souvenir shops. The virtual reality view is available on the website and provides an overview of the crafts on the shelves.

Women's traditional embroidered shoes (Yeol)

Women’s traditional embroidered shoes (Yeol)

If fashion is your thing, the Yeol Korean Heritage Preservation Society is the place to shop for women’s traditional embroidered shoes, made to measure by artisan An Hae-pyo. The shoes are made of leather, silk and silk thread and are custom-made. The handmade shoes can be purchased online, but you can visit Yeol’s Gallery in Gahoe-dong in central Seoul to see them in person. International shipping is also possible by contacting the Yeol office.

After its renovation, the Leeum Museum of Art unveiled the Leeum Store in September, featuring a variety of handicrafts by Korean artists and has become a must-see museum. The works include “Pebble Vase” and “Moon Jar” by ceramic artist Lee Jae-jun, “A Bottle and Two Glasses” by glass artist Yi Chan-u, “Carnelian Necklace” by metal artist Kim Yoo-jung and “Rock Tablett” a stone by the handicraft artist Kim Hyun-joo.

“A bottle and two glasses” by Yi Chan-u (Leeum Store)

As the only arts and crafts museum in the country, the Seoul Museum of Craft Art, which opened fully this month, has set up a one-of-a-kind craft store selling works by artisans whose work is part of the museum’s collection. The items include metal, wood, ceramics, textiles and paint. The selection of art for sale will change regularly. The museum currently only allows walk-in shopping for the museum shop.

Those who have visited the National Museum of Korea and want to purchase handicrafts or goods related to Korean traditional culture as gifts can visit the National Museum’s online store. Miniature statues of the pensive bodhisattva in gilded bronze, designated National Treasure No. 83, are sold, as are household or fashion items such as scarves and accessories.

A miniature statue of the pensive bodhisattva made of gilded bronze (shop of the National Museum)

A miniature statue of the pensive bodhisattva made of gilded bronze (shop of the National Museum)

IDUS, an online shopping platform that offers handmade goods, is becoming increasingly popular with younger people looking for unique items. The platform is used by almost 20,000 artists who have offered their goods for sale.

From Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)


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