Artists A-G > PJ Bergin

PJ Bergin


Art at the Nexus of Wax and Joomchi
In the art world, labels are often more useful to the viewer than to the artist.
Nevertheless, I have come to identify myself as a contemporary abstract artist – a
term that accommodates all of the twists and turns my career has taken without
making me feel the least bit hemmed in.
I am currently working with mulberry paper (Hanji) using a technique called Joomchi.
The paper is handmade in Korea and, when wet, can be fused and manipulated into
shapes and various forms.
Lately I’ve been incorporating Asian calligraphy more prominently in the artwork I
create with the Hanji. I’ve also begun experimenting with using encaustic, not only
as a surface for mounting the Joomchi, but also for changing the character of the
mulberry paper.
Joomchi, calligraphy, encaustic –these three techniques, combined, create different
but complementary surfaces. By manipulating and applying these materials by hand
the results are always unique. There is an intrinsic quality to the artwork that is
compelling and visually appealing.
With intentionally exploring new mediums, my work continues to evolve and
expand. While I find myself brimming with ideas, I try to begin each artwork without
any preconceived notions. I trust in the discovery process and follow a kind of
sensory intuition, letting my hands and eyes guide me, uninhibited by conscious
Joomchi is an ideal technique for this type of approach. I bring all of my talent and
experience to bear through the mulberry paper – cutting it, shaping it, wetting it,
fusing and re-fusing it, changing its character and color, transforming it into
sculptural shapes, then finally mounting it on the beeswax surface.
Working with my hands is essential. It is my way of thinking without thinking –
feeling the paper, scrunching it, and ultimately bringing to life the artwork. Through
my hands I access the courage to begin each new artwork and the intuition to know
when each piece is complete.
PJ Bergin
October 2017

Studio 126_ Series 2017-10
Wax and Mulberry Paper
Studio 126_Series 2017-12
Wax, Sumi-e Ink, Mulberry Paper
Studio 126_ Series 2018-1
Wax, Mulberry Paper,