Painter Hara Chung specializes in creating paper bouquets through her business, Bouquets En Papier (www.bouquetsenpapier.com).
“The thing I don’t like about flowers is that they don’t last beyond a week,” said Chung, a London native who is now based in San Jose. “I want someone to be able to give flowers that would last. I wanted to create a unique way of gifting flowers and art together. I wanted a 3D element to it, with a layered effect. My long-term goal is to get into people’s heads about this unique way of gifting flowers.”
Back in February, Chung met fellow painter Sherry Lee at Friend Fest, a craft fair held by SJMade. The meeting led to an agreement for an artistic collaboration between the two women to create a paper bouquet.
“On my website, all of the bouquets were painted by me,” Chung said. “This one bouquet — ‘Sherry Lou Studio X Bouquets en Papier,’ which launched on Sept. 14, is the only bouquet I didn’t paint. For this bouquet, Sherry did the artwork and I did the arrangement of the pieces.”
According to Chung, for each bouquet sale that she makes, whether it is a bouquet she made or one that she made with Lee in collaboration, she makes a donation to One Tree Planted (onetreeplanted.org), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.
“I chose One Tree Planted because their sole mission is global reforestation,” Chung said. “The organization plants trees all around the world where the trees are needed. You can make donations for specific areas so trees can be planted where they’re needed the most. My latest donation planted 50 trees in India. It costs $1 per tree. You can plant as many trees as you’d like, up to 100 each time when you make a donation.”
Lee is a San Diego native who now lives in Tracy. Her business is called Sherry Lou Studio (sherryloustudio.square.site). Lee described the bouquet she painted in collaboration with Chung.
“In the bouquet there are citrus, lemons and oranges, which bring out a fresh feeling,” Lee said. “The flowers don’t have a specific name, so I just focused on bright, airy colors. After I finish painting the pieces, I edit the artwork digitally, and then I send them to Hara via email.”
Lee cited her parents’ backyard as one of her sources of inspiration.
“I like to paint flowers,” Lee said. “I can’t take care of flowers — they always die. So, I just like to paint plants and hang them up on my wall. The first thing I painted were flowers. It has been years that I’ve been working with flowers and plants and I’m still not tired of painting them. I like how the colors flow among different plants.”
One of Lee’s long-term goals is to continue working on collaborations with different artists.
“Collaborative projects are a good way for artists to stay connected while we’re dealing with the Coronavirus,” she said.