Gwangju National Museum
Asian Pottery Culture Research
Publication of Reports
Gwangju National Museum
역사와 문화가 살아숨쉬는 국립광주박물관
2015-02-10 ~ 2015-05-10
The Gwangju National Museum held
as the first special exhibition of the year 2015.
Joseon was a 500-year-old state founded upon Neo-Confucianism that valued etiquette and righteousness. White porcelains selected according to the etiquette rules were used as vessels to hold its history and culture, as they were in line with the foundation of Josoen.
Blue and white porcelains were viewed as ceramics that embody the desires of the entire world, upholding the dignity of the royal family and the practices of Confucianism as well as the elegance and refinement of the writers and artists of the gentry class. The blue and white porcelains, which were an art form and the norm, demonstrate the ideas and aesthetics of the times with each blue stroke.
The Gwangju National Museum carefully selected some 200 pieces of blue and white porcelains submitted to the special exhibition, < Blue and White Porcelain of the Joseon Dynasty>, organized by the National Museum of Korea, to convey the blue colors of Korean history that bloomed on white porcelain. This special exhibition held for the first time in the Gwangju and Jeonnam region provided a valuable chance to appreciate the blue traces of Joseon.
2015-01-27 ~ 2015-05-25
Food, clothing and shelter are absolute necessities of man, and of these, clothing is a characteristic unique to man. While we cannot pinpoint the exact time period when people started wearing clothes, the spindle whorl dating from the Neolithic Age is a direct piece of evidence of thread production, with a high likelihood that textiles began to be produced around this time.
According to historical documents, it appears that textile production had occurred in full swing even before the Three Kingdoms Period. 『The Records of the Three Kingdoms』 and 『The Book of the Later Han』 show that Samhan (Three Hans) practiced sericulture and produced silk and hemp cloth, and evidence of this was discovered at the Archaeological Site in Sinchang-dong in Gwangju.
The Archaeological Site in Sinchang-dong is a massive historical complex that demonstrate the farming culture of the early Iron Age, and a wide variety of artifacts such as earthenware, woodware, boneware and lacquerware were excavated from the site. Pieces of silk and hemp cloth that were found at the site were the oldest of their kind in Korea, and textile production and sewing tools such as a thread guide, spool and needles made out of bone were excavated.
The Gwangju National Museum hosted an international academic conferenced titled 「East Asian Perspective on the Textile Culture of Sinchang-dong」 in 2013 and collected and built research data. This time, this special exhibition was organized to present Korea’s oldest textiles and weaving tools and examine the ancient textile culture.
At the exhibition, the traditional processes of producing thread from natural sources such as silkworms and hemp and weaving fabric. This provided an opportunity to get a more vivid picture of the process through which the artifacts on display inside the showcases were produced and used.
2014-10-21 ~ 2015-01-18
This exhibition was planned in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the death of Gongjae Yun Du-seo (1668~1715), and co-hosted with MBC Gwangju, celebrating the 50th anniversary of its establishment, and Nogudang in Haenam, where the head household of Yun’s family clan resides.
Gongjae Yun Du-seo is called the “Three Jaes” of the late Joseon Dynasty along with Gyeomjae Jeong Seon and Hyeonjae Sim Sa-jeong. As a great-grandson of Gosan Yun Seon-do (1587~1671), Yun Du-seo passed the Jinsansi exam in 1693, but chose not to take a government post as there was a severe faction, and instead concentrated on his studies and spend his entire life on poetry, painting and calligraphy. Nogudang was the house of Yun Seon-do and the base of the Haenam Yun family clan. It served as a cradle that built the foundation for the traditional painting circles of the Honam area. This exhibition shed light on the world of calligraphy and painting of Yun’s family clan, who succeeded the painting traditions across three generations from Yun Du-seo to his son, Nakseo Yun Deok-hui (1685~1766) and then to his grandson, Cheonggo Yun Yong (1708~1740).
2014-09-02 ~ 2015-01-18
This is a thematic exhibition that was planned, using the results of the research on the items from the Archaeological Site in Sinchang-dong in Gwangju that were excavated by the Gwangju National Museum.
The Archaeological Site in Sinchang-dong is a place that retains the appearance of a farming community from 2,000 years ago. Of particular note, a pair of tongs that were excavated from the site demonstrate the level of the local woodcraft technology at the time. What is even more interesting is that the traditional techniques applied to make the tongs have been passed down to this day.
2014-07-08 ~ 2014-09-28
The Gwangju National Museum hosts an exhibition focusing on a specific region of Jeollanam-do Province each year for the purpose of researching and preserving the regional cultural heritage under the title, ？Namdo Culture Exhibition？. Held for the fifth time this year, ？Namdo Culture Exhibition V？ focused on Goheung-gun.
Goheung-gun, where there is a coexistence of splendid nature and advanced technology, has long history and traditions dating all the way back to the Prehistoric Period. This special exhibition organized and introduced the history and culture unique to Goheung-gun from the Prehistoric Period to the contemporary times.
The exhibits were arranged to introduce the liberal arts and geographic features of Goheung, situated in the southernmost region of the Korean territory and the southeastern area of Jeollanam-do Province, near the entrance. It was then followed by exhibits on the local history and culture that were chronologically arranged.
First, the prehistoric culture of Goheung-gun was summarized using some 2,000 dolmens located in the county, while the formation of Mahan and the development of the ancient culture were introduced centering on the Andong Tumulus in Gildu-ri, Podu-myeon, from which a gilt-bronze crown was excavated.
This was followed by exhibits that show the process of thwarting the Japanese invasion at the end of the Goryeo Dynasty and the beginning of the Joseon Dynasty through the countless stone fortresses that were built at the time as well as the findings of the excavation survey on a kiln site in Undae-ri, Duwon-myeon that was carried out by the Gwangju National Museum, thereby shedding light on the ceramics culture unique to the region. In addition, the modern and contemporary history of Goheung-gun was demonstrated through Sorokdo Island, which was chosen as the quarantine detention area for Hansen’s disease patients by the Japanese Government-General of Korea in the 1920s during the Japanese occupation period.
Exhibition with artifacts donated by Im Byeong-seon and In Gwang-deok of Jangheung Im family clan, “Gyuam Im Jang-won and the Spirit of Confucian Scholars”
2014-04-15 ~ 2014-06-15
The Gwangju National Museum has been hosting exhibitions featuring donated artifacts in order to honor the wishes of those who have donated cultural assets and to promote the historical value of the donated items. This exhibition consisted of 146 items donated by Im Byeong-seon over the years in 2007, 2008 and 2014 and 33 items donated by Im Gwang-deok in 2014. Of the donated artifacts, the ones shedding light on the life of Gyuan Im Jang-won (1734~1804) of the 20th generation of Jangheung Im family clan and the spirit of Confucian scholars.
Gyuam Im Jang-won, born in Boseong, Jeolla-do Province, passed the state civil service examination and was assigned the government posts of Dongbuseungji (Jeong 3-pum post at Seungjeongwon, or the oyal Secretariat) and Dohobusa (Jong 3-pum, the highest post at Dohobu of a local administrative region). Thus, he became one of few figures from the Jeollanam-do region to reach the status of Dangsanggwan (a government official with at least a Jeong 3-pum status) in the late Joseon Dynasty. He was under fire for submitting Maneonso, an appeal objecting a policy proposed by King Jeongjo (reigned from 1776~1800), but Jeongjo actually trusted him and thought highly of his integrity and upright character.
2014-03-04 ~ 2014-06-30
This is a thematic exhibition that was organized by the Gwangju National Museum, based on the findings of a study on the items excavated from the Archaeological Site in Sinchang-dong in Gwangju.
The Archaeological Site in Sinchang-dong is a place that retains the appearance of a farming community from 2,000 years ago. The tube-shaped lacquerwares excavated from this area well-demonstrate the otchil (lacquer) culture and woodwork techniques back in the day.
2013-12-17 ~ 2014-07-13
This is a special exhibition that showcased 150 artifacts discovered on the seabed off the coast of Sinan.
In 1975, Chinese pottery was found off the coast of Bangchuk-ri, Jeungdo-myeon, Sinan-gun, Jeollana-do Province, which prompted an underwater excavation survey that took place eleven times from 1976 until 1984. In the process, around 720 fragments of the sunken ship, some 22,000 Chinese pottery wares and crafts made of various materials, 28 tons of Chinese coins, around 1,000 red wood pieces, 7 Goryeo celadon wares, Japanese ceramics, and other daily tools and packaging materials used on board were uncovered.
These were the traces of a ship that had sunk while carrying trade goods such as pottery and coins to Japan during the Yuan dynasty.
There remained records based on which the time period and port of departure and the destination could be inferred, and thus it was possible to obtain detailed information on the ship.
The discovered artifacts drew a great deal of attention and became a major research topic at home and abroad, as they were historical materials that could reveal information about the size and situation of East Asia trade at the time. In 2012, a special exhibition titled
was held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Korea and China, and 209 artifacts discovered from the seabed of Sinan were displayed.
2013-11-12 ~ 2014-02-02
This is the second special exhibition centering on the Four Gracious Plants (plum, orchid, chrysanthemum and bamboo), following “The Plum Blossoms Flowering in Paintings: Tammae (2009).” The exhibition was organized with the aim of giving a new interpretation of the formativeness and symbolism of the traditional themes applied to teach novice painters how to use the brush and ink, which may seem hackneyed at times, from the contemporary perspective.
“The Bamboo of Traditional Art,” which was the first part of the exhibition, consisted of five sub-themes: a place with bamboos, bamboos inside the heart, how to draw bamboos, the wind and bamboos, and bamboos and pottery. The reason mukjukdo (bamboo painting in ink) was widely painted back in the day was that writers, who were considered political elites and intellectuals, projected the ideal characteristics of a man of virtue to the bamboo.
“The Bamboo in Contemporary Art,” which was the second part of the exhibition, presented artworks by thirty-three artists specializing in Korean painting, Western painting, photography, printmaking, installation art, and media art.
At “The Wind Blowing in the Bamboo Forest,” which was the third part, artworks by Kim Gyu-jin, who made a name for himself as the master of bamboo paintings in ink between the late 19th century and the early 20th century, and Goam Lee Ung-no, who learned calligraphy and how to paint the Four Gracious Plants from Kim and added contemporary formativeness to the art form, were on display, and these demonstrated the tradition and transformation of bamboo paintings. Also on display were the paintings of bamboos and bamboo forests by Lee Ung-no, who had consistently painted bamboos even while making new attempts with abstract letter paintings and paintings of crowds of people.
This special exhibition provided insight into the way relationships developed between nature and man and between people in bamboo forests, which were a place where lives were built. The aim was also to have traditional art inspire new creations through Beopgochangsin (“Create something new from the things of the past”) so that the past values may remain relevant today and the future.
MT. Mudeung Buncheong Wares: The First Epoch of Joseon Dynasty Ceramics
2013-07-23 ~ 2013-10-13
The special exhibition titled Mt. Mudeung Buncheong Wares: The First Epoch of Joseon Dynasty Ceramics is being held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the excavation and investigation of the kiln sites in Chunghyo-dong and to shed light on the history and artistic value of Mt. Mudeung Buncheong wares. This exhibition is all the more meaningful in that it is being held in the first year of Mt. Mudeung's designation as a national park, and will offer an opportunity for visitors to see Mt. Mudeung Buncheong wares, which were born some 600 years ago and ultimately became a symbol of Joseon's ceramics