For the first time, major artwork from the celebrated Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), an era that has profoundly shaped the Korean culture and art scene, is planning to tour in the US with stops at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the LA County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. It will start in Philadelphia (March 2-May 26,2014) and then to Los Angeles (June 29-September 28, 2014) and end in Houston (November 2-January 11, 2015). More than 150 works will be on view, including a number of designated National Treasures that will be new to American audiences. Works range from ceremonial screen painting and calligraphy to scenes depicting life across various social classes. Also there will be ritual vessels, Korean ceramics, and pieces from the Hermit Kingdom and 19th century West influenced art. A range of illustrated books, metalwork, sculpture, lacquer, furniture, costumes, textiles, and photographs have been selected to demonstrate the scope of the artistic movement during the Joseon Dynasty.
The majority of the art comes primarily from the National Museum of Korea along with loans from public and private collections in Korea and the US.
The exhibition will focus on 5 key themes that illuminate the artistic accomplishments and dynamics of Korean cultural life under the Confucian dynasty that was ruled by 27 kings over 518 years and illustrates the Korean manners, norms, and societal practices during this period. External influences that affected Korean culture include the adoption of the Chinese writing system in the second century, the spread of Buddhism, and also adhering to Confucian values that impose strict moral codes and standards.
The 5 sections focus on the role of the king and his royal court, the taste for simplicity in ceramics, the strict hierarchies that defined the social distinctions of class and gender, ancestral worship through ritual implements, the conflict between Buddhism and Confucian rule, and the influence of Western civilization in the late 19th century.
This is “A Must See” to get an inside and comprehensive glimpse of the evolution of Korean society and culture spanning over 600 years.