Friday, December 14, 2012

Celadon and postcard exhibitions

There are a couple of interesting exhibitions on this month I thought I'd point out.
It was mentioned to me awhile ago that the National Museum in Yongsan was holding a large exhibition of Goryeo era celadon - its first in 20 years -  and I sort of stumbled upon it this week. Here's some information on it:
This special exhibition is based on the research achievements on the peninsula's long ceramic tradition which have undergone a remarkable development since the 1990s. The purpose of the exhibition lies in outlining the development of Goryeo celadon wares such as its birth, and origin and application of inlay techniques. Furthermore, it is put together to take a closer look into the role, production, and circulation of the celadon, and its relationship with other metal crafts and lacquer wares during Goryeo Dynasty.

The exhibition presents 350 intact celadon wares. They have been carefully selected from the collection in Korea and other countries in regards to the importance and quality. In terms of the scale, the exhibition is the largest of a kind in history. It includes 29 nation's designated cultural heritage(18 National Treasures and 11 Treasures) and two Japan's designated important cultural assets, making the exhibition an unprecedented case of bringing together top quality celadon wares.
It's well worth seeing, though this Sunday (December 16) is the last day. There's also a book with photos of the entire collection available for purchase.

Down at the Independence Hall in Cheonan is another exhibition, this one of colonial era postcards. If you like old photos and views of Korea's major cities (and of the countryside and daily life) from the 1910s to the 1930s, there are 150 postcards of such scenes on display there, and more collected in a slideshow. There's almost no information about this exhibition (in the media) in English, and though it's noted on the Korean language site, there's no information on the English language site (though there's useful information on how to get there). This page (I hope that link works) has links to a few examples, including this street scene and this postcard (one of ten or so which shows both sides at the exhibition) written by Ahn Chang-ho to his daughter while in the U.S. Rather annoyingly, that page has a link to a photo of the book on display there which collects all of the postcards, but it's not available to buy.

The exhibition is in Hall #7, to the right behind the large main hall. From Seoul, taking a train down to Cheonan and a ~30 minute bus ride to the hall, you could probably spend all day there. I only saw the exhibition, the remains of the old government general building (I'll put up photos of it another day) and the first two of seven halls and that took over three hours. The exhibition is on until the end of the year.

No comments: