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Folk Art

Posted December. 23, 2006 06:38,   


The Ilmin Museum of Art looks archaic, unlike other modern-style museums. The past and the present coexist in this museum built in early modern architecture style. A special exhibition named “Cultural Memory—Joseon Discovered by Yanagi Muneyoshi and Japan” is being held at Ilmin until January 28, 2007. It includes about 200 Korean and Japanese folk art items collected by Yanagi Muneyoshi (1889-1961), a Japanese connoisseur, and about 60 documentary photos and films.

The exhibition introduces the simple beauty of folk art different from the aristocratic splendor of cultural properties displayed in the museum. A Joseon stone kettle with angles unlike usual round-shaped traditional pots is appealing to modern people. A simple brass candle holder with a light controller shows our ancestors’ practical domestic science.

Also included are a small and cute rice-chest, which looks like a decoration, and a white porcelain inkstone, which overturns our prejudicial idea that an inkstone is black. It will be interesting to compare the two countries’ craftwork objects. Japanese folk art drawings show how people lived at that time, while Western influences can be traced in watercolor paintings at the end of Edo Period.

For those planning to have cultural tours with children during the winter break, a recommendable course is a tour of the “Newspaper Museum” on the 3rd floor of the Dong-A Media Center located next to the Museum after looking around the folk art exhibition and appreciating our ancestors’ wisdom in living. The Newspaper Museum displays newspapers from all over the world and the history of newspaper making.