Exposition de céramiques coréennes, Sao Paulo Museum of Art


Céramique Punch’ong, motif de poisson incisé, Choson, XVe siècle. Copyright National Museum of Korea



 Exposition “Diverse Spectrum: 600 Years of Korean Ceramics”


Jusqu’au 25 novembre 2012


Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), Brésil


Une exposition de céramiques coréennes, anciennes et contemporaines, est présentée pour la première fois au Brésil au « Sao Paulo Museum of Art » (MASP). Organisée par le Musée National de Corée et la Fondation de Corée, cette exposition de 96 pièces commémore le cinquantième anniversaire de l’arrivée des premiers migrants coréens au Brésil en 1962.


Présentation de l’exposition en anglais:

The National Museum of Korea (Director Kim Young-na) presents a special exhibition entitled “Diverse Spectrum: 600 Years of Korean Ceramics” at the Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) from August 16 to November 25. The exhibition consists of 96 ceramic works, including masterpieces selected from the museum’s collection of Joseon porcelain, as well as contemporary Korean ceramics that reflect the country’s historic heritage. The exhibition, co-sponsored by the Korea Foundation (President Kim Woosang) and the Sao Paulo Museum of Art, is the first to introduce Korean cultural assets to South America, and it was organized to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Korean immigrants to Brazil.


In December 1962, a group of 103 Koreans set out on a long voyage to a foreign land called Brazil. The ship arrived at the Port of Santos near Sao Paulo on February 12, 1963, marking the inception of Korean immigration to Brazil. Fifty years later, around 50,000 Korean expatriates live in Brazil, and Korean businesses play an important part in the country’s economy. But to many Brazilians, Korea still remains an unfamiliar land. The current special exhibition is the highlight of the Korea Festival taking place nationwide, which aims to introduce Korea and its culture to the biggest country in South America.


The exhibition consists of two parts. Part One introduces white porcelain from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), selected from the NMK collection. Part Two presents contemporary Korean ceramic works, including some sculpture and installation works that feature ceramics as their principal material or motif. Part One features 70 porcelain wares, including 11 buncheong wares—traditional bluish-green Korean stoneware—and 56 white porcelain wares, including “Buncheong Ware with Fish Design,” conveying the lively aesthetic sense that characterized the dawn of the Joseon Kingdom in the 15th century.


The white porcelain wares in Part One are introduced in three segments, namely, ‘The Wares of a New Era – White Porcelain,’ ‘Patterns on White Porcelain’ and ‘The Scholarly Confucian Class of the Kingdom and White Porcelain.’ The first segment features jars used to contain burned placenta ashes, household wares buried with the dead, and pure white porcelain utensils used in ancestral rites. The white ceramic work of the period embodies the idea of neo-Confucianism that studied logic and the ethics of life. It presents a sharp contrast to pottery fired during the Buddhism-oriented Goryeo Kingdom (918~1392), which focused on luxuriously decorated celadon, often referred to as ‘Goryeo celadon.” In the segment titled ‘Patterns on White Porcelain,’ visitors can feel the deep-seated wishes of Koreans of the Joseon period (1392~1910) for wealth, longevity and happiness – scarcely different from our own aspirations in reality – grained in the porcelain ceramic entitled The Jar with Ten Creatures of Longevity Design and A Bowl with Chinese Characters of Symbolizing Longevity and Fortune. The final segment, ‘The Scholarly Confucian Class of the Kingdom and White Porcelain,’ features the ceramic works of art used by Confucian scholars of the dynasty, the largest group of users of such wares. In addition to various jars used as decorations, the segment presents some porcelain stationery including pencil holders and ‘yeonjeok’ (water dropper for calligraphy), enabling visitors to appreciate the invaluable pottery works of some centuries ago more readily.

Part Two of the exhibition presents contemporary Korean pottery crafted with ceramic materials and forms by the following eleven artists: Yun Gwang-jo and Roh Gyeong-jo craft Buncheong wares, while Kim Ik-yeong and Hwang Gap-sun concentrate on white porcelain wares; Sin Sang-ho projects the image of a patchwork quilt though 75 ceramic tiles; Park Seong-tae paints children’s faces on the surface of round ceramic wares before firing them; Lee Su-gyeong has created a new work from porcelain shards; Jeong Gwang-ho has re-created the shapes of pottery with copper wire, quite the opposite of ceramic works in terms of their material characteristics; Sin Mi-gyeong presents replicas of Korean and Chinese traditional ceramic vases in soap; and Go Yeong-hun and Gu Bon-chang portray Joseon era earthenware through paintings and photography, respectively. These modern works of art go well with the traditional Korean porcelain wares on display, while showing off their unique, new, and stunningly aesthetic sensibility.

The overseas exhibition project being promoted by the National Museum of Korea and the Korea Festival project launched by the Korea Foundation have met in Brazil for a special exhibition in the most representative museum of art in the country, the MASP. It is a monumental art exhibition to Korea in that it is the first ever display of the Korean cultural heritage in the South American continent. It is also a record-breaking event for the National Museum as the current exhibition has put modern works of art on its exhibition list for the first time in history. The museum has made such an audacious decision with the purpose of introducing Korean fine art, ancient and modern, to the Brazilian audience and helping them come closer to Korean culture with heightened interest and in a less pretentious atmosphere. The exhibition will run until November 25. The event is expected to spark considerable interest in active cultural exchange between Korea and Brazil while further enhancing the friendly relations between them.


Source : Musée National de Corée


YUN gwang-jo, Chaos, 2007. Copyright National Museum of Korea



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