Workshop: “The Art of Diplomacy: Material Culture and the Practice of Gift Exchanges in the late Joseon Dynasty”

The Art of Diplomacy: Material Culture and the Practice of Gift Exchanges in the late Joseon Dynasty


Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Takustr. 40, 14195 Berlin 

Small Lecture Hall, June 28 – 29, 2019 


The international workshop The Art of Diplomacy: Material Culture and the Practice of Gift Exchange in the Late Joseon Dynasty is jointly supported by the Academy of Korean Studies and the division of East-Asian Art History at Freie Universität. The workshop explores the political significance of diplomatic gifts and the act of gift-giving and receiving as social convention and ritual protocol, the role of art as a gift, the social networks built upon gift-exchange, and the multiple agents involved throughout process. Focusing on the role played by gifts as a part of diplomatic and cultural encounters in Sino-Korean and Korean-Japanese relationships during the Joseon era, as well as exchanges with Western countries in the early twentieth century, this workshop examines gift-exchange practices and images of gift-exchanges in addition to the gifts themselves. The goal of this workshop is to illuminate the role and function of gifts in the complex system of valuation and reciprocity that shaped socio-cultural interactions in East Asia within the long-standing Sino-centric international order. 




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