Publication : Articles sur l’art coréen, Orientations



Deux articles sont consacrés à l’art coréen dans le numéro de juin 2013 de la revue ORIENTATIONS, volume 44, n° 5, au peintre de la fin de la période Choson, Kang Sehwang (1713-91), à l’occasion du tricentenaire de sa naissance, et à la réouverture de la galerie d’art coréen du Musée national de Tokyo :


1) Byun Youn g-sup. Kang Sehwang: Scholar-painter of the late Joseon

In the second half of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), new technical developments and new views of painting emerged alongside the traditional conventions of East Asian painting. While still favouring the Chinese Southern School of literati painting, artists also introduced styles such as ‘true-view’ landscape painting, new genre topics, and even European-style painting. The most representative figure of this art world is literati painter Kang Sehwang (sobriquets Pyoam and Cheomjae; 1713-91), the 300th anniversary of whose birth is commemorated in a variety of events and exhibitions across Korea this year. The National Museum of Korea will hold a special exhibition on his art and influence, ‘A Painter’s Life: Kang Sehwang and Literati Culture’ (25 June to 25 August). By showing his paintings and calligraphy along with his art commentaries and colophons on other painters, the exhibition will explore how Kang contributed to create ‘the Joseon Renaissance’ in his diverse capacities as painter, patron, connoisseur and art critic.



2)      Katsuya. Themes of Grandeur: The Toyokan’s New Galleries of Korean Art

The Japanese archipelago and the Korean peninsula are separated only by the Korea Strait (in Japan, the ‘Tsushima Strait’) connecting the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. The flourishing of exchange between Japan and its neighbour to the west was thus an inevitability, and the Tokyo National Museum’s holdings of Korean works of art reflect both that history and the enduring Japanese enthusiasm for Korean art.

Two years of closure for seismic retrofitting of the Tokyo National Museum’s Toyokan (Asian Gallery) allowed for a reconsideration of the attributes of the Korean collection and the development of a new exhibition programme that highlights its particular strengths. Previously installed in Room 9 and a portion of Room 10 on the fifth floor of the Toyokan, the Korean collection is now exhibited solely within Room 10, allowing for a new cohesion both thematically and in terms of design. While cases throughout the Toyokan’s other rooms share a dark colour scheme, Room 10 is unique in featuring a unifying white scheme intended to evoke the pale wall coverings common in the living spaces of the Yangban, the ruling elites of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910). Additionally, the new Korean display is organized thematically rather than by medium, with five areas dedicated, respectively, to Buddhist art, stone and metal tools, ceramics, art of the Joseon dynasty, and the rise and fall of kings. In the centre of the room stands a Goryeo dynasty (918-1392) sarcophagus and a tomb inscription, around which the five thematic installations are arranged.

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