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The Arts of Korea: A Resource for Educators


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The Arts of Korea: A Resource for Educators
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hammer, Elizabeth, Smith, Judith G., Arkenberg, Rebecca


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Art, Art history, Metropolitan Museum of Art, MET, Korean Art, Korean History, Korean Traditional Music, Korean Religions, Korean Language, Korean Literature
Art Appreciation, Art Education, Art History, Asian Culture, Asian History, Korean Culture


This PDF textbook from the Metropolitan Museum of Art introduces Korea's artistic achievement and places it in the context of its history and religions. Works from the Museum's permanent collection form the core of the discussion and are used to illustrate the diversity and beauty of Korean art. These include Buddhist paintings, celadon wares and white porcelain vessels, inlaid lacquerwares, and traditional musical instruments. It also includes teaching tools for the classroom, including maps, an illustrated timeline, a chronology, a glossary, lesson plans, questioning strategies, and cross-cultural comparisons. In addition, there are bibliographies for educators and students as well as lists of relevant Web sites, cultural resources, and film and video resources.
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6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Community College, Higher Education
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Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Copyright © 2001, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
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THE ARTS OF K O R E A A R e s o u r ce for Educa t o r s T H E M E T RO P O L I TA N M U S E U M O F A R T T hese educational materials are made possible by T he Korea Foundation.


W e are very g ra teful for the assistance of and review ofall or parts ofthe text by Pak Youngsook, Lecturer in Korean Art History and Chair ,Centre for Korean Studies, School ofOriental and African S t u d i e s U n i ve r sity ofLondon and Visiting Professor, Univ e r sity of H e i delberg; Yi Sng-mi, Professor of Art Histor y The Academ y of K orean Studies, Sngnam; S ren Edgren, Editorial Director Chinese Rare Book Project, Princeton University; and So y oung Lee, Ph.D. candidate, Columbia University At The Metropolitan Museum of Art, we extend our g ra titude to James C. Y. W a tt, Brook Russell Astor Chairman, Department of Asian Art, and J. Kenneth Moore, Frederick P. Rose Cur a tor in Charge, Department of Musical Instruments. For their suppor t and encour a gement we acknowledge the following colleagues in Education: Kent L y decker, Nicholas Ruocco, Stella Paul, Deborah Ho w es, Catherine Fukushima, and Karen Ohland. Special thanks to Damien Auerbach, J oy ce Denney, Denise P Leid y Alyson Moss, Beatrice Pinto, Michael Rendina, Suzanne G V alenstein, Denise Vargas, and Hwai-ling Yeh-Lewis in the Department of Asian Art; to Felicia Blum, Paul Caro, Tara Dia mond, Vincent Falivene, Lena Howansk y Esther Morales, Naomi Niles, Michael Norris, K e vin Park, Emily Roth, Teresa Russo Alice Schwarz, Edith W a tts, and Vivian Wick in Education; and to Barbara Bridgers of the Photo gr aph Studio W e also wish to thank Benyonne Lee Schwortz and Gwen J ohnson, high school teachers who revie w ed a draft of the text and offered in v alua b le suggestions, and Arthur and Mar y P ark, who provided valua b le information about Korean ceramic production. F or their assistance, we extend our thanks to Anne McIlvaine Nawon Anastasia Ahn, Eun Ju Bae, and Hongkyung Anna Suh, as w ell as to editors Margaret Dono v an and Philomena Mariani. W a r m thanks also go to Mrs. Yong-Jin Choi ofThe Korea Society and Professor Mark Peterson of Brigham Young University P art of this resource was e x cerpted or adapted from the f ollowing Metropolitan Museum publications: Judith G. Smith, coord. ed., Arts of K orea (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998) and Itoh Ikutaro K orean Ceramics from the Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000). The former, which features essays by leading Korean art historians, Chung Yang-mo, Ahn Hwi-joon, Yi Sng-mi, Kim Lena, Kim Hongnam, Pak Youngsook, and Jonathan W. Best, ser v ed as the primary resource for this publication. Copyright 2001 by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York These educational materials are made possible by The Korea Foundation. The esta b lishment of and pro gr am for the Arts of K orea Gallery ha ve been made possible by The Korea Foundation and The Kun-Hee Lee Fund for Korean Art. W ritten and compiled by Elizabeth Hammer Edited by Judith G. Smith Managing Editor: Merantine Hens Creative and Production Manager: Masha Turchinsk y Design by Binocular, New York Lesson Plans and Activities by Rebecca Arkenberg Color separ a tions by Professional Graphics, Rockford, Illinois. Printed b y Elwood Packaging, Chica go Illinois, and Galvanic Printing, Moonachie New Jersey Photo gr aphs of works in the Museums collections are by the Photo gr aph Studio of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Figs. 1 (Buddhist corporeal icono gr aphy), 10 by Lisa Evancavich; Fig. 1 (Buddhist symbolic hand gestures) by Laurel Colvin-Garcia; Figs. 2, 5, 6, 8, 12 by Han Seok-Hong, Hans Photo Studio, Seoul; Fig. 3 courtesy of the National Museum of K orea, Seoul; Figs. 4, 9 by Eun Ju Bae; Fig. 7 after K ukpo vol. 4, Seoul: Yek y ong Publications Co., 1984, pl. 45. Maps by Christine Hiebert and adapted by Lisa Evancavich F ront and back co v er: Maebyng Kor y dynasty (918), late 13th early 14th centur y Stoneware with inlaid design of cranes and clouds under celadon glaze; H. 11 in. (29.2 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fletcher Fund, 1927 (27.119.11) ISBN 0-58839-009-8 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) ISBN 0-300-09375-6 (Yale University Press) Library of Congress Control Number: 2001097284 Acknowledgments


3 F o r ew o r d K oreas rich artistic heritage has been formed by a remarka b le blend of native tradition, foreign inuence, sophisticated technical skill, and e x u b e r ant human spirit. Yet, ofall the cultural and artistic traditions of East Asia, those of K orea ha ve until recentl y received the least atten tion in the West. With the establishment ofits permanent Arts ofK o r e a g allery in June 1998, The Metropolitan Museum of Art undertook to present the best examples of K orean art and bring to the Wester n audience an awareness and understanding of the important role tha t K orea has pla y ed in the de v elopment of East Asian culture and art. T he Arts of K orea: A Resource for Educator s is designed to assist educators in presenting Koreas distinctive artistic le g acy to students of all ages, both in the classroom and in visits to the Museums Arts of K orea galler y The core of this publication is the discussion of works that illustr a te the diversity and beauty of K orean art. Dr a wn from the Museums permanent collection, they include ele g ant celadon wares and white porcelain vessels, exquisite Buddhist paintings, landscapes inlaid lacquerwares, and traditional musical instr u m e n t s These works together with a full complement of orientation materialswill ena b le a rewarding explor a tion of K orean art and culture We are dee p l y grateful to The Korea F o u n d a tion, and Dr. Lee In-ho, President, for its generous g r ant in support of this teacher resource W e also wish to acknowledge The Korea Foundation and the Samsung F o u n d a tion of C u l t u r e in particular Madame Ra Hee Hong Lee, Director General, for their support in the esta b lishment of the Museums Arts of K orea gallery and the Korean art pro gr am. At the Metropolitan Museum, we extend our thanks to Elizabeth H a m m e r associate museum educa t o r and Judith G. Smith, administra t o r o f the De p a r tment ofAsian Art, for their work in preparing this resource, as well as to Merantine Hens, managing editor for educational media, and Masha Turchinsk y creative and production manager, for coordinating the production of the publication. Philippe de Montebello Director K ent L y decker Associate Director for Education


Contents Introduction Introduction to Korean Ar t How to Use these Materials Quick Guide to the Arts of K orea Galler y K ey Themes in Korean Culture and Ar t Orientation Material A Timeline of K orean History and Ar t Dynastic Chronolo g y of K orea, China, and Japan Maps (East Asia, Korea in the Three Kingdoms Period, The Korean Peninsula) Overview of K orean Histor y K orean Religions and Systems of Thought The Arts of K orea Overview of K orean Art Histor y Artists and Materials K orean Traditional Music Image Descriptions Classroom Applications8 Lesson Plans and Activities Cross-Cultural Comparisons of W orks of Ar t Glossar y A ppendices K orean Language and Liter a ture Symbols in Korean Art and Culture R esources K orean Cultural Resources in the New York Metropolitan Area Selected American Museums with Collections of K orean Ar t Film and Video Resources Selected Web Sites Selected Biblio gr aphy for Educator s Selected Biblio gr aphy for Students Images List of Images Slides 7 9 13 15 19 21 22 25 35 51 64 75 77 119 129 141 147 15 1 153 154 155 156 157 160 161 167


Introduction to Korean Art K orea a mountainous peninsula in northeast Asia tied to the conti nental mainland in the north, facing China to the west across the Y e l l o w Sea, and extending southward toward the Japanese archipela go has a lw a ys occupied a pivotal position in East Asian regional affairs. K o r e a s relations with its larger neighbor s China and Japan, and its role in cultural and technical e x change within East Asia, are a crucial par t of the countrys histor y Yet, it is also important to understand and appreciate the separ a te and distinct character of K oreas cultural and artistic heritage The beginnings of K oreas artistic heritage may be traced back nearly 9,000 year s to the Neolithic period and the earliest known e xamples of pottery produced on the peninsula. Over the centuries K orean potters distinguished themselves in the manufacture of celadon, punchng ware, white porcelain, and underglaze-painted porcelain. Korean artisans ha v e produced objects in a variety of other materials including metal, lacquer, silk, and wood that, as in the case of ceramics, were initially meant for practical or ceremonial use b ut came to be appreciated as works of art. In ancient times, articles such as gold je w elry and bronze vessels, weapons, and horse trappings w ere placed in the tombs of ro y alty and the aristocracy to ser v e the deceased in the afterlife The introduction of Buddhism in the fourth century brought strik ingly different kinds of images and artistic styles to Korea. The impact of this religion on Korean art can be seen in the temple comple x es stone and bronze statues, paintings, and illustr a ted manuscripts pro duced on the peninsula from the fth century onward. Buddhism reached the peak of its inuence under the Unied Silla (668) and K or y (918) dynasties, as evidenced by the e x ceptionally ele g ant and rened works of art dating from those periods In the late fourteenth centur y with the adoption of Neo-Confucian ism by the Chosn dynasty (1392) as the new state ideolo g y and dominant social philosoph y the artistic tastes of the elite shifted dr amatically in fa v or of simpler and more austere objects for e v er y day use These included plain white porcelain wares and desk utensils made of 7


natural materials. During the same period, Korean artisans also crafted personal ornaments and domestic articles, especially for women, the nobility, and commoners that are less restrained and more exuberant in style. The weakening inuence of Confucian teachings on the arts and the growing impact of f oreign (including Western) inuences, led in the mid-eighteenth century to a variety of new shapes, decor a tiv e techniques, and designs in the production of ceramic ware. This period also saw a new trend in Korean painting with the de v elopment of trueview landscapes, the practitioners of which advocated the depiction of actual Korean scenery as an alternative to the classical themes of Chi nese painting W esterners r st became aware of K orean art in the late nineteenth centur y largely by collecting Korean ceramics. During the r st decades of the twentieth centur y when Korea was occupied by Japan (1910), Japanese archaeologists and connoisseurs helped to shape W estern understanding and appreciation of K orean art. The founder of the early-twentieth-centur y mingei (folk art) mo v ement in Japan, Y anagi Setsu (1889), was particularly inuential in inspiring interest at home and abroad in Chosn ceramics and decor a tive arts World War II marked a turning point in Koreas inter n a tional visibility, and subsequentl y more Western collectors be g an acquiring Korean p a i n t i n g s sculpture, cer a m i c s and metal w a r e Howev e r compared with the attention given Chinese and Japanese art, which survives in much larger quantities and has been more widely studied, knowledge and appreciation of K orean art in the West is still in its formative stage 8


H o w to Use These Ma t e r i a l s This resource is designed to introduce the Arts ofKorea g a l l e r y in The Metropolitan Museum of A r t to teachers and their students, and to p r o vide them with a general understanding ofKorean culture. A wide range of m a terials is included to give readily accessible inf o rm a tion to t e a c h e r s ofmany disciplines instructing students ofdifferent a g e s It is hoped that this pub l i c a tion will encourage educa t o r s to use the Arts of Korea g a l l e r y as an important part oftheir teaching activities. Quick Guide to the Arts of K orea Galler y pp. 13 F or those who require quick information to prepare for classroom work, this concise summary provides basic information about the Arts of K orea gallery as well as a few questioning str a tegies Introduction to Korean Ar t and Ke y Themes in Korean Culture and Ar t pp 7, 15 These two sections provide a brief summary of the de v elopment of K orean art history and some of the most important factors that ha ve inuenced Korean culture and art. The Ke y Themes section presents possible topics that might form the basis of a gallery tour or class on K orean art. Orientation Material pp. 19 This section consists of background information for easy reference The Timeline of K orean History and Ar t (pp. 19) provides a con v enient list of important historical e v ents and a chronological ar r angement of most of the works of art illustr a ted in this publication. The Dynastic Chronology of K orea, China, and Japan (p. 21) and the three Maps (pp. 22) are useful references Because English-language resources about Korea are still limited in number, this publication contains a substantial amount of background material. The Overview of K orean Histor y (pp. 25) and K orean R eligions and Systems of Thought (pp. 35) outline the context in which Korean works of art were created and used. 9


The Arts of K orea pp. 51 The Overview of K orean Art Histor y is a synopsis of the de v elop ment of K oreas artistic tradition. Works of art loaned to the Metro politan Museum for the inaugural exhibition from se v eral signicant collections in Korea are illustr a ted in this section to supplement the Museums own Korean art holdings. The section A r tists and Ma t e r i a l s gives general technical information about important types of art and identies some of the major de v elopments in each area. The K orean Tr aditional Music section is a brief discussion of k ey aspects of the subject and describes se v eral examples of traditional musical instr uments in the Metropolitan Museums collection, some of which are illustr a ted in this publication. Image Descriptions pp. 77 The images in this publication (also provided in digital format on the CD-ROM as well as in slide format, and two of which are reproduced as posters) illustr a te the highlights of the Metropolitan Museums K orean art collection. The objects were chosen to represent the de v elopment of K orean art as fully as possible and to meet the needs of a wide range of educator s Each Image Description includes infor mation about the individual work of art (or site) and some points to consider in classroom discussion. It is highly recommended that you show your students the slides and discuss the fundamental aspects of K orean culture before visiting the museum in order to encour a ge a more careful and critical response to the works of art on vie w. Classroom Applications pp. 11 9 This resource contains a variety of aids for classroom work, including Lesson Plans and Acti v i t i e s and suggested C ro s s C u l t u ra l C o m p a r i sons ofW o r ks of A r t in the Metropolitan Museums collection. B o t h sections include activities and questioning stra t e gies to focus students attention on the works of a r t and help them understand the cultures t h a t they re p r e s e n t Glossar y pp. 141 The G l o s s a r y provides brief denitions for important terms in Korean art histor y along with their pronunciation and references to where they are mentioned in this publication. 10


A ppendixes pp. 147 K orean Language and Liter a ture Symbols in Korean Art and Culture R esources pp. 153 K orean Cultural Resources in the New York Metropolitan Area Selected American Museums with Collections of K orean Ar t Film and Video Resources Selected Web Sites Selected Biblio gr aphy for Educator s Selected Biblio gr aphy for Students The CD-ROM included in this publication provides all the text and images in the Resource in an electronic form that can be downloaded and printed. The brochure The Wild Ones in Korean Art is suita b le f or younger students, from g r ades four to eight. (The other sections of the resource are meant for the use of educators and are not intended f or most secondary school students without adaptation.) Note to the Reader Throughout the text, unless otherwise indicated, non-English words given in parenthesis are Korean. The a b breviations for other languages are Skt. for Sanskrit, Chn. for Chinese, and Jpn. for Japanese. Unless stated otherwise, the works of art illustr a ted are part of the Metropoli tan Museums permanent collection. Footnotes provide supplementar y information and sources for additional research. Publications listed in the Biblio gr aphy for Educators are referenced in an a b breviated for m in the footnotes 11


13 Quick Guide to the Arts ofKorea Gallery K orea, a mountainous peninsula in northeast Asia, possesses an artistic t r adition reaching back to the Neolithic period about 9,000 y e a r s ago. Through the centuries, Korean artists and craftsmen produced cer a m i c s lacquerware, metal w a r e sculpture, paintings, and te x t i l e s for ev e r yd a y and ceremonial uses by the imperial court and the w e a l t h y, or to s e r ve religious purposes at all levels of s o c i e t y The objects they crea t e d were inuenced by the aesthetic preferences ofthe time (compare, f o r e x a m p l e the elegance and renement ofK o r y period art with the preference for spontaneity that characterizes works from the succeeding Chosn period), as well as the materials and technology then av a i l a b l e The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a diverse collection of K orean art, a selection of which is on permanent display in the Arts of K orea gallery in the north wing. Opened in 1998, the gallery embodies traditional Korean aesthetics in its pristine white walls, diffused na tural light, and wood oor patterned on that of a traditional temple design. In keeping with the East Asian tradition of displaying works of art for limited periods of time, and for purposes of conser va tion, most of the works on view are rotated twice a year. The Musical Instr uments galleries display a diverse selection of K orean instruments including drums, utes, ddles, and zither s. W hen you bring students to the Arts of K orea galler y encour a ge them to take a few moments on their own to examine the works of ar t and to formulate their own responses. Some fundamental themes of K orean art and culture are described belo w along with related illustr ative images provided in this resource. These topics can be used to organize tours of the gallery and classroom discussion. Cultural Ex c hange in East Asia Koreas geographical location at the crossroads ofEast Asia b e t we e n i ts two larger neighbor s China and Japan has had an enormous impact on its history and culture (see Map 1 p. 22). Throughout the millennia, many important cultural de v elopments, including the Chinese writing system, Confucianism, Buddhism, and some ceramic production techniques, were imported from China into Korea, where


they were quickly adapted to native Korean needs and preferences This process continued eastward with the transmission of these prac tices and concepts from Korea to Japan. Green-glazed ceramic wares (known as celadon in Western liter ature) and landscape paintings in ink are two examples of artistic tradi tions that originated in China and were transported to Korea, where they underwent inno va tive changes (for Korean examples, see images 10, 25, 26 ). The Metropolitan Museum has the most comprehensive collection of Asian art in the world. It is therefore possible for you to compare related works of art, such as celadon wares, ink landscape paintings, or grav e furnishings, made in Korea, China, and Japan during a single visit to the museum. Comparisons with Chinese and Japanese works of art with similar themes and materials can provide insights into wha t makes Korean art distinctiv e For more suggestions, see the section on Cross-Cultural Comparisons of W orks of Ar t (pp. 129). Materials K orean artists and craftsmen worked in many media, including cla y, bronze, gold, lacquer, and ink on silk or paper. Artisans frequently bor ro w ed design techniques and decor a tive motifs from other media. For e xample, both lacquermakers and celadon potters used the technique of inlay to create designs (see images 9, 11, 13, 14, 20 ). The same decor a tive motifs, such as scrolling vines (see images 15 [the base of the altar], 20 ), stylized clouds (see images 8, 14, 17, 31, 32 ), and birds (see images 2, 10, 35 ), can be found on objects made of different materials Natur e Images from the natural world mountains, plants, animals, birds and waterf o wl are found throughout Korean art. Younger students might enjoy looking at different animals and learning about the stories and symbolic meanings associated with them (see images 2, 7 A 10, 14, 26, 31, 32, 35 and the brochure The Wild Ones in Korean Art ). Landscape paintings not only suggest the appearance and mood of a certain place, but are also generally imbued with philosophical ideas a bout nature (see images 25, 26 ). Works of art that con v ey a sense of spontaneity are said to express the freedom and spirit of nature (see images 6, 21, 23, 24, 28 ). 14 Images 10, 25, 26 Images 9, 11, 13, 14, 20 Images 15, 20 Images 8, 14, 17, 31, 32 Images 2, 10, 35 Images 2, 7 A 10, 14, 26, 31, 32, 35 Images 25, 26 Images 6, 21, 23, 24, 28


15 Key Themes in Korean Culture and Art Discussed below are some of the major factors that ha v e e x erted a profound impact on Korean culture, including the production of art. These factors may be used to construct generalized themes for visits to the Metropolitan Museums Arts of K orea gallery or for classroom discussion. Specic suggestions for the illustr a tion of k ey themes with images provided in this resource are given in the Quick Guide to the Arts of K orea Galler y (pp. 13). Geog r aph y The Korean peninsula lies at the easternmost end of the Eurasian land mass (see Map 1 p. 22). During the last Ice Age, which occurred approximately 15,000 to 18,000 years a go neither the Korean penin sula nor the central islands of J apan existed as separ a te topo gr aphic entities. At that time, the area of the present Yellow Sea formed a wide unbroken plain stretching between what are now the western shores of K orea and the eastern shores of Chinas Shandong peninsula. Similarl y, to the south, the present Japanese islands of Honsh, Kysh, and Shikoku comprised a continuous landmass with the then undifferenti a ted Korean peninsula. With the melting of the great glacier s the sea le v el rose and the map of northeast Asia as we know it was formed. K orea emerged as a mountainous peninsula tied to Manchuria in the north, facing China to the west across the narrow Yellow Sea, and e xtending southward toward the Japanese archipela go More than 70 percent of the Korean peninsulas total area, which is approximatel y the same as that of England and Scotland combined, consists of moun tains. The rocky backbone of K orea is fashioned from a long chain of mountains that dominates the eastern half of the peninsula from its northern borders on the Amnok and Tuman rivers almost to its south ern extremity. Two nota b le lateral mountain ranges project westward from this great g r anite wall. One forms a protective barrier around the fertile Naktong River valley in the center of K oreas southern coast, while the other stretches most of the way across the peninsulas width to north of the Han River valley. Koreas climate is temper a te, with


cold, dry winters and hot summers subject to monsoon rains. The land is fertile, and natural resources are a b undant. East Asian Cultural Interaction The peninsulas geo gr aphical location has e x ercised a critical role in shaping the history of the Korean people (see Map 1 p. 22). Archae ological nds re v eal that Manchuria and lands to the north pla y ed a primal role in the formation of K orean culture, while China be g an to ex e r t an enormous inuence after the start ofthe rst millennium B C ., i f not earlier. Archaeology also indicates the steady g r o wth of i n t e ra c tion between the inhabitants ofKorea and the Japanese archipelago, which is a mere 130 miles a w a y at the closest point. Because ofits geographical position, Korea frequently functioned as a conduit betw e e n China and Japan for ideas and beliefs, material culture and technolo g i e s Koreas par t i c i p a tion in the interaction ofEast Asian cultures has often been mistak e n l y viewed as being entirely passive, with little reco g n i t i o n o f the innova t i v e role that Koreans have played throughout their hist o r y in the na t i v e adaptation and further transmission ofsuch inuences as the Chinese written langua g e Buddhism, ceramic production t e c h n i q u e s and ink-monochrome landscape paintings. Natur e In Korea, as in other East Asian cultures, the natural world and mans relation to it ha v e inspired the creation of works of art as well as the de v elopment of philosophies and religions. Images from nature ani mals and birds, plants and trees, mountains and river s are per v asiv e artistic themes, whether expressed in the form of a painting, a ceramic v essel, or a scholar-ofcials garden retreat. This emphasis on nature also inspired the creation of artworks tha t con v ey an impression of accident and spontaneity, objects that capture the liveliness and spirit found in the natural world. A clay pot with an asymmetrical prole and an une v en glaze was appreciated for its sense of vitality and its unique beauty (see image 24 ). Similarl y in the depic tion of a g r apevine blown by the wind, the painter sought to g o beyond mere representation to con v ey through line and form a certain mood and sense of rhythmic mo v ement (see image 28 ). This under standing of what is natural differs from the art-historical concept of naturalism in Western art, in which images are often created to 16 Image 24 Image 28


reproduce as closely as possible the actual appearance of the subject in nature. The Korean word for landscape sansu e x emplies the holistic a ttitude toward the natural world. Sansu combines the words for mountain and water to represent landscapes and, by extension, en compass all the physical properties of the natural world. Dr a wing upon the ancient idea that e v erything in the universe is made up of interrelated opposites ( m-yang ; Chn. yin-yang ), the characteristics of mountains and water represent natures diversity mountains are unmoving, hard, and solid, while water is uid, soft, cool, and dark. R eligious T r aditions During the course of the countrys histor y Koreans ha v e adopted and practiced different religions and systems of thought: shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and, in recent centuries, Christian ity (see K orean Religions and Systems of Thought pp. 35). Although the inuence of each of these belief systems has waxed and waned through the centuries, all ha v e pla y ed an ongoing role in K orean culture. As is true throughout East Asia, the different systems are neither e x clusive nor strictly separ a ted many tenets and practices o v erlap, and people traditionally ha v e follo w ed more than one system. Most Buddhist temple comple x es, for example, include a small shrine dedicated to Sansin, the native god of the mountains associated with shamanism. Homogeneity and Continuity The Korean peninsulas regional partition by the major mountain r anges led to the de v elopment of distinctive cultures in the southeast and the southwest, along the central southern coast, and in the north. Cultural diversity among these regions engendered feelings of regional uniqueness, and at times e v en animosity, that still color intrapeninsular relations toda y Yet concurrent with this divisiv e a wareness of regional differences has been a counter v ailing conscious ness of peninsular solidarity. The Korean peninsula has long been vie w ed by both its occupants and its neighboring societies as a discrete geo gr aphical unit inhabited by a population sharing an essentiall y common cultural identity K orean history has been marked by unusually long-lived dynasties a factor that has enhanced the perception of unity. Having controlled 17


the southeastern part of the peninsula for at least 700 year s the Silla kingdom (57 B C 668 A D ) succeeded by the year 676 in unifying the peninsula under a single g ov ernment, the Unied Silla dynasty (668 935), which ruled for nearly three centuries. The subsequent Kor y (918) and Chosn (1392) dynasties each ruled for about 500 year s This dynastic longevity imparted stability and long periods of peace, as well as conser va tive tendencies among the ruling elite F oreign Intrusions Chinese, Mongol, Manchu, and Japanese armies ha v e attacked and looted Korea at various times in the countrys histor y In 1910, Japan f ormally anne x ed the peninsula, initiating a period of colonial rule tha t lasted until 1945. That so few historical records, artworks, or architec tural monuments survive from before the late sixteenth century is largely a result of the destruction wrought by these incursions (see Overview of K orean Histor y pp. 25). Dynamic Art Style K orean art is often described as vibrant, energetic, spontaneous, and sometimes whimsical. Certainl y such characteristics apply to many of the most distinctive works of art produced in Korea, especially the sculpted pottery vessels of the Three Kingdoms period (57 B C 668 A D ; see image 2 ) and the punchng wares (see image 21 ), late under glaze painted porcelains (see image 23 ), genre paintings, and folk ar t of the Chosn period. Yet, the breadth of K orean culture and the ver satile skills of K orean artists and artisans are equally manifest in the Buddhist paintings and illustr a ted sutras, metalwork, lacquerware e xquisite gold ornaments, and celadon wares produced for the court, aristocracy, and religious esta b lishments during the Three Kingdoms Unied Silla, and Kor y periods, all of which reect the renement and sophistication that are characteristic of the highest-quality East Asian art (see, for example images 4, 9, 10, 12, 15 ). 18 Images 2, 21, 23 Images 4, 9, 10, 12, 15


108 Chinese Han dynasty (206 B.C.220 A.D.) defeats Wiman Chos™n and establishes military commanderies in northern Korea THREEKINGDOMSPERIOD57 B.C. 668 A.D. 0 1000 30002000 4000 6000 7000 100200300400500600700 ca. 7000 Earliest known Korean pottery produced ca. 1200900 Rice cultivation introduced into Korea ca. 10th century Metallurgy and bronze technology introduced into Korea ca. 300 Iron technology introduced into Korea ca. 194 180 State ofOld Chos™n replaced by Wiman Chos™n ca. 108 B.C. 313 A.D. Confucianism and Chinese written language introduced into Korea through Han commandery ofLelang 3rd century High-red stoneware begins to replace earlier low-red earthenware 313 Kogury™ seizes Chinese commandery ofLelang and establishes control ofnorthern part ofKorean peninsula mid-4th century Paekche, Silla, and Kaya dominate southern half ofKorean peninsula by this date 372 Buddhism introduced into Kogury™ 384 Buddhism introduced into Paekche 528 Buddhism ofcially recognized by Silla 676 Silla succeeds in unifying Korea under a single government 682 National Confucian College ( Kukhak ; later renamed T'aehakkam ) established 751after 774 Rebuilding ofPulguk-sa temple and construction ofS™kkuram Buddhist cave-temple (Ky™ngju, North Ky™ngsang Province) 538 Buddhism introduced to Japan by envoys from Paekche UNIFIEDSILLADYNASTY668 935 IRONAGEFROMCA. 300 B.C. NEOLITHICPERIODCA. 7000 CA. 10THCENTURYB.C. Ca. 40003000 B.C. Fig. 2 Ca. 4th century B.C. Image 1 Ca. late 2nd3rd century Image 2 5th6th century Image 3 6th century Image 4 8th century Image 5 BRONZEAGE B.C. A.D.CA. 10THCENTURY 3RDCENTURYB.C. SILLAKINGDOM57 B.C. 668 A.D.KOGURY KINGDOM37 B.C. 668 A.D.PAEKCHEKINGDOM18 B.C. 660 A.D.KAYAFEDERATION42 562 A.D. 19A Timeline ofKorean History and Art(See also the Museum's online Timeline ofArt History at


CHOSNDYNASTY1392 1910 8009001000110012001300140015001600170018001900 802 Haein-sa Buddhist temple (South Ky™ngsang Province) founded 9931018 Khitan invade Korea 101187 First set ofwoodblocks carved for printing Buddhist canon ( Tripitaka ) early 12thearly 13th century Production ofKorean celadon ware reaches its height artistically and technically 1145 Samguk sagi (Histories ofthe Three Kingdoms) completed ca. 1285 Samguk yusa (Memorabilia ofthe Three Kingdoms) compiled ca. 140050 Porcelain rst produced in Korea 1446 King Sejong (r. 141850) promulgates new indigenous alphabet (now called han'gl ) 15th16th century Punch'™ng ware produced 159298 Japanese troops under Toyotomi Hideyoshi (15361598) invade Korea 1627 and 1636 Manchus invade Korea early 17th century Sirhak (Practical Learning) movement begins 18th century "True-view"landscape developed as indigenous trend in painting late 18th century Christianity introduced into Korea 1876 Treaty ofKanghwa 191045 Japanese annexation and colonial rule ofKorea 123157 Mongols invade Korea 1251 Carving ofwoodblocks for printing Tripitaka Koreana completed; set replaces 11th-century Tripitaka destroyed by Mongols ca. 1200before 1234 Invention and use ofmoveable cast-metal type KORY DYNASTY918 1392 Second halfofthe 8th century Fig. 7 10th century Image 7A Early 12th century Image 10 Ca. 13th century Unidentied artist Image 15 Late 13thearly 14th century Image 14 Ca. 1340 Unidentied artist !"# "$ %& Image 17 15th century Image 21 15th century Unidentied artist Image 25B First halfofthe 18th century Ch™ng S™n (16761759) Fig. 8 18th19th century '( Image 24 20UNIFIEDSILLADYNASTY668 935


Dynastic Chronology ofKorea, China, and J a p a n Note to the reader Dates for the Three Kingdoms are traditional, and do not necessarily reect the opinions of all scholar s. 21 B C 8000 2000 1000 500 0 500 1000 1500 1900 A D Neolithic period, ca. 7000 ca. 10th centur y B C Bronze Age ca. 10t h ca. 3rd centur y B C Iron Age, from ca. 300 B C Three Kingdoms period, 57 B C 6 6 8 A D Silla kingdom, 57 B C A D Ko gur y kingdom, 37 B C A D P aekche kingdom, 18 B C A D Kay a Feder a tion 42 A D Unied Silla dynasty, 668 K or y d ynasty, 918 Chos n dynasty, 1392 Shang dynasty c a .1 6 0 0 c a .1050 B C Zhou dynasty c a 1046 B C Qin dynasty, 221 B C Han d y n a s t y ,206 B C 220 A D Six Dynasties, 220 Sui dynasty, 581 T ang dynasty, 618 Five Dynasties, 907 Liao dynasty, 916 Song dynasty, 960 Jin dynasty, 1115 Y uan dynasty, 1272 Ming dynasty, 1368 Qing dynasty, 1644 J mon period, ca. 10,500 B C ca. 300 B C Yay oi period, ca. 4th centur y B C ca. third centur y A D K ofun period, ca. 3rd century Asuka period, 538 Nara period, 710 Heian period, 794 K amakura period, 1185 Nanbokuch period 1336 Muromachi period, 1392 Momo y ama period, 1573 Edo period, 1615 Meiji period, 1868 k o r e a c h i n a j a pa n


22 Map 1: Korea in East Asia


23 Map 2: The Three Kingdoms at the Height ofKogury ™ Expansion (late fifth century)


24 Map 3: The Korean Peninsula


O ve rv i e w ofKorean History Traditional Korean sources present two contrasting accounts of the origins of civilization on the peninsula. 1 One credits the achie v ement to an indigenous demigod, Tangun, whose birth more than 4,000 y ears a g o is attributed to the union of a sky deity and a bear-woman (f or a synopsis of this legend, see Lesson Plan 3: I l l u s t r ated Manuscript, p. 126 ). The second account credits a Chinese noble and court minister Jizi (Kr. Kija), who is belie v ed to ha v e emig ra ted to Korea with a large g roup of f ollo w ers at the start of the Chinese Zhou dynasty (ca. 1046 256 B C ). The contrast between these two traditions re v eals a tension that long conditioned premodern Korean perceptions of their own cul ture. On the one hand, there was proud awareness of cultural distinc tiveness and, on the other hand, recognition of the extensive inuence of Chinese civilization. P aleolithic and Neolithic (ca. 7000ca. 10th centur y B C .) periods Modern archaeolo g y has shed much light on the origins and civiliza tion of the Korean people. Humans ha v e inhabited the Korean penin sula from as early as the Pleistocene epoch, about 500,000 B C Although few Paleolithic sites ha v e been unearthed, archaeological evi dence suggests that the inhabitants made stone and bone tools, relied on hunting, shing, and g a thering of fruit, and mo v ed frequentl y. 2 W hile Neolithic inhabitants of the Korean peninsula relied primar ily on game, sh, and for a ged v e getation, the r st efforts at farming proba bl y be g an during this time. These people lived in small settle ments of semi-subter r anean, circular d w ellings near rivers or coastal areas, and fashioned tools of stone and bone P ottery is one of the dening features of all Neolithic cultures K oreas Neolithic period is generally associated with the production of c hlmun (comb-pattern) and mumun (undecor a ted) potter y The earliest known Neolithic pottery in Korea has been dated to about 7000 B C The variety of shapes and decor a tive techniques of ex ca va ted wares reects the diversity of material cultures during this period and points to contacts between populations living in different areas of the peninsula as well as with those on the continental mainland and the islands that constitute modern Japan. 25


Bronze Age (ca. 10thca. 3rd centur y B C .) Mig ra tion into the Korean peninsula from regions in Manchuria and Siberia to the north intensied in the Bronze Age. Additional wa v es of immig r ant farmers moving onto the peninsula from China during the late Shang (ca. 1600 B C ) and Zhou dynasties most likel y resulted in the introduction of bronze technolo g y and rice cultiv a tion. Continuing earlier practices, they also cultiv a ted other g r ains and f oodstuffs, such as millet, barley, and v e geta b les. Bones of domesticated pigs found at sites dating to the Bronze Age are evidence of a growing reliance on animal husbandr y Although clusters of homes built partially underground were still the norm, Bronze Age settlements often included a larger number of families and were located on hill sides and inland. Stone tools and weapons, pottery vessels, weaving implements, and shing equipment are among the artifacts of dail y life most often found at domestic sites dating to this period. Advances in metallurgy and a g riculture encour a ged the de v elop ment of a more complex social hierarch y Beginning in about 1000 B C ., the existence of an elite social str a tum is indicated by increasingl y elabor a te burial practices. Dolmen tombs, most often formed of upright stones supporting a horizontal sla b are more numerous in K orea, where approximately 200,000 ha v e been found, than in any other country in East Asia (see g 3, p. 52). Other forms of b urial include cists (burial chambers lined with stone) and earthenware jar cofns (large pottery containers in which the deceased were interred). Furnishings found in these tombs indicate that the men, women, and children who occupied them enjo y ed wealth and an ele va ted status, and w ere presuma bl y members of the ruling class. Ritualistic bronze implements, including mirrors and r a ttles, suggest that some of the deceased were shamans or priests Iron Age (beginning ca. 300 B C .) It is not yet clear when iron technolo g y r st appeared in Korea, but it seems to ha v e been widespread by about 300 B C Presuma bl y iron was imported from China, where it appears to ha v e been cast since at least the sixth centur y B C Exca va tions of Chinese coins and mirrors a t K orean sites, as well as obser va tions of K orean political conditions and social practices in Chinese historical records of the time, con r m direct links between the peninsula and northeastern China. Locally mined and smelted iron in Korea was used in part to fashion utilitarian tools f or farming and carpentr y. 26


Three Kingdoms period (57 B C 668 A D .) F rom the early Iron Age until the emergence of confeder a ted king doms in the r st to third centuries A D the Korean peninsula under w ent further important changes. The most de v eloped Korean state a t the time, which was proba bl y a tribal alliance, was Old Chosn, situ a ted northeast of present-day Manchuria. Archaeological evidence suggests that this polity emerged around the fourth centur y B C One of the last rulers of this state, Wiman, seized po w er in the second centur y B C Less than a century after Wimans rise to po w er, Korea was for the r st time subjected to Chinese a gg ression and direct political control. After the Han dynasty (206 B C A D ) conquered Wiman Chosn in 108 B C Chinese ofcials esta b lished four military commanderies in the northern part of the peninsula, the largest of which was Nangnang (Chn. Lelang), near modern Pyngyang, which was to remain a Chi nese colonial bastion for o v er four hundred year s The other three commanderies were abolished within thirty years of their esta b lish ment owing to the resistance ofthe local Korean population. In addition to administering the commander y Han ofcials stationed at Lelang had responsibility for o v erseeing most of Chinas diplomatic and com mercial contacts with the peoples of northeastern Asia. Over time these contacts had manifold cultural and political effects upon nativ e populations as far north as the Sungari River in upper Manchuria and as far south as the Japanese archipela go The Chinese colonial ofcials w ere also responsible for recording the earliest extant data about the peoples of these far-ung lands In the r st centur y B C po w erful tribal clans on the Korean penin sula be g an to consolidate their authority o v er contending neighboring clans. While the K o gur y kingdom (37 B C 668 A D ) secured control in the north, three new tribal feder a tions, known as the Mahan, the Chinhan, and the Pynhan, were esta b lished in the area south of the Han River, roughly along the lines dictated by the primary mountain r anges. By the middle of the fourth centur y A D the r st two of these independent polities had e v olved into centralized aristocr a tic states the Paekche kingdom (18 B C 660 A D ) in the southwest and the Silla kingdom (57 B C 668 A D ) in the southeast (see Map 2 p. 23). The third e v olved into a feder a tion of semi-independent principalities known as the K ay a Feder a tion (42 A D ), which occupied land in the south central area of the Naktong River basin between Paekche and Silla. During the next 350 year s K o gur y Silla, and Paekche vied 27


f or territory and supremacy through political maneuvers and violent clashes. These hostilities did not, ho wev er, preclude cultural inter change, and there are many examples of shared customs Ko gur y the largest of the three kingdoms, had succeeded in driv ing out the Chinese by o v ertaking Lelang in 313 B C and expanded its territory northeast into Manchuria. At the height of its po w er in the fth centur y K o gur y controlled o v er two-thirds of the Korean peninsula. There were frequent border clashes between K o gur y and China. Indeed, only K o gur y s tenacious resistance a g ainst the expan sionist campaigns of the Sui (581) and Tang (618) dynasties pre v ented Chinese conquest of K orea. Ho wev er, not all encounter s with the Chinese were militant: the three Korean kingdoms activel y traded with the mainland and sought to strengthen their own political positions by cultiv a ting alliances with Chinese ruler s As a byproduct of these contacts, Koreans willingly embraced elements of Chinese statecraft and Confucianism, which, with its emphasis on lo y alty to the so v ereign and deference to elders and superior s was adopted to bolster ro y al authority. Chinese writing, which had been introduced to Korea a t about the same time as iron technolo gy was adapted to the Korean language. K o gur y exported gold, silver, pearls, fur s ginseng, and te xtiles, among other items, to China, and imported weapons, silk, books and paper Buddhism also came to Korea from China, transmitted by Chinese monks to K o gur y in 372, and then to Paekche, in 384. Silla, whose relative geo gr aphical isolation in the southwestern part of the penin sula generally slo w ed the penetr a tion of Chinese culture, did not of cially recognize Buddhism until 528. Like Confucianism, Buddhism was used by the ro y al houses as a means of consolidating their po w er and unifying their subjects. Buddhist deities were construed as protec tors of the state, and the Buddhist clergy closely allied themselves with state institutions, sometimes serving as political advisor s The inuence of Buddhism on the artistic de v elopments of this time is evi dent in the surviving architecture and sculpture. Korea pla y ed a crucial role in the subsequent transmission of Buddhism and its accompany ing architecture and art to Japan. In 538, the reigning monarch of the kingdom of P aekche sent the ofcial diplomatic mission that intro duced the religion to the Japanese court. 28


Unied Silla dynasty (668) Through a series of military and political mo v es, Silla achie v ed domi nance o v er most of the Korean peninsula by the end of the se v enth centur y Its campaign of unication be g an with the defeat of the K aya F eder a tion in 562, after which an alliance with the Chinese Tang cour t helped Silla to conquer the kingdoms of P aekche in 660 and K o gur y in 668. By 676, Silla succeeded in forcing the Chinese troops to with dr a w into Manchuria, and for the r st time in history the peninsula came under the sway of a single Korean g ov ernment. In the succeeding Unied Silla dynasty, Korean culture ourished, creating a political and cultural le g acy that was handed down to subsequent rulers of the countr y Meanwhile, remnants of the K o gur y ruling family mo v ed north into Manchuria and in 698 esta b lished the state of P arhae whose territory included the northernmost part of the Korean penin sula. Parhae survived until 926, when it came under the control of northern nomadic tribes. Although the kingdom of P arhae is an important part of the history of K orea, its impact on the countrys later cultural history is considered minor in comparison with that of Unied Silla. Consolidation of the three kingdoms under a single absolute ruler led to an increase in the wealth of the aristocracy, whose status was secured by a rigid hereditary class system. K y ngju, the capital of Uni ed Silla, was a prosperous and wealthy metropolis with magnicent palaces, imposing temples, and richly furnished tombs. The new g overnment supported Buddhism as the state religion. The religions inuence on the arts intensied during this period as the number of Buddhist adherents increased and the religion be g an to permeate all la y ers of society. In fact, some of the most rened and sophisticated Buddhist art and architecture in East Asia was produced in Korea during this time The Unied Silla court maintained close relations with Tang China through trade and diplomatic and scholarly e x changes. The constant o w of K orean tr av elers to China, and the occasional intrepid pilgrim to India, contributed to a growing receptivity to foreign ideas. For e xample, Confucian philosoph y administr a tive systems, and education ourished under the rulers of Unied Silla, who esta b lished a state university ( kukhak ) and implemented an examination system to select c a n d i d a tes for ofcial posts from members ofthe aristocr a c y Througho u t this period, Korea continued to play a crucial role in the transmis sion of technolo g y and ideas to Japan. 29


K or y dynasty (918) Beset by po w er struggles between the court and the aristocracy, Uni ed Silla declined in the late eighth centur y The rise of local militar y g arrisons and landed gentry in the countryside, along with increasing unrest among the peasants, led to a steady deterior a tion of the social fabric. Rebel mo v ements g r adually encroached upon g ov ernment authority and inspired two provincial leaders to esta b lish competing regional states, Later Paekche in the southwest and Later K o gur y in the north, in 892 and 901, respectivel y T o gether with the declining Unied Silla, the two states formed what is known as the Later Three Kingdoms period. In 918, Wang Kn (877), a high-ranking mili tary ofcial, seized control of Later K o gur y and esta b lished the King dom of K or y with the capital at Songak (modern Kaesng). In 936, having subjug a ted Later Paekche, Wong Kn reunited the countr y under the new Kor y dynasty. (The name of this dynasty is the source of the English name Korea.) As in the Unied Silla period, Buddhism, especially the medita t i v e Sn (Chn. Chan; Jpn. Zen) sect, was the dominant religion during the K o r y period and continued to ourish under the municent pa t r o n ag e o f the court and aristocr a c y Temples increased in number and amassed ever more land, wealth, and political inuence during the course of t h e d y n a s t y The spread ofConfucianism during the Unied Silla period also continued una b a ted under the new gov e r nment. A civil ser v i c e e x a m i n a tion system, established in 958 and based on the Chinese model, required a thorough knowledge ofthe Confucian classics and functioned to identify men capable of s e r ving as gov e r nment of c i a l s The v o gue for Chinese culture permeated e v ery aspect of K or y court life, e v en though relations with the mainland were not always friendl y In the northern part of the peninsula, Kor y eng a ged in bor der str u g gles with nor t h e r n Chinas conquerors, the Khitan and Jurchen tribes ofskillful mounted war r i o r s. 3 K or y suffered three in vasions by the Khitan between 993 and 1018. Although these incursions w ere e v entually unsuccessful, the Koreans were inspired to build a thousandli Long Wall (a li equals approximately one-third of a mile) to the south of the Amnok River. Kor y a v oided in v asion by the Jin only by becoming a vassal of the po w erful state, at the same time still delicately maintaining relations with the Chinese court, now relocated in the south. A little more than a century later, de v astating assaults by Mongol f orces o v erthrew r st the Jin dynasty in 1234 and then the Souther n 30


Song in 1279. The Mongol rulers thereupon esta b lished themselves as the emperors of China and designated their new regime the Yuan d ynasty (1272). Korea, too, was r ava ged by Mongol armies suffering six in v asions between 1231 and 1257. In 1231 the Kor y court ed the capital and took refuge on Kanghwa Island, less than two kilometers offshore in the Yellow Sea. Eventuall y by 1270, a peace was ne g otiated with the Mongol in v ader s and the Kor y court entered an era of v ery close relations including ro y al intermarriage with the Mongol Yuan emperor s. By the mid-f o u r teenth century, the Yuan dynasty had begun to deter i o r a t e gr a d u a l l y losing control in China as well as in its vassal state o f Korea. In 1368, the Chinese rebel leader Zhu Yuanzhang (Hongwu e m p e r o r r. 136898) successfully ousted the Yuan and established the Ming dynasty (13681644). In Korea, King Kongmin (r. 13514), the last authorita t i v e ruler ofthe K o r y d y n a s t y adopted a pro-Ming policy and took action to suppress the powerful families who had bene t e d from cooperation with the Mong o l s Although his ref o r ms were broadly p o p u l a r they were not entirely effective. Kongmin was ultima t e l y assass i n a ted and succeeded by a series ofpuppet kings. Chosn dynasty (1392) In 1388, a weakened and divided Kor y court sent a military expedi tion to in v ade Manchuria, in response to a declar a tion by the Chinese Ming g ov ernment of its intention to claim Kor y s northeastern terri tor y One of the expedition commander s Yi Sng-g y e (1335), renowned for expelling Japanese pir a tes who had terrorized Koreas coastline, fa v ored a pro-Ming policy and opposed the idea of the expe dition. Leading his troops back to the capital, he seized control of the gov ernment. Yi Sng-g y e then instituted s w eeping land reforms tha t in effect destro y ed the po w er of the aristocr a tic families who had been the target of the earlier unsuccessful reforms of King Kongmin. With the support of the y angban the educated elite who dominated both the civil and the military branches of gov ernment, he also set out to undermine the authority and privilege of the Buddhist clerg y who w ere seen as inextrica bl y bound to the cor r upt and decadent Kor y court. In 1392, having consolidated his po w er and eliminated his rivals Yi founded a new dynasty, which he named Chosn, after the ancient K orean kingdom that had ourished in the fourth centur y B C The ro y al house of Yi ruled Korea until the end of d ynastic control in the early twentieth centur y This new dynasty, with its capital a t 31


Hanyang (modern Seoul), stro v e to distance itself from the former K or y court. The practice of Buddhism was discour a ged, and NeoConfucianism was embraced by the court and aristocracy as the ofcial state ideolo g y and dominant social system. With Chosn g ov ernment support, Neo-Confucianisms inuence came to permeate elite Korean society and culture. Through obser v ance of textually prescribed cere monies and rites, all social interactions from the public arena to the intimate circle of the famil yw ere affected by Confucianisms ideals and hierarchical values The fortunes of the y angban impro v ed markedly during the earl y y ears of Chosn rule, as they assumed the duties formerly fullled b y the upper ranks of the aristocracy and landowning families of the K or y In theor y the y angban ow ed their position to their performance in the civil service examinations that had been formally esta b lished b y the Kor y court and were ostensib l y open to all educated free males In fact, by restricting access to education and the examination system, the y angban maintained control o v er the bureaucracy The reign of King Sejong (r. 1418) was the cultural high point of the early Chosn dynasty. One of Sejongs most noteworthy accom plishments was the introduction in 1446 of an indigenous writing sys tem, known today as hangl This phonetic writing system was devised for those primarily women and nony angban men who had no opportunity to learn classical Chinese, an arduous system to master and one that ill matched the Korean language F or much of the mid-Chosn period, Korea was in political and intellectual turmoil. The country was r ava ged by two de v astating mili tary campaigns, in 1592 and 1597, waged by the Japanese warlord Toy otomi Hideyoshi (1536). In 1636, Manchu armies, taking advantage of the weakened and disorganized Ming court in China, also launched an in v asion of K orea, but with less damaging results than the war with Japan. The indecision and ineffectiveness of Ming troops during the Japanese in v asions, and the rise of the Manchus as a ne w regional po w er, intensied the debate at the Chosn court about the role of Chinese culture in Korea. Some ofcials supported continued political and cultural lo y alty to the Ming, whereas others advised tha t the country abandon what was perceived as a slavish imitation of Chi nese culture and concentr a te instead on the de v elopment of indigenous institutions and traditions. Following the defeat in 1644 of the Ming d ynasty and the subsequent esta b lishment of the Qing dynasty (1644 1911) by the Manchus, the debate grew e v en more heated. Pro-Chinese 32


factions argued for the support of Ming lo y alist mo v ements, while anti-Chinese cliques pointed to the fall of the Ming as a vindication of their position. By the beginning of the eighteenth centur y promoter s of an independent Korean culture pre v ailed at court and instig a ted the enactment of political, economic, and social policies that encour a ged distinctive native traditions in the ne arts, liter a ture, and the decor ative arts The positive political and economic de v elopments of the se v en teenth and eighteenth centuries notwithstanding, many causes of governmental instability and social unrest remained unaddressed within K orea. The ener va ting effects of these problems were a ggrava ted in the nineteenth centur y r st by the protracted domination of the cen tral g ov ernment by a v aricious ro y al in-law families, and second by the disruptive pressures e x erted on the g ov ernment by foreign imperialist po w er s Motiv a ted by regional str a tegic concerns, China, Russia, and J apan brazenly sought concessions and inuence on the peninsula. The major European po w ers and the United States also pursued advanta geous concessions, sometimes arguing that such ar r angements also beneted the Koreans. The Chosn g ov ernment pro v ed to be too weak and ill prepared to resist the rising tide of f oreign domination. After its victory in 1905 in the Russo-Japanese War, Japan formally anne x ed the peninsula in 1910, beginning a period of colonial rule that lasted until 1945. K orea and the West Re ports made by Ar a b traders in the ninth century provide the r st known accounts about Korea circulated west of India. 4 The tr av eler Ibn Khordhbeh, who ser v ed the Abbassid Caliph Ahmed al-Mutamid alallah (r. 870) of Syria, mentioned the high mountains, a b undant g old, and presence of such uncommon materials as ginseng, lacquer porcelain, and cinnamon in his descriptions of K orea. The thirteenthcentury merchant Marco Polo, who claimed to ha v e journeyed from Italy to China, briey noted the existence of K orea in his tr av el mem oir s referring to it as the land east of China that had been anne x ed b y Khubilai Khan (r. 1260). More extensive (although still v a gue) reports about Korea were sent by Jesuit missionaries working in China and Japan in the se v en teenth centur y These priests also made the r st attempts to introduce Christianity into Korea, although these efforts pro v ed futile. During the next two centuries, a few European priests tried to esta b lish an 33


ofcial presence in Korea but were martyred as part of the Chosn gov ernments strict determination to suppress the spread of Christian ity in the peninsula. The most complete written account circulated in Europe in this era was the seaman Hendrik Hamels record of his thir teen years spent in captivity in Korea after his ship was stranded off Cheju Island, off the southwest coast of the peninsula. Hamel offered one of the r st ey e witness accounts of the country made by a Euro pean and, in particular, noted the Korean enthusiasm for education and literacy and the differences between the homes of the nobles and commoner s. Under duress, Korea signed the Treaty of K anghwa with Japan in 1876. This agreement succeeded in opening Korea to the outside world and was follo w ed by other unequal treaties with the United States Britain, Germany, Ital y Russia, F r ance, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Korean-French Treaty of 1886 allo w ed the propa ga tion of Christianity in Korea, thereby initiating a ood of R oman Catholic and Protestant missionaries from the West into the peninsula. Notes 1. For a more detailed discussion of K orean histor y see Jonathan W. Best, Prole of the Korean Past, in Arts of K orea pp. 14. On the subject of K orean statef ormation theories, see Hyung Il Pai, Constructing Korean Origins: A Critical Review of Ar c haeolo gy Historio gra ph y and Racial Myth in Korean State-Formation Theories (Cambridge, Mass.: Har v ard University Asia Center and Har v ard University Press 2000). 2. It should be noted that many scholars consider the terms Paleolithic and Neolithic inaccur a te descriptions of K oreas earliest de v elopmental stages. Some prefer to identify various periods by the dominant pottery type of the time, while others emphasize the stage of economic or social de v elopment. 3. The Khitan were semi-nomadic people from the Mongolian steppes. After consol i d a ting control over the other tribes in the ter r i t o r y north ofChina, they estab l i s h e d the Liao dynasty (916) and occupied part of northern China. The Jurchen, another semi-nomadic people from Manchuria, who founded the Jin dynasty (1115), defeated the Khitan Liao and in 1126 attacked Kaifeng, the capital of the Northern Song dynasty (960), bringing the Northern Song to an end. 4. Beginning in the Three Kingdoms period, Indian and Central Asian monks were known to ha v e tr av eled to Korea to promote Buddhism, while Koreans tr av eled w estward to study the religion at its source 34


Korean Religions and Systems of T h o u g h t In the course of its long histor y Korea has de v eloped and assimilated a number of diverse religious and philosophical traditions. Although their inuence on Korean society has varied o v er time, these traditions once esta b lished, became a x ed part of K orean life. Not only ha ve these traditions coexisted but they ha v e also inuenced each other ex changing and sharing ideas, practices, and sacred gures. This ten dency to accommodate diverse religions and systems of thought is f ound throughout East Asian cultures Shamanism is Koreas earliest belief system and forms an enduring part of its cultural foundation, affecting the other religions that fol lo w ed. Knowledge of Chinese Confucianism and Daoism reached K orea between 108 B C and 313 A D when Chinas rulers maintained military commanderies in the northern part of the peninsula. Ho wev er neither e x erted a strong impact on Korean society for se v eral cen turies. Buddhism was imported from China into the peninsula in the f ourth century and dominated religious, cultural, and artistic life from the latter part of the Three Kingdoms period (57 B C 668 A D .) through the Unied Silla (668) and Kor y (918) dynasties During the subsequent Chosn period (1392), Confucianism, which had been used to a limited extent by the Unied Silla and Kor y monarchies for its political, social, and educational benets, gained pri macy and became the dominant social system. Koreans learned of Christianity in the se v enteenth centur y primarily from European J esuits and Chinese con v erts in China. Despite the Chosn courts strenuous efforts to eradicate Christianity in Korea, the country toda y has the largest Christian following in East Asia (although Buddhism remains the dominant religion). Shamanism Shamanism ( musok ), according to a narrow denition, originated in the Ural-Altaic regions northwest of K orea. This collection of customs and practices, brought to the peninsula in ancient times b y mig r ants from the north, centers on the po w ers of a priest to act as 35


an intermediary between the human and spirit realms. In Korea, a supreme deity, Hanunim, presides over a world in which the sun, moon, star s earth, mountains, trees, and various parts of the household are imbued with a divine spirit, often manifested in the form of f olk deities Since at least the Kor y period, most shamans ha v e been women, usually from the lo w er classes. Shamanisms relationship with Koreas r ulers and the state has vacillated o v er the centuries. Ancient tribal chieftains are thought to have been shamans, and during the early Three Kingdoms period, shamans e x erted consider ab le inuence in political and military affair s In later times, especially during the Chosn period, Confucian bureaucr a ts often attempted to suppress shamanistic practices. Throughout Korean histor y ho wev er, member s of all le v els of society ha v e from time to time sought the assistance of shamans to cure illness, appease the dead, learn about the future, and secure good fortune, among other concerns K ut This ritual performance, the most important ceremony in sha manism, marks the occasion when a spirit is invited to take possession of a shaman in order to communicate with the supplicant. A kut ma y be conducted to dispel evil spirits, summon rain, give thanks for a bountiful har v est, cure illness, or ensure good fortune. During a kut K orean shamans typically dress in costumes and dance to music and drumming, display pictures of f olk gods, and make offerings of f ood, money, or paper reproductions of v alua b le objects Mudang This term refers to Korean female shamans, who are more numerous than male shamans. Their primary work is to communicate the wishes of a spirit or deity (bene v olent or evil) who takes possession of them during a ritual trance. It is thought that these women, who are usually the daughters or adopted daughters of other mudang assume their profession in response to a call from the spirits. If this summons is ignored, sickness, especially in the form of dreams or hallucinations is said to afict the individual. A woman becomes a mudang in an initi a tion ritual during which she learns the identity of her personal deity and receives the cult objects that she will use Mudang are not part of an organized clergy and do not use an esta b lished liturg y. 36


Shamanism and Ar t The objects and ornaments used in ceremonies and for communica t i o n with the spirits are the most direct expression ofshamanism in art. Ritual implements such as bronze ra t t l e s and decora t i v e accessories such as gold crowns and belts with antler-shaped appendages and curved jade pendants ( ko g o k ), found in tombs ofthe Bronze Age (ca. 10thca. 3rd c e n t u r y B C .) to the Silla period (57 B C .668 A D .), suggest that in ancient times the role ofshaman was perf o r med by members ofthe ruling class. In later periods, paintings and sculptures offolk deities were produced for use during k u t and related rituals. The concept of r ep r e s e n t i n g sacred beings in anthropomorphic f o r m was rst inspired by Buddhism. The ideas, pr a c t i c e s and ima g e r y associated with shamanism have s t r o n g l y inuenced Korean na t i v e m y t h s litera t u r e and the visual ar t s e s p e c i a l l y folk art. Symbolic images of a n i m a l s plants, and deities d e r i v ed from shamanism can be found in a variety ofsacred and secular o b j e c t s For e x a m p l e images ofSansin, folk god ofthe mountain spirits, are used in shamanistic rituals and are also placed in shrines dedica t e d to him in Korean Buddhist temples. Sansin is often shown accompanied by a tiger, a symbol of p o wer and courage and one ofthe most popular i m a ges in Korean decora t i v e painting and Chosn cer a m i c s Although the connection is less obvious, the directness and famil iarity that characterize much of K orean art are reminiscent of the energy and vitality of the kut which ser v es to connect humans with the realms of nature and the spirits Buddhism Buddhism ( pulgyo ), founded by the Indian prince Siddhartha Gautama (d. ca. 400 B C ; traditional dates ca. 556 B C ), re v ered today as the Buddha or Buddha Shak y amuni, is one of the great world religions The basic tenets of Buddhism are that life is impermanent, illusor y, and lled with suffering, which is caused by desire and ignorance and gives rise to a continuous cycle of death and rebirth. The cessation of suffering (Skt. nir v ana) is achie v ed when desire and ignorance are e xtinguished, which is possible through a life of moder a tion, moral conduct, and meditative practice The early form of Buddhism, known as Ther av ada (also called Hina y ana), focuses on personal salv a tion, possible only for those who join a monastic order. The later form of Buddhism, Maha y ana (the Great or Universal Vehicle), offers salv a tion for all sentient beings. In 37


their pursuit of this goal, follo w ers of Maha y ana seek the assistance of saviors and guides known as bodhisattvas. Maha y ana was the branch of Buddhism most widely disseminated across northeast Asia. The Esoteric sects, which e v olved somewhat later and offered immediate salv a tion through elabor a te rituals and po w erful deities, were espe cially appealing to the ruling classes of China, Korea, and Japan. Buddhism was transmitted throughout Asia along sea and land routes by trader s monks, and tr av eler s The religion spread eastward across Central Asia, reaching China in about the r st centur y A D It was transmitted to Korea in the fourth century by Buddhist monks sent from China, and subsequently became the ofcial religion of the kingdoms of Ko gur y (37 B C 668 A D ), Paekche (18 B C 660 A D ), and e v entually Silla. It was through Korea that Buddhism was formall y introduced to Japan in the sixth centur y initially by ofcial en vo ys from the Paekche court. Buddhism in Korea found greatest fa v or among the court and aristocracy, who looked to the religion to assist in the de v elopment and protection oftheir emerging centralized sta t e s The r u l e r s attempted to legitimize their authority and garner support by likening themselves and their kingdoms to the enlightened buddhas and paradise realms described in Buddhist scriptures. The close relationship between earl y K orean Buddhism and the welfare of the state is echoed in the Fiv e Precepts for Lay People, an inuential code of conduct formulated b y the famous monk Wngwang (d. ca. 630) especially for young male aristocr a ts: Ser v e the king with lo y alty; Ser v e ones parents with de votion; Treat ones friends with trust; Do not a v oid combat; and Do not kill indiscriminatel y These rules also re v eal a strong Confucian in uence, and thus e x emplify the Korean tendency to merge aspects of different belief systems Many schools of Buddhism were imported during the Unied Silla and Kor y periods. During the latter dynasty, these sects were divided into two broad groups: the textual sect, K yo which stressed master y of the scriptures, and the contemplative sect, Sn (Chn. Chan; Jpn. Zen), which emphasized meditation and a more individual approach to spiritual understanding. The principal schools in the K y o tradition w ere the philosophical A va tamsaka (Hwam) school and the de v otional Pure Land sect, which focused on the worship of Amitabha (Amita), the Buddha of the Western Paradise. From the twelfth century on, ho wev er, Sn was the primary form of Buddhism practiced in Korea. 1 38


The Unied Silla and Kor y ro y al courts and aristocracy activel y patronized Buddhism, donating large amounts of money and land to support the construction of Buddhist temples and monasteries and the production of e xquisite works of art. By the end of the Kor y period, ho wev er, the wealth and political po w er amassed by the Buddhist esta b lishment, the reported cor r uption of the clerg y and the expense of publicly funded Buddhist rituals gener a ted increasing criticism. W hile se v eral Chosn monarchs and female members of the ro y al fam ily remained de v out Buddhists, the esta b lishment of the Chosn d ynasty, which suppressed Buddhism and embraced Neo-Confucianism as the new state ideolo gy marked the end of Buddhisms golden period in Korean histor y. 2 In the following section, the names of Buddhist deities are given in Sanskrit, the ancient Indic language that is the sacred and classical lan guage of Hinduism and Buddhism. The Korean equivalent is given in parentheses Amitabha (Amita). The principle deity of Maha y ana Pure Land Bud dhism, the Buddha Amitabha, whose name means Innite Light, pre sides o v er the Western Paradise, one of many Buddhist pure lands where one may blissfully reside until nir v ana is achie v ed. Motiv a ted b y compassion and wisdom, Amitabha leads de v otees after their death to his realm, re g ardless of their past deeds, if they call out his name with sincerity. Amitabha is often shown as a meditating buddha, as the cen tral gure of the Western Paradise, or descending from abo v e to lead souls to his paradise (see image 15 ). Av alokiteshvar a (Kwanm). This bodhisattva is one of the most important and popular gures in Maha y ana Buddhism. R ev ered for his great compassion and wisdom, A v alokiteshvara is the manifestation of the po w er of Amitabha, the Buddha of the Western Paradise Av alokiteshvaras association with Amitabha is often indicated by a small, seated representation of the buddha in the crown of his head dress. Although he has a variety of a ttributes, he is most commonl y shown holding a ask of holy water, a willow branch, or a lotus blos som. A v alokiteshvara can assume many guises, both male and female human and suprahuman, depending on the intended function and set ting of the image (see image 16 ). 39 Image 15 Image 16


Ava tamsaka (Hwam). After three decades of study in China, the emi nent Silla monk isang (625) returned to Korea and esta b lished the A va tamsaka school, the principle school of Maha y ana Buddhism. Known in Korea as Hwam, it became the dominant philosophical Buddhist sect and appealed in particular to intellectuals among the Unied Silla and Kor y aristocracy. Follo w ers of this po w erful school stressed that all things were part of a single, higher whole, compar ab le to the wa v es that make up the sea. During its period of orescence the Hwam school inspired not only a rich body of intellectual and theological interpretations but also numerous visual representations of the scriptures B o d h i s at t v a ( p o s a l ). A bodhisa t t v a is an enlightened being who, despite h a ving accumulated sufcient wisdom and merit to achieve nirvana, renounces complete freedom from the world ofsuffering until all sentient beings can be saved. Motivated by compassion, bodhisa t t v as activ e l y assist those in need and therefore are common objects of d e votion and s u p p l i c a tion. Their engagement with this world is often expressed in their depiction as bejeweled and richly ornamented g u r e s Buddha ( pul or puch ). A buddha, or enlightened one, is a being who having realized the truths espoused in Buddhism, has freed himself from the attachments and desires that bind one to the painful cycle of death and rebirth. Having achie v ed full liber a tion (nir v ana) from the cycle of reincarnation, a buddha is no longer inuenced by sensations emotions, and e v ents. While the name Buddha customarily refers to the founder of the religion, the historical Buddha Shak y amuni, there are numerous buddhas. They are often depicted as monks dressed in simple robes and bearing the physical markings (Skt. lakshana ) of enlightenment (see g 1, p. 43), but in certain manifestations they are shown as richly ornamented re g al gures (see images 5, 15, 17 ). Esoteric Buddhism This version of Buddhist practice, which is also known as Tantric Buddhism or Vajr ay ana, represents the last major phase of the religion in India. De v eloped between the fourth and sixth centuries, Esoteric Buddhism was transmitted to East and Southeast Asia, and reached its greatest le v el of inuence in Tibet. Generall y taught to initiates by a highly re v ered teacher, Esoteric Buddhist prac tices include rites that use magic, incantations, and ritualized actions to achie v e enlightenment in ones lifetime. This form of Buddhism also 40 Images 5, 15, 17


incorpor a tes a diverse pantheon of male and female deities that can assume many different manifestations and forms Kshitigarbha (Chijang). Kshitigarbha (literall y womb of the earth) is a bodhisattva who is dedicated to the rescue of beings in hell. Depic tions of this deity typically show him dressed as a monk, car r ying a six-ringed staff in one hand and a wish-g r anting je w el in the other (see image 18 ). Maha y ana Maha y ana, or the Great Vehicle, so named because it is meant to deliver all beings from the cycle of suffering to salv a tion, de v eloped out of the older Ther av ada, or Hina y ana, tradition around the r st centur y A D Maha y ana offers the assistance of compassionate b uddhas and bodhisattvas, who are a b le to alleviate the suffering of supplicants and assist them in their quest for enlightenment. This branch of Buddhism, which gained prominence in East Asia, teaches that all sentient beings possess the potential for enlightenment and a ttainment of b uddhahood. Maitr eya (Mirk). Maitreya (meaning bene v olence) is the allcompassionate buddha, who, after the conclusion of the current period dominated by the historical Buddha Shak y amuni, will come to earth as the last earthly buddha. Until the time of his appearance as a buddha, Maitreya resides in the Tushita Hea v en as a bodhisattva. He is there f ore depicted as either an unornamented buddha or a beje w eled bodhi sattva. He occasionally wears a miniature stupa in his headdress, and may hold a vase or a wheel representing Buddhist teaching. A cult ded icated to Maitreya was popular during the Three Kingdoms, especiall y among the young male aristocr a ts known as hwarang ( ow er youth) who honored the v e injunctions laid down by the monk Wngwang and in the Unied Silla period. Meditation This term encompasses a variety of techniques and types of religious practices derived from ancient y o gic teachings tha t are designed to calm and concentr a te the mind, making possible the ultimate goal of de v eloping the practitioners consciousness to the point of inner enlightenment. Nir v ana Considered by Buddhists to be beyond description and deni tion, nir v ana is the ultimate goal of Buddhist practice. It refers to the 41 Image 18


state of b liss attained when one is no longer deluded by ignorance inuenced by attachments and desires gener a ted by the e go or subject to the cycle of rebirth, the nature of which is conditioned by the deeds (Skt. karma) of f ormer lives. In Maha y ana Buddhism, nir v ana also includes the awareness of ones unity with the absolute Pur e Land school This school of Buddhism, which had reached Korea b y the se v enth centur y emphasizes faith in Amitabha, expressed pri marily through recitation of his name and the desire to be reborn into his Western Paradise. Because it offers a simple and direct route to sal va tion, Pure Land Buddhism became very popular among the common people in Korea. S h a k y a m u n i (Skkamoni or Ska-bul). The name Shaky a m u n i m e a n ing Sage ofthe Shakya clan, r e f e r s to Prince Siddhartha (d. ca. 400 B C .; traditional dates ca. 556 B C ) of the ro y al Gautama famil y the f ounder of Buddhism. Born in northeastern India, as a young adult Shak y amuni became distressed o v er the human condition of suffering and death. He abandoned worldly life to seek the cause of pain and disco v er a means of a ttaining release. After achieving enlightenment, Shak y amuni spent the remaining decades of his life tr av eling and teaching his doctrine of meditation and moder a te living. He is most often shown as a monk with physical marks that signify his enlight ened status, such as a cranial protuberance, tuft of hair in the middle of his forehead, and elong a ted earlobes (see image 5 and g 1). Sn (Chn. Chan; Jpn. Zen). Sn is the Korean version of the Chan school of Maha y ana Buddhism, which de v eloped in China between the sixth and se v enth centuries. The origins of this school are traced to the legendary Indian monk Bodhidharma, who is said to ha v e tr av eled to China in the early sixth century and guided his follo w ers in their search for a direct, intuitive approach to enlightenment through meditation. A form of Chan Buddhism was transmitted to Korea perhaps as early as the se v enth centur y reportedly by a Korean monk who journeyed to China and studied with the fourth patriarch Daoxin (580 651). Sn de v eloped in nine independent mountain center s ( kusan sonmun ) and, after the twelfth centur y became the dominant f orm of Buddhist practice in Korea. 42 Image 5


Buddhism, which had deeply permeated Korean elite culture long before the political unication ofthe country in the seventh century and served as the national religion until the end ofthe fourteenth century, had an enormous impact on the arts ofKorea. The majority of Korea's most important surviving art treasures were inspired by the practice ofthis religion. According to Buddhist teachings, devotees attain religious merit through the commissioning and production of images and texts. This beliefmotivated the creation ofenormous numbers ofvotive gures, ritual implements, paintings, and illuminated manuscripts ofBuddhist scriptures. Many ofthese objects were made for the numerous temples built by the Three Kingdoms and Unied Silla kings as well as the Kory™ monarchs and nobles. Because members ofthe upper classes were for centuries the primary proponents ofBuddhism in Korea, huge sums were lavished on the production of exquisite devotional objects. Religious texts, or sutras, provide the foundation ofBuddhist belief. Sutras were copied and often illustrated by hand or produced in multiple copies with the technique ofwoodblock printing. Highly skilled calligraphers and painters were employed by the royal court and aristocracy to produce these sacred works using the nest materials. The representation ofdeities and spiritually perfected people is a fundamental artistic expression ofBuddhist thought. The enlightened status ofthese gures is visually conveyed in part through their appearance as idealized beings. Specic attributes and distinguishing markssuch as a protuberance on top ofthe head and a tuft ofhair in the middle ofthe forehead (generally represented by a dot between 43 allaying gesture 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 teaching bestowing teaching the law or turning the wheel ofthe law calling the earth to witness (signifying the Buddha's right to enlightenment) discussing Buddhist corporeal iconography and symbolic hand gestures, or mudras 1. skull protuberance wisdom 2. tuft ofhair or gem enlightenment 3. extended earlobes princely wealth, rejection ofmaterialism 4. three neck folds auspiciousness 5. monk's robes ascetic life of the Buddha 6. mudra symbolic hand gesture (here indicating meditation) 7. seated in lotus position 8. lotus platform purity prayer meditation


the eyebrows)as well as hand gestures (Skt. mudr a ) communicate information to the vie w er about the identity of the gure or con v ey a m e s s a ge (see g. 1). Buddhist deities are frequently depicted with a halo or nimbus surrounding their heads and/or an aureole, or mandorla, around their entire bodies. As in the West, these representations of emanating light indicate the gures spiritual radiance. The magical a bilities and po w er of deities in the Esoteric Buddhist pantheon are often represented by such suprahuman characteristics as multiple arms and heads. The setting in which a gure is depicted can also re v eal clues to the deitys identity. For example, the Buddha Amitabha is often shown presiding o v er his Western Paradise anked by the bod hisattvas A v alokiteshvara and Mahasthamaprapta (see image 15 ). Ideas about physical perfection and beauty are closely connected with the culture in which they pre v ail. Modern vie w er s therefore must keep in mind that their own concepts of physical beauty may dif fer from beliefs held by people in other places and times. Specicall y, the soft, rounded physiques and gentle expressions of Buddhist images, especially bodhisattvas, often look feminine to modern West ern vie w er s The makers of these images were responding to a number of impulses, including their own ideas about physical perfection and a desire to depict deities that transcend the limitations of a ge, gender and human physical features Confucianism Confucianism ( yugyo ) is the philosophical, social, and political doctrine de v eloped in China based on the teachings of Confucius (ca. 551 479 B C ) and his principal follo w er s This ideolo g y was de v eloped in response to the need for a new system that could provide the social cohesion and moral impera t i v es demanded by the shift during the Zhou d ynasty (ca. 1046 B C ) from a society dictated by the belief in the po w er of ancestral spirits to one in which man assumed the central position. Through the writings attributed to Confucius and his follo wer s Confucianism offered a code of proper social conduct motiv a ted b y virtue and tempered by humanism. During his lifetime, Confucius had little success in convincing rulers to adopt his system, and his precepts did not become guiding principles in China until the Han period (206 B C A D ). Confucius exhorted rulers to g ov ern by example. He belie v ed tha t if a king beha v ed properly and obser v ed the necessary rituals, society 44 Image 15


would be sta b le and harmonious. Rituals held a central position in Confucian ethics because their performance was thought to encour a ge the best aspects of human nature and to correct character a ws. Con fucianism emphasizes v e fundamental relationships, which if properl y maintained will result in a harmonious, virtuous society: ruler and minister, father and son (lial piety), husband and wife, elder brother and younger brother, and friend and friend. Filial piety, for example requires that a son defer to and care for his parents while they are aliv e and after their deaths honor them with a suita b le funeral, a properl y obser v ed mourning period, and timely acts of v ener a tion through the presentation of offerings. Because Confucius also advocated the appointment of learned and capa b le administr a tors to g ov ernment posts r a ther than dependence on a hereditary system, Confucianism became closely associated with education and an examination system whereby the g ov ernment could identify talented men. Confucius expressed little interest in metaphysical matter s and limited his comments on the spiritual realm to general references to an impersonal Hea v en. Although shrines dedicated to Confucius and wor thy dignitaries and heroes were esta b lished in later times, Confucian ism is not, strictly speaking, a religion. It ne v er de v eloped a formal clerg y and the most important rituals associated with its practice are ancestral rites Introduced into Korea with the esta b lishment of the Chinese Han military commanderies in the northern part of the peninsula at the end of the second centur y B C Confucianism was utilized by the ruler s of the Three Kingdoms, Unied Silla, and Kor y to enhance their political authority. They embraced the Confucian virtues of lo y alty social harmony, and class str a tication, esta b lished academies in which Confucian classics were taught to the sons of the aristocracy, instituted civil service e x a m i n a tions for members ofthe upper classes, and adopted Chinese-style rites In the nal decades of the Kor y dynasty, bureaucr a ts steeped in Confucian learning increasingly opposed the political and economic po w er of the Buddhist clerg y whom they considered to be a cor r upt and ener va ting inuence. With the esta b lishment of the Chosn d ynasty, Confucianism emerged as the dominant ideolo g y in Korean society, with a strict emphasis on the proper obser v ance of ancestral rites and interpersonal relationships. This expansion of Confucian isms reach coincided with the growing inuence in Korea of NeoConfucianism, called sngri-hak (philosophy of mind and principle) or 45


c huja-hak (philosophy of Master Zhu, or Zhu Xi [1130], the g reat Neo-Confucian scholar of the Chinese Song dynasty). Incorpo ra ting concepts from Daoism and Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism shifted attention to the cultiv a tion of the self through the study of metaphysical and cosmological ideas After the de v astating Japanese in v asions of the peninsula in the late sixteenth centur y follo w ed a few decades later by the fall of the Ming dynasty (1368) in China, which had been vie w ed as K oreas role model, many Korean intellectuals recognized a need for reform. The faction known as Sirhak-pa (School of Practical Learning) became a formida b le intellectual force in the late se v enteenth centur y. The Sirhak scholar s who advocated political, economic, social, and educational reforms, took practical affairs as their point of departure emphasizing not only the traditional humanistic disciplines but also the study of science, natural science, and technolo gy Their interest in promoting a new understanding of the countrys history and culture led to a surge of publications on various aspects of K orean histor y, liter a ture, language, and geo gr aph y. Neo-Confucianism Based on the writings of the twelfth-centur y Chinese scholar Zhu Xi, Neo-Confucianism represented a major intel lectual breakthrough in Chinese philosoph y It grew out of a revival of the ancient moral philosophy of Confucianism combined with metaphysical concepts borro w ed from Daoism and Buddhism. NeoConfucian philosophers de v eloped a metaphysical system of hea v enl y principles, which embraced both a transcendent reality and the cultiv a tion of the self. Y angban Members of the educated elite, the y angban dominated soci ety in the Chosn period. They were typically educated in the Confu cian classics, which prepared them for the ofcial civil and militar y service examinations and positions in the g ov ernment bureaucracy W hile not all y angban w ere wealth y their status as ofcials and land holders allo w ed many to become afuent. Although, theoreticall y all educated men were eligible to take the exams necessary for entry into the ranks of the bureaucracy, in practice, membership in the y angban class was largely restricted to esta b lished upper-class families: access to education was restricted, land and property were inherited by the eldest son, and endo g amous marriages were preferred. Beginning in the se v enteenth centur y attitudinal changes caused an expansion in 46


y angban r anks, weakening class e x clusivity. Eventuall y the ter m became a polite reference for any gentleman. Zhu Xi (1130). Zhu Xi was one of Chinas most inuential philosophers and the founder of the Neo-Confucian orthodox School of Principle, which taught that the mind is disciplined and morality is learned through the in v estig a tion of thingsan objective study of the many aspects of the material world. Confucianism and Ar t Confucius is said to ha v e advised gentlemen to cultiv a te their moral character in part through the appreciation of music and the study of liter a ture and histor y Confucianism e x erted its strongest impact on the ne arts through the aesthetics it espoused. Restraint, modesty and naturalness were encour a ged in the form of muted color s subtle decor a tion, and a preference for organic materials. White-bodied porcelains, scholars utensils made of bamboo, wood, or stone, and sim ple white silk robes epitomized Confucian sensibilities Confucian vener a tion of ancestors and teachers prompted the rise of priv a te Confucian academies ( swn ) and the production of portraits of ancestors as well as those of renowned Confucian master s Domes tic rites, the most important of which were coming-of-age ceremonies w eddings, funerals, and vener a tion of the ancestor s constituted the most essential aspects of priv a te Confucian practice during the Chosn period. Ancestral rites were typically carried out by men of the upper class in family shrines, which were usually located within the domestic compound of the eldest male. Offerings of wine, food, and tea were presented to the ancestor s represented by inscribed name plaques placed on an altar. While food was usually presented on wood or metal plates and bowls, wine was offered in small cups made of white porcelain or metal (see image 22 ). After the service, the relatives of the deceased would consume the food and drink in a family meal. Confucian scholars were usually active practitioners and patrons of callig r aphy and liter a ti painting. Ideall y these arts were enjo y ed as a means of personal expression, either alone or among like-minded friends. Ink paintings of bamboo, orchids, and landscapes rendered with little or no color and employing callig r aphic brushwork are typi cal examples of liter a ti art (see image 28 and Artists and Materials pp. 70). 47 Image 22 Image 28


Daoism Daoism (sometimes romanized as Taoism) is native to China, and encompasses various ancient practices and schools of thought ignored or rejected by Confucianism. The older form of Daoism, philosophical Daoism ( to ga ), consists of concepts credited to Laozi (5th centur y B C .) and Zhuangzi (ca. 369ca. 286 B C ), who advocated a passive acquies cence to the Dao (The W a y of the Universe) and a close relationship with nature. Around the second centur y A D Daoism absorbed compo nents of shamanism, alchem y medicine, and various primitive cults and de v eloped into religious Daoism ( to g yo ). Chinese inhabitants of the Han military commanderies in norther n K orea are presumed to ha v e introduced Daoist texts and beliefs into the peninsula as part of the transmission of Chinese culture. Member s of the K o gur y aristocracy, for example, are known to ha v e requested information about Daoist practices from China. Although many Daoist ideas were absorbed into Korean society, Daoism ne v er became esta b lished in an organized form but was an important feature of the cultural background. Because ofthe many similarities between religious Daoism and shamanism, practices not associated with Buddhism or Confucianism such as the use of c h a r ms and certain symbolsare sometimes incorr e c t l y identied as being Daoist. Moreov e r some conce p t s such as the two alter n a ting principles ofthe univ e rs e y i n and y a n g ( m and y a n g ) and geomancy, are commonly a t t r i b uted to Daoism, although they actua l l y predate it. In general, conceptions ofthe immortals and their realms and the pursuit of i m m o r tality through alchemical means are the most authentic expressions ofreligious Daoism. Dao The Dao (or The W a y of the Universe) is a fundamental term in Chinese philosophy for the unchangea b le, transcendent source of all e xistence. This principle, which is vast and indescriba b le, encompass ing action and nonaction, void and matter, knowledge and ignorance remains constant as all else changes Laozi (5th centur y B C ). The semilegendary founder of Daoism and author of the classic Daodejing Laozi is said to ha v e been a g ov er nment ofcial until he grew dissatised with political conditions in China and left the country to tr av el westward. He is thought to ha ve been an acquaintance of Confucius, and his follo w ers claim that he taught the Buddha Shak y amuni. 48


Zhuangzi (ca. 369ca. 286 B C ). Zhuangzi was one of the most impor tant early de v elopers of Daoist philosoph y He is credited with a book of poems, par ab les, and fantasies describing the importance of passiv ity and the maintenance of a close connection with nature, as well as criticizing g ov ernment service Daoism and Ar t As mentioned abo ve it is often difcult to separ a te Daoist ideas from those of shamanism. While gures such as the God of Longevity known as Shoulao in Chinese and frequently pictured as a wizened old man car r ying a large peach ha v e Daoist origins, o v er time they ha ve been con a ted with Korean folk deities associated with shamanism. In this case, Shoulao has been combined with the popular deities Namguksong (the Southern Star spirit) and Chilsong (Se v en Stars). Similarl y symbols of longevity, including the pine tree, crane, and fun gus of immortality, are found in both Daoist and shamanist contexts Philosophical Daoism emphasizes the maintenance of a strong connection with the natural world, which is seen as necessary to the proper de v elopment of human character. In part resulting from Dao isms inuence, nature holds a critical position in East Asian culture and thought. This attitude bolstered the de v elopment of landscape painting, which by denition in East Asia consists of mountains and water elements made up of opposite physical characteristics (see Key Themes, Na t u r e p. 16). Up until modern times, whenever humans are included in landscape compositions, they typically reect the Daoist ideal of man in harmony with nature Christianity Korean art from the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries and objects associated with Christianity are not represented in the Metropolitan Museums collection, thus the religion is only briey discussed here In the late sixteenth and early se v enteenth centuries, European missionaries attempted but failed to esta b lish a foothold in Korea as part of their proselytizing efforts in other parts of Asia. After encoun tering Jesuit priests in Beijing in the second half of the se v enteenth centur y Korean emissaries were the r st to introduce Christian texts and ideas to Korea successfull y Initiall y Roman Catholicisms most receptive audience were upper-class intellectuals, especially those of 49


the Sirhak (Practical Learning) mo v ement, which advocated using W estern scientic knowledge to reform Korean commerce and a g ri culture. These men met secretly and their number s which came to include many commoner s s w elled to approximately 10,000 in the earl y y ears of the nineteenth centur y They sent requests to the Europeans to send priests, many of whom were e v entually martyred. During the nineteenth centur y the Korean g ov ernment, fearing Western incur sions, the pre v alence of political opposition among Christian ranks and Catholicisms ban on ancestor worship, enacted a number of brutal persecutions that killed tens of thousands of people and dro v e the Christian church underground until the 1870s Protestantism was esta b lished in Korea in the last decades of the nineteenth centur y In addition to their e v angelical efforts, Protestant missionaries, the majority of whom came from the United States Canada, and A u s t r alia, instituted important changes in the areas of e d u c a tion and modern medicine. The use of hangl the native syllabar y system, in religious books was instrumental in increasing the literacy ra te among the population, especially among women. Missionaries f ounded se v eral important hospitals and educational institutions including Yonsei University and Ewha Womans University in Seoul. Notes 1. For further information on the de v elopment of v arious schools of Buddhism in K orea, see Pak Youngsook, The Korean Art Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in Arts of K orea pp. 424. A more detailed account is provided b y Lewis R. Lancaster and Yu Chai-shin in Introduction of Buddhism to Korea: New Cultural P a tterns vol. 3, and Assimilation of Buddhism in Korea: Religious Maturity and Inno va tion in the Silla Dynasty vol. 4, Studies in Korean Religions and Culture (Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press, 1989 and 1991). 2. Jonathan W. Best, Imager y Icono gr aphy and Belief in Early Korean Buddhism, K orean Cultur e (Fall 1992), pp. 23, is a useful o v erview of K orean Buddhist histor y and includes a description of important deities in the Korean Buddhist pantheon and their icono gr aph y. 50


Overview ofKorean Art History (ca. 7000ca. 10th century B.C.) Archaeology in Korea is a relatively recent discipline.1The period recognized as Korea's Neolithic era, which spanned approximately 6,000 years, has been studied only during the last century through the excavation ofsites and analysis ofphysical remains. This period is marked by the appearance ofpottery and small settlements with semisubterranean dwellings. The variety ofshapes and decorative techniques ofexcavated pottery wares reects a diversity in the material cultures ofthe Neolithic period and suggests contacts between populations living in different areas ofthe peninsula, as well as with those on the continental mainland and the islands that constitute modern Japan. The Neolithic inhabitants ofthe Korean peninsula fashioned chipped and polished stone spears, arrowheads, and tools, as well as bone shhooks and needles. The earliest known Neolithic pottery in Korea has been dated to about 7000 B.C. These pots were handmade with sandy clay, and red in open or partially covered pits at relatively low temperatures ofabout 700C. Used most likely for the storage of foodstuffs and as cooking containers, they typically had deep interiors, wide mouths, and pointed or at bases. While several decorative methods, including reliefappliquŽ, pinching, and stamping, were employed to ornament the exterior surface ofthe pots, the most commonly found design is the comb-pattern ( chlmun ) motif, made by incising diagonal lines into the damp clay, perhaps with a toothed implement, before ring (g. 2). In the late Neolithic period, around 2000 B.C., Korean potters began to produce plainer pottery, possibly as the result ofthe migration ofnew groups ofpeople from Manchuria and Siberia onto the peninsula. Compared with the earlier comb-pattern wares, these pots, known as mumun ware, are made ofcoarser clay, have thicker walls, and bear minimal or no decoration. A wide variety ofshapes were produced, including jars with handles and bowls on pedestals. The hardness ofthe bodies ofsome ofthese wares indicates improvements in kiln technology, which made it possible to re pottery wares at higher temperatures. 51 Comb-Pattern Vessel. Neolithic period, ca. 40003000 B.C., from Amsa-dong, Kangdong-gu, Seoul. Earthenware with incised decoration; H. 15 in. (38.4 cm). Ky™nghi University, Seoul


Bronze Age (ca. 10thca. 3rd centur y B C .) Bronze technolo g y was introduced into Korea from the northern par t of the continental mainland around the tenth centur y B C Earl y bronze objects include imported da g ger s swords, spearheads, mirror s, and small bells. By the se v enth centur y B C a Bronze Age material cul ture of remarka b le sophistication was ourishing on the peninsula, inuenced by northeastern China as well as Siberian and Scythian bronze styles. Found primarily in burial sites, the earliest Korean bronze objects are mostly swords, spearheads, and objects that seem to ha v e ser v ed ritual functions, nota bl y mirror s bells, and r a ttles. In its chemical composition, Korean bronze is different from that of neigh boring bronze cultures, containing a higher percentage of zinc. Recent archaeological disco v eries show that bronze weapons and implements w ere cast using stone molds. Ho wev er, the extraordinary neness of the linear decor a tion on some mirrors of the late Bronze Age suggests that clay molds were also used. F rom the end of the Neolithic period and continuing into the Bronze Age, high-ranking members of K orean society be g an to be b uried in more elabor a te g rav es. The most common forms of b urial are stone cists (chambers lined with stone) and dolmens (abo v e-ground constructions of large stone slabs; g 3). Dolmen burials are more numerous in Korea than in any other country in East Asia. The rich ness and variety of objects reco v ered from these burials indicate the elite status of the occupants. Among these objects are stone and bronze weapons such as da g gers and spearheads; bronze mirrors and other ritual implements; pottery vessels, both painted and burnished red and black wares (see image 1 ); a nd polished stone tubular beads or cur v ed, comma-shaped beads ( ko gok ), often made of nephrite ( g 4). These cur v ed ornaments are sometimes associated with Siberian bear cults. Similarly shaped stone beads (Jpn. ma ga tama ) ha v e also been f ound in Japan in upper-class g rav es of the Y ay oi (ca. 4th centur y B C ca. 3rd centur y A D ) and Kofun (ca. 3rd century) periods 52 Image 1 Figure 3. Dolmen tombs, burial sites that r st appeared in the Bronze Age (ca. 10thca. 3rd centur y B C ), are more numerous in Korea than in any other country in East Asia. (Photo gr aph of a dolmen from Unsng-ni, nyul-kun, South Hwanghae Province)


53 (beginning ca. 300 B.C.) Iron implements, imported from China, were present in Korea by the beginning ofthe fourth century B.C.The use oflocally mined and smelted iron for the production ofweapons, woodworking tools, and agricultural implements seems to have been widespread in the southern part ofthe Korean peninsula a century later. The standard Chinese history Sanguo zhi (Record ofthe Three Kingdoms), written in the late third century A.D., notes that at that time iron was produced in Py™nhan, one ofthe three southern Korean tribal confederations, and exported to the Chinese commanderies in northern Korea and to Japan. The establishment ofChinese commanderies on the peninsula at the end ofthe second century B.C.brought Korea into China's cultural, economic, and political sphere ofinuence. Tombs in the region under Chinese control consisted ofa series ofchambers constructed ofwood, brick, or stone and covered by earthen mounds in the Chinese style. The occupants ofthese tombs (Chinese or Korean) were accompanied by a large number ofimported Chinese luxury items, such as bronze vessels and mirrors, lacquer containers, ceramics, silk, and horse trappings. Following Chinese practice, the walls ofthe tomb were decorated with paintings depicting people engaged in a variety ofactivities. The vogue for Chinese burial goods extended into southern Korea, where pit graves dating to the rst and second centuries have been found containing such items. The ceramics ofthe Iron Age take on diverse forms. Unlike the previous period, when clay objects were hand-built, the Iron Age saw the introduction ofthe potter's wheel. The introduction ofiron technology and the inuence ofChinese ceramic technology also led to the production ofhigher-red wares during the Three Kingdoms period (see below). It is thought that the Koreans red their pottery in climbing kilns (see Artists and Materials, g. 9, p. 66). The softbodied, low-red, grayish wares known as wajil t'ogi (brick-clay pottery) found in tombs ofthe Iron Age period are clearly distinguishable from the more utilitarian pots recovered from residential sites and were probably produced solely for ritual or mortuary purposes. Illustration ofan individual kogok (below) and several ofthese comma-shaped ornaments (usually made ofjade) suspended from a necklace (above)


Three Kingdoms period (57 B C 668 A D .) Among the earliest surviving examples ofpainting in Korea are the wall m u r als in the interior rooms oftombs ofthe Ko g u r y kingdom (37 B C 668 A D .), the nor t h e r nmost ofthe three states that dominated the K o r e a n peninsula during the Three Kingdoms period. (Traces ofwall paintings h a ve also been found in the tombs ofthe kingdom ofPaekche [18 B C 660 A D .], in the southwest.) These mur a l s which depict scenes of d a i l y life and hunting, por t r aits ofthe tomb occupants, and Buddhist a n d Daoist themes, provide v a l u a ble inf o rm a tion about local customs and b e l i e f s dress, and architecture. They also represent the beginning of landscape painting in Korea. Because oftheir style of c o n s t ru c t i o n a stone chamber covered by an earthen moundKo g u r y tombs w e r e f r e q u e n t l y looted, and thus little is known about their fur n i s h i n g s The abundant funer a r y goods that have been ex c a vated from tombs in the s o u t h e r n states ofKaya (4262 A D .) and Silla (57 B C .668 A D .) rev e a l p o s s i b le contacts with lands along the Silk R o u t e the famed trade road t h a t linked West Asia, Central Asia, and China. The skill of K orean metalworkers can also be seen in tomb furnish ings. Using local r a w materials, each of the southern states produced intricately crafted gold, bronze, and iron weapons, vessels, and per sonal ornaments for use in the afterlife. K ay a, a feder a tion of semiindependent principalities, was especially known for producing and e xporting iron, which was used to create weapons, armor for men and horses, and tools. Tomb furnishings e x ca va ted from the securely con structed wood and stone burial chambers that ser v ed as the resting places of ro y alty and the aristocracy in Silla and K ay a attest to the ele g ant tastes of the elite, as well as the fascination with foreign motifs and products. Silla, which had such a rich supply of g old that its capital was named Kmsng (city of g old), is noted for the glittering gold crowns, belts, shoes, and je w elry that ornamented the bodies of kings and queens (see image 4 and g 5). The decor a tive motifs of many of these items re v eal the intermingling of Chinese, Buddhist, and shamanistic inuences In their design nota bl y the vertical projections that suggest antler s dangling pendants, and treelike shapes and goldworking techniques, Korean crowns are similar to ones e x ca va ted from various parts of the Eurasian steppes, suggesting not only connections between these regions but also that Korean shamanism derived from Scytho-Siberian shamanism. The existence of active land and sea trade linking Korea with lands far to the west and south is evidenced b y 54 Image 4 Figure 5. Crown. Three Kingdoms period, Silla kingdom (57 B C .668 A D ) 5thth centur y Gilt bronze with g old foil and wire; H. 8 in. (20.6 cm). Ho-Am Art Museum, Yongin.


glass vessels and beads, some of which were imported from as far awa y as the Mediter r anean. Gilt-bronze saddle ttings, iron stir r ups, and other horse trappings reco v ered from g rav es demonstr a te the impor tance of horses in Korea at the time Large quantities of high-red stoneware were produced for tombs throughout southern Korea during this period. With the e x ception of Chinese stoneware, Korean stoneware of the Three Kingdoms period is the earliest known stoneware in the world. Among the most distinc tive forms are footed vessels and sculptural vessels and stands deco ra ted with incised patterns and/or appliqud images of animals and humans. These wares typically ha v e g ra y bodies, and some are also coated with accidentally produced ash glaze. Footed vessels, which w ere presuma bl y used in rituals, generally consist of shallow bowls or cups set on tall pedestals, with rectangular or triangular perfor a tions (see image 3 ). Formed using the potters wheel, these wares were red in sloping kilns at temper a tures in e x cess of 1000 C sufcient to pro duce stoneware. K ay a and Silla potters made a variety of v essels in the shapes of animals, boats, and mounted warrior s apparently for cere monial use (see image 2 ). A few tombs ha v e yielded three-dimensional pottery gurines, including images of entertainer s ofcials, foreigner s, horses, and animals of the zodiac The growing inuence of Buddhism in Korea during the Three Kingdoms period is evidenced in e x ca va ted remains of temples (many of which appear to ha v e been impressive in size) and surviving sculp tures and rock carvings of deities. Fashioned of stone, bronze, gilt bronze, and wood, the images generally reect the inuence of artistic styles in v o gue at the time in different parts of China. Buddhist statues made in K o gur y which was linked by o v erland routes to norther n China, bear a strong resemblance to the distinctively angular, attenu a ted sculptures of the Northern Wei dynasty (386). Paekche sta tues, which are among the most sophisticated produced at the time, are characterized by serene faces, o wing draper y ame-shaped aureoles and openwork je w elr y reminiscent of the sculpture of the Liang d ynasty (502) in southern China, with which Paekche traded b y sea. One of the most famous and technically accomplished examples of K orean Buddhist sculpture is a large gilt-bronze image of the bodhisattva Maitreya seated in a pensive pose, produced in the late sixth century ( g 6). In its rened casting technique and skillful modeling, this statue e x emplies the highest le v el of craftsmanship of the Three Kingdoms 55 Image 3 Image 2 Figure 6. Seated Maitreya. Three Kingdoms period, late 6th centur y. Gilt bronze; H. 32 in. (83.2 cm). The National Museum of K orea, Seoul, National Treasure no. 78


56 Unied Silla dynasty (668) In the late se v enth centur y after years of internecine warfare and con stantly shifting alliances among the peninsular po w er s the southeast ern kingdom of Silla succeeded in uniting the Korean peninsula for the r st time under a single g ov ernment. The rulers of Unied Silla con tinued the close relationship between the state and Buddhism initiated b y their predecessor s and the Buddhist esta b lishment ourished under the patronage of ro y alty and the aristocracy. The cosmopolitan Unied Silla court pursued extensive contacts with Japan as well as with the T ang dynasty (618) in China. Moreo v er, the numerous Buddhist pilgrims who tr av eled from Korea to China and India also brought a g reater awareness of other cultures to the peninsula. While newl y introduced types and styles of Buddhist images from China and India enriched the icono gr aphic repertoire and contributed to the common i n t e rn a tional style that characterized Buddhist sculptures ofthe period, artistic traditions inherited from the fallen K o gur y and Paekche kingdoms pla y ed a role in the formation of Unied Silla art. The indigenous traditions of the Silla kingdom lik e wise contributed to the de v elopment of Unied Silla sculpture (see image 5 ). The concern for the worldly benets ofBuddhist practices and rites e v i d e n t l y remained paramount for the majority ofadherents during the Unied Silla period. Not only does the thir t e e n t h c e n t u r y history Samguk yusa ( M e m o r abilia ofthe Three Kingdoms) contain many accounts ofdivine intervention credited to this era, but it is also kno w n t h a t Buddhist rituals to strengthen and protect the state continued to be re g u l a r l y perf o r med at court and at important monasteries throughout the nation. The construction oftemples and the creation of m a j o r works of a r t were commissioned with the same pur p o s e Two prime examples are the late sev e n t h c e n t u r y Sachnwang-sa (Temple of t h e Four Heav e n l y Kings), built in Kyngju, the capital of U n i ed Silla, at r o yal order to bolster resistance against the Tang imperialist threa t and the famous eighth-century cav e l i k e granite sanctuary of S k k u ra m on Mount Toham east ofKyngju, that is commonly believed to have been created, in part, to protect Korea from Japanese aggression (g. 7). The ma g n i cent stone image ofa seated Buddha within the sanctuary gazes out over the East Sea in the direction ofJapan, an orientation that has given rise to the tradition concerning the images protective function. Another major project under t a k en at this time was the reb u i l d i n g o f Pulguk-sa (Temple ofthe Buddha Land), which had been founded in 553. Located in the foothills ofMount Toham near Skkuram, it is Koreas oldest surviving Buddhist temple. Image 5 Figure 7. Seated Buddha. Unied Silla d ynasty (668), second half of the 8th centur y Granite; H. 127 in. (326 cm). Skkuram Ca v e-Temple Ky ngju, North K y ngsang Province National Treasure no. 24


K or y dynasty (918) The Kor y period produced some of the most outstanding achie vements in Korean culture and the arts. The ele g ant, rened lifestyle of the Kor y court and aristocracy is clearly reected in the arts of the period, which inherited and maintained the aesthetic sophistication of Unied Silla. As in the preceding era, Buddhism, lavishly patronized b y the ro y al court and aristocracy, was a major creative force in the arts. Frequent ofcial e x changes and trade with China, especially in the early part of the Kor y dynasty, offered Korean artisans a rich ar ra y of new technologies and motifs, which they adapted and rened to reect native tastes. Further stimulus was provided by interaction with countries beyond East Asia, facilitated by the tr av els of Buddhist monks to and from India and the arrival of merchants by sea from the Middle East. Examples of cultural contact between China and Korea during the K or y period abound. Early Kor y trade missions took gold, silver ginseng, paper, brushes, ink, and fans to China and imported silk, porcelain, books, musical instruments, spices, and medicine. Korean intellectuals prided themselves on their knowledge of Chinas classical liter a ture and their ability to write and compose poetry in Chinese Similarl y many Buddhist monks tr av eled to China for lengthy periods to study religious doctrines and texts, which they then brought back to Korea. The importation of Chinese luxury goods such as lacquer and celadon wares inspired Korean artisans to experiment with ne w technologies and artistic styles Buddhism was an inte gr al part of daily life during the Kor y period. The founder of the dynasty, Wang Kn, known by his posthu mous title of Taejo, or Grand Founder (r. 918), declared Buddhism the state religion. The inuence of Buddhism extended into all realms of artistic activity, but it is best appreciated in the many objects and paintings created for use in the Buddhist ceremonies regularly held in temples and palaces. Numerous temple comple x es were constructed in the new capital Songdo (modern Kaesng) and in local areas. The prolifer a tion of temples with their elabor a te stone pa g odas, decor at i v e ceramic roofand oor tiles, brightly colored wall paintings, sta t u e s fashioned of wood, marble, stone, and gilt bronze, and rened ritual utensils a ttests to the growing po w er of the Buddhist esta b lishment. K or y illuminated manuscripts of Buddhist sutras, e x ecuted in minute detail and lavishly embellished with gold, ele g ant paintings of Bud dhist deities commissioned by aristocr a tic de v otees, nely wrought 57


lacquerware inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and delicate metalwares, were hallmarks of this period and e x emplify the use of sumptuous materials in the service of Buddhism (see images 7, 9, 15 ). While the in vasions suffered by Korea during this and later periods destro y ed the majority of artworks produced, regular contacts with Japan resulted in the preser va tion of many Kor y Buddhist paintings and objects in that countr y. T wo important de v elopments in the history of K orean printing and book production occurred during the Kor y period. Motiv a ted b y the desire to in v oke the protection of Buddhist deities in response to armed incursions by the Khitan the semi-nomadic tribe who f ounded the northern Chinese Liao dynasty (907)and by the a ttempt to solidify the authority of the state religion, the Kor y cour t ordered the carving of woodblocks for printing a complete edition of the Buddhist canon ( T ripitaka ). This project, a monumental undertak ing, was begun in 1011 but not completed until 1087, long after peace with the Liao had been esta b lished. The set of woodblocks was destro y ed by the Mongols in 1232, during their in v asion of the penin sula, and the Kor y subsequently commissioned the carving of a ne w edition. Known as the T ripitaka Koreana this set of just o v er 80,000 woodblocks was completed in 1251. It is now k e pt at Haein-sa temple in South K y ngsang Province (see image 19 ). The second major de v elopment in printing, the in v ention and use of cast-metal mo vab le type, took place in the early decades of the thirteenth centur y some two centuries before Gutenbergs in v ention of metal mo vab le type in Europe. The skill of K orean craftsmen in producing sufciently strong and thick paper and an oilier g r ade of ink was crucial to the success of this new printing technique 2 The production of celadon or green-glazed ( c hngja ) wares, among the most widely admired ofKorean cer a m i c s represents the outstanding achie v ement of K or y artisans. By the ninth to the early tenth centur y, with the adoption of celadon production techniques used at the Yue kiln complex in southeastern China, Korean potters had perfected the high-red glaze techniques that ena b led them to undertake the manu facture of celadon ware. The Kor y celadon industry reached its pin nacle both technically and artistically between the early twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, when it achie v ed the celebr a ted translucent glazes, rened forms, and naturalistic designs that won high praise from the Chinese, one of whom pronounced Korean celadons as r st under Hea v en. It was during this period that Kor y celadon ware 58 Images 7, 9, 15 Image 19


acquired a character independent of its Chinese counterparts, de v elop ing distinctive features in shape, design, color, and decor a tion. While potters emplo y ed se v eral methods to decor a te these wares, including incising and carving, the technique of inlay ( sang g am ) was the most inno va tive and highly re g arded decor a tive method (see images 11, 13, 14 and Artists and Materials p. 66). The quality of celadon declined sharply in the second half of the thirteenth centur y a reection of the economic and social problems that beset the country in the nal years of the Kor y dynasty. In con trast to the ele g ant wares of the earlier period, this last phase in K orean celadon production is characterized by rougher shapes, coarse clays, and impure glazes Chosn dynasty (1392) The advent of the Chosn dynasty in the late fourteenth centur y brought in its wake major social and cultural changes. In their efforts to augment the po w er of the ro y al g ov ernment and rejuvenate the countr y which during the preceding Kor y period had suffered almost a century of Mongol domination, the Chosn rulers withdrew ro y al patronage of the Buddhist esta b lishment, then seen as cor r upt, and embraced Neo-Confucianism as the ofcial state ideolo gy Another important de v elopment in the Chosn period was the growing chal lenge on the part of K orean intellectuals to the per v asive inuence of Chinese thought and culture in Korean society. With the decline and fall of the Ming dynasty (1368), Koreans became e v en more interested in promoting their own culture. The art and liter a ture of the period, especially from the eighteenth century on, reects this g reater interest in native Korean traditions and e v er y day life Chosn ceramics consist mainly of two types: punchng and white porcelain ( paekcha ). Punchng refers to stoneware made of a g ra yish b lue clay that is co v ered with white slip and coated with a translucent glaze. The glaze, which contains a small amount of iron, turns a bluish g reen when red. The de v elopment of this type of ware was the result of early Chosn potters attempts to revitalize what remained of the K or y celadon tradition. Punchng was produced throughout the peninsula until the end of the sixteenth centur y when it g r adually fell out of fa v or as porcelain became more widely a v aila b le. The abduction and forced relocation of thousands of K orean potter s many of whom made punchng ware, to Japan during T oy otomi Hideyoshis (1536 59 Images 11, 13, 14


1598) in v asions of the peninsula in 1592 and 1597 contributed to the discontinuation of punchng production in Korea. The Japanese enthu siasm for some types of punchng ware was strongest among tea cere mony practitioner s who vie w ed it as the embodiment of the aesthetics of r usticity, awkwardness, and naturalness (see image 21 ). Adopting techniques from the Jingdezhen kilns in southeaster n China, Korean potters be g an to produce white porcelain during the early Chosn period, in the r st half of the fteenth centur y and this ware remained in demand throughout the dynasty. Chosn rulers con sidered white porcelain in particular, the undecor a ted monochrome wares as the embodiment of the austere tastes associated with NeoConfucianism, the ofcial ideology ofthe new state (see images 22, 24 ) Although plain, white-bodied porcelains were fa v ored throughout the Chosn period, decor a ted versions of the same wares were also produced in large quantities. Blue-and-white ware, a type of porcelain decor a ted under the glaze with a design painted in cobalt-oxide, be g an to be manufactured in Korea by the second half of the fteenth cen tur y The high costs of importing cobalt from China e v entually led to the use of a domestically produced pigment. Other de v elopments in the ornamentation of Chosn porcelain ware include underglaze ironbrown and copper-red painting (see image 23 ). The wide variety of shapes, designs, and decor a tive techniques in porcelains produced in K orea beginning in the eighteenth century was spurred, in part, by the w eakening inuence of Confucian teaching on the arts It is interesting to note that o v erglaze pol y chrome-enamel decor ation of porcelain, which became popular in China during the Ming d ynasty and later in Japan, was ne v er used in Korea. The absence of such colorful wares may be due to the lingering inuence of NeoConfucianism, which shunned ostentatious displa y It is also possible that the additional labor in v olved in producing these wares discour a ged their manufacture Although ofcially out of fa v or, Buddhism remained the chief reli gious faith among upper-class women and the common people, and continued to be an important cultural force in Korean society. Buddhist images, some cast in bronze but many car v ed in wood and then gilded or lacquered, were produced for priv a te de v otion as well as placement in temples. Buddhist paintings of the period, some of which include depictions of K orean landscape and commoner s consist mainly of murals and large hanging scrolls. In contrast to Kor y Buddhist paint ings, they tend to be brighter in color and less rened in e x ecution. 60 Image 21 Images 22, 24 Image 23


Ch™ng S™n (16761759), Three Dragon Waterfall at Mount Naey™n Chos™n dynasty (13921910), rst halfofthe 18th century. Hanging scroll, ink on paper; 53 22§ in. (134.7 56.2 cm). Ho-Am Art Museum, Yongin The use ofhemp and linen as a painting medium, in place ofthe more costly silk used during the Kory™, also reects the change in patronage (see image 29). The growing popularity ofthe meditative S™n (Chn. Chan; Jpn. Zen) Buddhism led to an increase in the production of portraits ofBuddhist priests, which were objects ofveneration (seeimage 30). Because so few ofthe paintings survive, little is known about secular, or non-Buddhist, painting styles and practices before the fteenth century. Chos™n kings employed skilled painters, who were chosen through an examination system and worked under the Bureau of Painting (Tohwaw™n, later renamed Tohwas™). Court painters were required to execute a wide variety ofpaintings, most ofwhich were designed to serve didactic and moralistic purposes. These ranged from works depicting rituals, ceremonies, and gatherings ofelder statesmen to portraits and paintings ofauspicious symbols. In the early Chos™n period, landscape painting, practiced by professional painters as well as the literati, ourished and developed in a new direction. Drawing on the native Kory™ painting tradition and adapting recently introduced styles and themes from China's Ming dynasty, Chos™n artists began to produce landscape paintings with more distinctly Korean characteristics. The single most important landscapist ofthis time was the court painter An Ky™n (active ca. 144070), whose innovative style exerted tremendous inuence both during his lifetime and in later generations (see images 25A, B). Ink-monochrome paintings oflandscapes and traditional literati subjects such as bamboo, plum, and grapevine remained a favored form ofartistic expression throughout the dynasty (see images 26, 28). The eighteenth century saw the development oftwo new types of Korean painting: true-view landscape painting and genre painting, both ofwhich were inspired by the new emphasis on Korean cultural and historical identity. True-view landscapes ( chin'gy™ng or "real scenery") represented a trend in painting that advocated the depiction ofactual Korean scenery as an alternative to the classical themes of Chinese painting practiced by earlier Korean artists (g. 8). Genre painting likewise focused attention on the distinctive characteristics of Korean culture and society in its vivid portrayal ofthe daily life ofall social classescarpenters, woodworkers, and farmers as well as courtesans and yangban aristocrats. 61 Image 29


Symbolic Images and Folk Ar t Decor a tive paintings and objects reecting native beliefs and customs ha v e been appreciated by kings, aristocr a ts, and scholar-ofcials as well as commoners throughout Korean histor y Whether created for displa y a t court, in gentry or ordinary households, or in religious settings decor a tive or folk art is a long-admired tradition in Korea and an inte gr al part of K orean culture. Most surviving folk art was produced dur ing the latter half of the Chosn dynasty, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries 3 P opular customs and beliefs form the core of f olk art themes Motifs found in paintings as well as on ceramics, lacquerware, furni ture, and personal ornaments symbolize such concerns as long life g ood luck, and protection a g ainst evil spirits. Many of these auspicious symbols, including animals, birds, plants and ow er s fantastic rock f ormations, and mythical creatures, can be traced back to ancient Daoist traditions or to shamanism, the indigenous religion of K orea. Decor a tive paintings produced for Buddhist temples feature guardian kings and other protective deities. Among the most popular images in Buddhist paintings is the mountain spirit (Sansin), portr ay ed variousl y as a Confucian sage, a Buddhist saint, or a Daoist immortal accompa nied by a tiger. During the Chosn period, court painters emplo y ed a t the Bureau of P ainting produced large, colorful paintings of auspicious motifs, often in the form of a folding screen, for display at palace cere monies or as gifts to g ov ernment ministers presented at the new year or on their birthdays In Neo-Confucian society, men and women, from the age of se v en, lived in separ a te quarters in the family compound. Womens quarter s w ere furnished with paintings, textiles, ceramics, and other decor a tiv e and utilitarian items featuring brightly colored ow er s animals associ ated with marital joy, and images symbolic ofnumerous progeny (see image 32 ). In contrast, the mens quarters might contain a folding screen of callig r aph y with characters representing such Confucian virtues as lial piety, lo y alty, and righteousness, or a c haekkri screen depicting scholarly paraphernalia books, bronzes, ceramics, and the four treasures of the scholars studio (paper, brush, inkstone, and ink stick). Special paintings and objects were also made to celebr a te the birth of children, weddings, New Years Da y and har v est festivals, as well as to commemorate the deceased at funerals and memorial ser v i c e s K orean folk or decor a tive painting is distinguished by its spontane ity, vitality, and bold use of bright, satur a ted color s The images are 62 Image 32


63 typically large, co v ering most of the paintings surface, with little concern for the illusion of receding space or a sense of v olume Notes 1. For a detailed sur v ey of K orean prehistory and history from the Paleolithic period through the Unied Silla dynasty, see Nelson, T he Ar c haeolo g y of K orea 2. In the middle of the ele v enth centur y during the Song period (960), a Chinese commoner in v ented a method for mo vab le-type printing using earthenware type. Although revived from time to time in subsequent periods, mo vab le-type printing ne v er took hold in China, as the con v entional woodblock printing pro v ed more efcient and economical in producing texts that required the use of v ast numbers of character s One of the earliest recorded Korean works printed in metal mo vab le type is a volume concerning Confucian ritual published in about 1234. A Buddhist text printed in Korea in 1377 and now in the Bibliothque Nationale P aris, is the oldest extant book printed in this manner. For the de v elopment and use of mo vab le-type printing in China and Korea, see Denis Twitchett, Printing and Publishing in Medie v al China (New York: Frederic C. Beil, 1983), pp. 74. 3. Some art historians use the term folk art f or all colorful, decor a tive paintings; others prefer to limit the term to items produced for commoner s While the decor ative paintings used by the upper classes and commoners share many images and symbols, certain themes such as the Five Peaks and the Sun and Moon were origi nally reser v ed for use by the king .


64 A r tists and Ma t e r i a l s Artists and Artisans Beginning in the Three Kingdoms period (57 B C 668 A D ) and con tinuing through the Unied Silla dynasty (668), highly talented painters were emplo y ed in the court bureau called Chaejn (literall y, o f ce ofcoloring). Although the exact nature ofthis bureau is unclear, it was headed by an inspector under whom were placed two cate g ories of painter s charged with meeting the ofcial demand for paintings and other decor a tive items. Exceptionally talented craftsmen were given the title paksa a general term referring to one with expert knowledge of a given eld, and apparently had the rank of mid-le v el ofcials During the early Kor y period (918), as a result of a major change in the g ov ernmental system, the ofcial status of artisans was downg r aded and they were called simpl y taegongchang (master crafts men). It is during this period that the name Tohwawn (Bureau of P ainting) r st appears in Korean documents. Under the Confucian system promoted by the succeeding Chosn dynasty (1392), artisans were considered to be manual worker s a classication tha t placed them below intellectuals and farmers but abo v e merchants P ainter s ho wev er, were more highly re g arded, as callig r aphy and painting were vie w ed as ne arts, in contrast to objects, which ser v ed a utilitarian and decor a tive function. Liter a ti painting, practiced and appreciated by members of the y angban class, was also highly valued. An indication of the high status of painters and callig r aphers among the educated elite, as well as the professional painters in the cour t Bureau of P ainting, in the late Chosn period is that they were the only artists who routinely signed their works Both the Kor y and the Chosn g ov ernments maintained authority ov er craftsmen in state-supervised workshops located in the capital and the provinces, thus ensuring an adequate supply of high-quality g oods for the ro y al court. Records tell of thousands of painter s pot ter s metalsmiths, and lacquermakers being emplo y ed and supervised b y the court as well as by aristocr a ts and Buddhist temples to produce ne objects for personal adornment, domestic decor a tion, religious ceremonies, and political enhancement. The large g ov ernment work -


shops trained younger members of their staff, who were usuall y selected through an examination process. Craftsmen of a humbler status worked in hereditary workshops and were trained by their senior s. 1 Ceramics The Korean peninsula is well endo w ed with the necessary materials to make lowand high-red ceramics: good-quality clay and kaolin, as w ell as a b undant supplies of wood required to fuel the kilns. While pottery was produced throughout the peninsula, the most productiv e and technologically advanced kilns were located in the south. The earliest known pottery in Korea dates to about 7000 B C in the Neolithic period (ca. 7000ca. 10th centur y B C ). The earliest pots w ere handcrafted of sandy clay and red in open or semi-open kilns a t relatively low temper a tures of a bout 700 C These porous, unglazed wares vary in shape and decor a tion according to the region from which they come. For example, vessels e x ca va ted from d w elling sites north of the Taedong River, in what is now North Korea, typicall y h a ve a at bottom and minimal or no decoration, while those unear t h e d s outh of the river, commonly known as comb-pattern earthenwares ( c hlmun t ogi ), ha v e a coniform or round base and are decor a ted with incised linear patterns (see g 1). Comb-pattern wares are considered the most representative type of ceramic from Koreas Neolithic period. Other, less common methods of decor a tion include stamping, punch ing, pinching, and applied relief. The advent of the Bronze Age (ca. 10thca. 3rd centur y B C ) brought changes in the material, shape and function of ceramic wares. Vessels from that period include both red and black burnished wares (see image 1 ) and painted wares proba bl y produced for ritual purposes The technique of producing high-red ceramics is thought to ha ve been introduced to the peninsula from China around the end of the r st millennium B C possib l y through the Chinese commanderies in northern Korea. Within the next few centuries, an impro v ed climbingkiln technolo g y imported from China made it possible to achie v e the higher temper a tures (in e x cess of 1000 C ) needed to produce stone ware ( k yngjil t ogi ). 2 W ith the e x ception of Chinese stoneware, the K orean stoneware of the Three Kingdoms period is the earliest known high-red ware in the world. In contrast to the soft, low-red earthen ware ( wajil t ogi ) of earlier periods, these wares ha v e a harder and more nely textured clay bod y Most of the pottery found in tombs 65 Image 1


and residential sites of this period is g ra y in color, which results from the restriction of the o w of o xygen into the kilns ring chamber. By the end of the Three Kingdoms period, ash glazes were produced. These initially happened by accident when ash fell onto the potter y during ring and fused with the ceramic surface, leaving a thin, mot tled yellowish green glaze. Once glaze became desir ab le, ceramic wares w ere intentionally dusted with ash before ring. By the Unied Silla, pottery vessels coated with glaze were made (see images 3, 6 ). K or y celadon ware, which reached its height of production both artistically and technically in the early twelfth to the early thirteenth centur y o w es much of its initial inspir a tion to Chinese ceramic pro duction. Celadon or green-glazed ( c hngja ) ware is stoneware co v ered with a glaze containing a slight amount of iron-oxide and red in a reduced oxygen atmosphere to achie v e a g ra yish blue-green color 3 K or y potters in time de v eloped a thinner, more translucent glaze than that used in Chinese celadons, which allo w ed the car v ed, incised, and inlaid designs to be seen clearl y Studies of more than 200 kiln sites, most of which are located in southwestern Korea, indicate tha t celadons were red in multichamber, tunnel-like kilns built along the side of a hill. At one of the largest kiln sites e x ca va ted in Korea (Yunin-gun, S-ri, in K y nggi-do Province), the primary woodb urning o v ens were located at the base, but smaller res situated along the length of the kiln supplied additional heat ( g 9). K orean potters produced celadon wares in a variety of shapes, and e m p l o yed sev e r al techniques in decorating these objects. Early celadons w ere left unornamented or were decor a ted with designs that were incised, car v ed, or mold-impressed (see images 10, 12 ). Kor y potter s are renowned for their use of inla y( sang gam ) in the decor a tion of ceramics. The inlay technique, possib l y derived from Korean metal inlay and inlaid lacquerware, consists of incising or carving a design into the unbaked, leather-hard clay body and lling in the resulting depressions with a white or black substance to highlight the design (see images 11, 13, 14 ). Figural celadons in the form of human gures, birds and animals (such as waterf o wl, monkeys, lions, and turtles), fruits, and imaginary beasts represent some of the nest wares dating from the peak period of K or y celadon production. Punchng ware, initially inspired by the Kor y celadon tradition, was made in the early Chosn dynasty, during the fteenth and six teenth centuries. The ter m punchng refers to a stoneware made of a gra yish blue clay that is co v ered with white slip and then coated with 66 Images 3, 6 Images 11, 13, 14 Images 10, 12 Figure 9. Celadons were red in multichamber, tunnel-like kilns built along the side of a hill.


a transparent glaze. The glaze contains a slight amount of iron, which when red results in a bluish green color Punchng decor a ted under the glaze with inlaid and stamped designs was popular through the fteenth centur y Sg r afto-decor a ted ware was produced from around the middle of the fteenth century (see image 21 ), follo w ed by incised as well as iron-brown painted designs W hite porcelain ( paekcha ) is primarily made of kaolin, a clay con taining quartz, feldspar, and limestone. It is co v ered with a clear glaze and red at a temper a ture in e x cess of 1200 C The ware is nonporous and has a metallic ring when struck. The color of white porcelain ma y v ary depending upon the date and place of production as well as the composition of the clay and glaze Plain white porcelain was preferred during the beginning of the Chosn era, in keeping with the austere tastes and sensibilities associ a ted with Neo-Confucianism, which was promoted by the g ov ernment as the ofcial state ideolo gy The best g r ade of porcelain, reser v ed for the use of the ro y al court and aristocracy, was manufactured primaril y a t the ofcial kilns in Kwangju-gun, K y nggi Province, near modernday Seoul. The glaze color of early Chosn porcelain is snowy white or slightly g ra yish; white ware made toward the end of the dynasty has a b luer or milkier cast (see image 24 ). Chosn potters also produced porcelain wares decor a ted with designs painted under the glaze in cobalt-b l u e iron-brown, and copperred. Cobalt, which produces a rich blue color after ring, was used in K orea in the decor a tion of porcelain by the mid-fteenth centur y Blueand-white porcelain was initially restricted to use by the ro y al house hold and the aristocracy, and made in ofcial kilns under g ov ernment supervision. Partly because of the high cost of cobalt-oxide pigment, which was imported from China before the de v elopment of domestic sources, the decor a tion of many of these wares was e x ecuted not b y potters but by professional court painter s who visited the kilns twice a y ear. Underglaze copper-red decor a ted porcelain, produced at provin cial kilns, reached its peak of popularity in the eighteenth centur y (see image 23 ). Painting in underglaze copper-red was more difcult to accomplish than its counterpart decor a tive medium, underglaze cobalt-blue, because copper readily oxidizes and turns to shades of gra y or black during ring, or e v en disappears entirel y. 4 67 Image 21 Image 24 Image 23


Lacquer Lacquer objects, which incorpor a te a labor-intensive yet surprisingl y adapta b le and e xible method of decor a tion, were among the most prized articles in ancient East Asia. Because of their fr a gility, ho wev er v ery few Korean lacquer objects from before the Chosn period ha ve survived. The earliest extant Korean pieces, a holder for a writing brush and undecor a ted black lacquer vessels, were unearthed from a Bronze Age burial site dated to the r st centur y B C Some of the most e xquisite examples of inlaid lacquerware were produced in the Kor y period (see image 9 ). East Asian lacquer is made from the sap of the lacquer tree ( rhus verniciua ), which is native to central and southern China and possib ly to Japan. The essential component of lacquer sap is called urushiol after the Japanese ter m urushi meaning lacquer. Urushiol polymer izes when exposed to oxygen. Once dried, it is remarka bl y resistant to water, acid, and, to a certain extent, heat. Therefore, it is ideal for use as an adhesive and binding agent and as a protective coating on all kinds of materials, especially wood, bamboo, textiles, and leather F or lacquer to set or dr y it must be exposed to high humidity (75 to 85 percent) and a temper a ture between 70 and 80 F ahrenheit. Although r a w lacquer is a highly toxic substance that in most people induces an allergic reaction similar to that caused by poison ivy, it becomes inert once it is dr y The very property that makes lacquer such a ne coating material also necessitates application of the r aw lacquer in very thin la y ers so that it can dry properl y If the lacquer la y er is thick, as soon as its surface dries, the lacquer beneath is cut off from contact with the humid air and will remain fore v er liquid. Lacquer sap is g ra y in color when r st tapped from the tree, but on e xposure to light and heat it turns dark brown the color of ra w lac quer and ultimately a dull brownish black. The color can be altered b y the addition of pigments while the lacquer is still liquid. The most commonly used pigments are the mineral cinnabar for red, carbon ink or an iron compound for black, and orpiment for yello w Not all min eral pigments mix well with lacquer, ho wev er A distinction can be made between two broad classes of lacquer objects. In the r st cate g or y lacquer is applied purely for the purposes of protection and decor a tion and does not change the form of the deco ra ted object beneath; examples are wooden chairs and leather armor d e c o r ated with lacquer. An object in the second ca t e g o r y is made mostly of lacquer, supported by a nonlacquer core or substr a te. Typical of this 68 Image 9


type are lacquer bo x es and container s of which the core can be almost any material perhaps hemp cloth, wood, or metal encased in a lac quer coating so thick that it modies the objects f o r m, giving it a plump, f leshy shape that can be decor a ted by carving in addition to the usual techniques of i n l a y and painting (see images 9, 20 ). In the rst ca t e g o r y, the strength of the object depends on its material and method of con struction, and the lacquer ser v es to protect its surface. Objects in the second ca t e g o r y are essentially fra g i l e because the thick lay e r s of l a c q u e r lack tensile strength and are liable to crack and a k e offthe core surface. 5 P ainting Bronze Age depictions of humans and animals, in the form of petro glyphs, offer the earliest extant evidence of painting in the Korean peninsula. But it is in the wall paintings of tombs of the late K o gur y period (37 B C 668 A D ) that we nd the true beginnings of K orean painting. The wall murals, painted in the tombs interior chamber s, depict hunting scenes and a variety of illustr a tions of daily life, sho wing both the nobility and commoner s. Although few paintings survive from the Three Kingdoms period or the subsequent Unied Silla dynasty, Buddhist de v otional works produced during the Kor y dynasty include lavishly detailed paintings of Buddhist deities and illuminated transcriptions of canonical texts (see images 15 ). Evidence of painting in Korea is more complete f or the Chosn dynasty. Early Chosn painting is represented by the landscapes of the preeminent painter An K y n (active ca. 1440), who drew upon Chinese themes, techniques, and critical traditions (see images 25 A B ). From his inno va tive interpretations of these s o u r c e s An Kyn developed a distinctiv e l y Korean landscape idiom that was continued by his many follo w er s. W orks that can be condently assigned to individual artists become more numerous in the middle and late Chosn period. Among the most important of these painters is Chng Sn (1676), traditionall y acknowledged as the leading exponent of true-view landscape, a ne w trend in Korean painting in the eighteenth century that advocated the depiction of actual Korean scenery as an alternative to the classical themes of Chinese painting (see g 8, p. 61). Other subjects fa v ored b y Chosn painters include scholarly themes, such as plum and bamboo and portraits. Genre painting, one of whose master practitioners was Kim Hong-do (1745), portr ay ed the daily life of the Korean people in all its variety and liveliness 6 69 Images 15 Images 9, 20 Images 25 A B


Portable Korean paintings were produced as hanging scrolls (vertical compositions; see images 15, 16, 18, 25A, B, 26, 28, 29), handscrolls (horizontal paintings), fans, or album leaves mounted in a book. Paintings could also be attached to folding screens. These works were executed on silk or paper using an animal-hair brush. The image itselfwas made with black ink or pigments. Once the painting was created, usually on a at, horizontal surface, a mounter would strengthen it by attaching several sheets ofpaper (applied with water-soluble rice glue that can be removed to allow future remountings) and secure it to a mounting nished with silk borders. East Asian paintings are sensitive to light and, thus, generally displayed for limited periods oftime (g. 10).7Following the Chinese landscape tradition ofthe Northern Song period (9601127), Korean painters typically employed three basic schemata in their landscape paintings: a scene dominated by vertical elements, a panoramic view lled by a series ofhorizontal elements, and a composition combining the two (see images 25A, B). In these paintings, the impression ofrecession is achieved simply by shifts in the scale oflandscape elements, from the foreground to the middle ground to the far distance. Instead ofmodeling forms as ifilluminated by a consistent light source, as in Western art, painters built up forms using contrasts oflight and dark inkwash and texturing. Rather than presenting a scene with a single vanishing point, as in Western onepoint perspective, artists visualized each composition from several vantage points. This constantly shifting perspective allows viewers to imagine themselves traveling through the picture space. During the Song dynasty, the Chinese educated elite who painted and practiced calligraphy for their own enjoyment advocated that artists pursue not merely "form likeness"that is, formal resemblance to what the eye sees in realitybut the inner spirit oftheir subject. By the succeeding Yuan dynasty (12721368), this ideal was rmly entrenched among both Chinese and Korean scholar-artists. Such artists subordinated representational goals in favor ofself-expression through the use ofcalligraphic brushwork. By reducing painting to a set ofbrush conventions that could be varied and inected in the same manner as an individual's handwriting, they transformed the act of painting into a highly personal vehicle for expressing emotions. Painting, like writing, became a "heart print"ofthe artist (see image 28).8The Korean educated elite ofthe Kory™ and Chos™n periods considered painting and calligraphy as two ofthe Four Accomplishments (in addition to music and a board game ofstrategy called paduk ) that were 70 Images 15, 16, 18, 25, 26, 28, 29 Image 28 Illustration ofa hanging scroll and mounting


e xpected of a learned man. F av orite painting themes included land scapes and the group of plants known as the Four Gentlemen bamboo, orchid, plum blossom, and chrysanthemum. Brush East Asian painting and callig r aphy brushes are made of a vari ety of animal hairs such as horse, f o x, weasel, and r ab bit. Long hair s f orm a e xible point that can produce a ne or thick line. Beneath the long external hairs is a tuft of shorter hairs that ser v e to hold the ink or pigment. The brushes are tted with a cylindrical handle, often made of wood or bamboo Ink Traditionally ink was made of a carbon-based material, often pine soot, that was then mixed with an adhesive and other substances. The ink was dried and pressed into a cake or stick, which was rubbed ag ainst a very ne surface such as an inkstone, while mixing with water to produce liquid ink for painting or writing P aper Although the technolo g y came to the peninsula from China, K oreans de v eloped the ability to make superior paper that was highl y re g arded throughout East Asia. Most paper was made of mulber ry pulp, although hemp and rice str a w were also used (see images 17, 29 ). The esta b lishment of the Ofce of P apermaking (Chiso) by the Kor y gov ernment pla y ed an important role in the de v elopment of the highquality thick, hard, and smooth paper for which Korean papermaker s became renowned. Pigments Most pigments used for paintings were made by grinding minerals into a po w der and then combining them with glue and other materials. Like ink, mineral pigments were dried and compressed into cakes, which were then ground while mixing with water to produce a f orm usa b le for painting. Frequently used pigments were cinnabar red, lead white, and malachite green (see images 15, 16, 18, 29, 30 ). Col ored pigments were also derived from plants: for example, lotus (light g reen), r a ttan (yellow), and indigo (blue). After the mid-nineteenth centur y imported articial pigments were also used. Seals An artist might apply one or more personal seals to a painting in place of or in addition to his or her signature. Seals are made from a variety of materials (stone being the most common), car v ed in relief or intaglio, and impressed on the painting with a viscous, oil-based cinnabar-red seal paste. Seal legends might consist of the artists sobri quet, a studio name, or a phrase. Similarl y collectors often impressed their seals on paintings to indicate their ownership and appreciation, thereby marking the paintings pro v enance and passage through time 71 Images 17, 29 Images 15, 16, 18, 29, 30


P oems, historical notes, or dedications might also be written on the painting itselfor the mounting by the artist, a collector, or a connoisseur. Silk Silkworms are native to northern China, as are the mulber ry trees that provide their food source. The cocoons made by silkworms consist of one long silk lament, which can be spun into a fabric tha t is extremely ne, elastic, and smooth (see images 15, 16, 18, 25 A B 26, 28, 30 ). Silk cloth, silkworms, and the technique of producing silk cloth were most likely introduced into Korea from China during the Han dynasty (206 B C A D ). The oldest surviving piece of K orean silk dates to the sixth centur y. Buddhist Paintings Buddhist images were painted on silk during the Kor y period, and more commonly on hemp, linen, or heavy paper during the Chosn period (see images 15, 16, 18, 29 ). The silk used for Kor y Buddhist paintings ( hwa g yon or picture silk) was specially wo v en, with the warp and weft well spaced so that the resulting wea v e was more trans parent than ordinary silk cloth and allo w ed the pigments to permeate ev enly throughout. It is belie v ed to ha v e been d y ed a pale tea color obtained by mixing yellow and a small amount of purple. The prepared silk was then framed and sized with a solution of alum and animal glue. From a full-scale cartoon, or dr a wing, visible through the silk cloth from behind, the outlines were dr a wn on the picture surface in b lack ink or red pigment, after which the colors were applied. Colored pigments were r st painted on the back of the silk cinnabar red and malachite green on the garment areas, lead white and ocher on the esh and other remaining areas and subsequently to the picture surface. The application of pigments on the back of the silk ser v ed to x the pigments on the front and thereby enhanced the intensity and volume of the color s In addition, the alkalinity of the ocher aided in conser va tion. (This technique of painting color on both sides of the picture surface was in v ented in China, and both Korean and Japanese painters adopted it for religious paintings that required opaque and intense color s .) Finall y when all the other colors had been applied and contour and drapery lines completed, gold was used. W hen a painting was nished, an eye-dotting ceremony was held to give life to the images 72 Images 15, 16, 18, 25, 26, 28, 30 Images 15, 16, 18, 29


Callig r aph y The Chinese written language and the art of callig r aphy were intro duced into Korea through the military commanderies esta b lished in the northern part of the peninsula during the Han dynasty (206 B C 220 A D ), at the end of the second centur y B C .K oreans used v e pri mary script types. Standard script ( haes ; Chn. kaishu ), in which each stroke is separ a tely e x ecuted and clearly dened, was used for docu ments and texts that demanded clarity and legibility. Running ( haengs ; Chn. xingshu ) and cursive ( c hos ; Chn. caoshu ) scripts, in which characters are a b breviated and strokes linked in continuous motions of the brush, allo w ed greater freedom for artistic expression and was used for personal communications and other nonofcial purposes. The earlier script styles known as small seal ( sojn ; Chn. xiao zhuan ) and clerical ( y es ; Chn. lishu ) were usually reser v ed for special purposes such as commemor a tive plaques or personal seals. The Neo-Confucian scholar-ofcials who dominated the Chosn period prized the ability to e xpress themselves eloquently in classical literary Chinese written in a rened hand. Although initially inspired by the work of their Chinese counterparts, the Korean educated elite de v eloped numerous variations and styles that ele va ted callig r aphy to a ne art in their countr y. Notes 1. See the essays on Status of the Artist and P a tronage b y Hong Sn Pyo and Kim Kumja Paik, respectivel y in Turner, ed., T he Dictionary of Ar t vol. 18, pp 258. See also Yi Sng-mi, Art Training and Education, ibid., pp. 380. 2. In East Asia low-red ware customarily refers to earthenware and high-red ware to stoneware and porcelain. 3. Celadon is the term generally used in the West for green-glazed ceramic wares. This term is derived from the color of a shepherds costume in a popular play written by Honor dUrf (1567). 4. For a detailed description of the shapes, designs, and decor a tive techniques in K or y and Chosn ceramics, see Itoh, K orean Ceramics from The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka 5. For an e x cellent and authoritative study of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean lacquer objects, see W a tt and Ford, East Asian Lacquer: The Florence and Herber t Irving Collection 6. For examples of paintings by Chng Sn and Kim Hong-do, see Arts of K orea, pp. 202, 211, and the Metropolitan Museums Web site 73


7. More information about the formats, materials, and display methods of East Asian paintings may be found in the online feature A Look at Chinese Painting in T he Metropolitan Museum of Ar t (www. html_pages/index.htm). 8. For a full description and history of painting styles associated with Chinas scholar-ofcials, see Wen C. Fong Beyond Representation: Chinese Painting and Callig ra ph y 8t h 14th Centur y (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992). 74


75 Korean Traditional Music Although music making in Korea is as old as the presence of people on the peninsula, the earliest evidence of the practice is provided in Chinese historical records, which tell of mer r y farmers songs and dances, and in tomb furnishings and wall paintings from the Three Kingdoms period (57 B C 668 A D ). Korean music includes threequarter time, in contrast to the duple rhythms preferred in China and J apan. Until at least the fteenth centur y music notation consisted of a page of g rids with performance notes written in Chinese character s. K orean traditional music can be divided into two broad cate g ories: court music and folk music (Music pla y ed to accompany Buddhist and shamanistic ceremonies forms a third cate g or y .) Music performed a t court and for the aristocracy accompanied Confucian rituals, banquets or military e v ents and tended to be stately and slo w in keeping with the solemnity of the occasions. Singing and dancing often accompanied court music, which derived from both native and Chinese sources. The ter m tang-ak referring to Chinas Tang dynasty (618), is usuall y used for foreign court music, while the ter m hy ang-ak refers to cour t music that has native Korean origins F olk music, including songs and instrumental compositions for farmers festivals and popular enjoyment, is generally freer in mood and style than court music. Two of the most widely enjo y ed types of f olk music are the dramatic operalik e pansori and sanjo which are a f orm of chamber music pla y ed by a small ensemble. Folk music is often accompanied by dance performances or other types of entertainment such as games and storytelling and typically varies by region. K orean music employs approximately sixty different kinds of instruments, including utes, drums, gongs, bells, and plucked and bo w ed stringed instruments. Although a few musicians crafted their o wn instruments, they were usually made by highly skilled specialists East Asian musical instruments are traditionally cate g orized accord ing to the primary material used in their manufacture: stone, skin, metal, silk, earth (pottery), bamboo, and wood. The three illustr a tions of musical instruments included in this resource (see images 33 ) show traditional instruments in the silk ( ka ya gm ), wood ( taepyngso Images 33


76 and pak ), skin ( c hanggo ), stone ( teukg y eong ), and metal ( c hing and kkwaenggwar i ) cate g ories The Metropolitan Museum has a diverse selection of K orean musical instruments, including those used in court, militar y and shamanistic religious ceremonies. These are on view in the Musical Instruments galleries, along with photo gr aphs of musicians dressed in traditional attire and playing the instruments displa y ed. For further inf o rm a tion on K o r ean music and musical instruments, s e e : K orea Foundation. K orean Cultural Herita g e: Performing Arts Vol. 3. Seoul: The Korea Foundation, 1997. Sadie, Stanley, ed. T he New Gr o ve Dictionary of Musical Instruments 20 vols. London: Macmillan Press Ltd., 1984. Song Bang-song K orean Music and Instruments Seoul: National Classical Music Institute Song Bang-song and Keith Pr a tt. The Unique Fla v or of K orean Music. K orean Cultur e 1, no. 3, pp. 4.


1. J ar Bronze Age (ca. 10thca. 3rd century B C ) ca. 4th centur y B C Burnished red earthenware; H. 5 in. (14.6 cm). Gift of Hongnam Kim to commemor a te the opening of the Arts of K orea Galler y, 1998 (1998.212) Made ofan iron-rich clay, this small jar has a bulbous shape and a ared rim typical of v essels of this type The red color and lustrous surface w ere achie v ed by applying an ironrich pigment called skkanju to the surface of the vessel and then b urnishing, or rubbing, the surface with a stone or other hard, smooth object before ring. Until recentl y, b u r nished red wares had been f o u n d only in stone cist or dolmen tombs (see g 3, p. 52). The latest e x ca va tions of residential sites ha ve unco v ered red burnished wares in such utilitarian forms as bowls and f ooted cups. Like the small globular jars found in tombs, these are made of ne clay and ha v e thin walls suggesting that they were intended f or ritual use. Burnished black wares in various shapes ha v e also been found in tombs dating from the fourth to the third centur y B C ., b ut in fe w er numbers than red wares J ars such as this were hand crafted, with coils of clay laid in a spiral to form the walls of the v essel, and then smoothed using hands, a paddle, and a scraping tool. They were red in an open or a semi-open kiln. Notice: The smooth surface of the vessel and its bulbous for m Consider : The assumption tha t ceramics made of ner materials and requiring more labor were reser v ed for ceremonial use 2. Bird-Shaped Vessel Three Kingdoms period (57 B C .668 A D ) ca. late 2ndrd centur y Earthenware; H. 12 in. (32.7 cm), L. 13 in. (35.2 cm). Purchase, Lila Acheson W allace Gift, 1997 (1997.34.1) This stately bird-shaped vessel is among the earliest extant sculp tural objects made in Korea. Such f ooted vessels may ha v e derived their form from earlier Chinese bronzes. In Chinese funerar y art of the Western Han dynasty (206 B C A D .), birds with fantastic tails and heads ser v ed as vehicles that carried souls from the earthl y realm to that of the immortals K orean bird-shaped vessels, most of which ha v e been found at burial sites in the southern part of the peninsula in the area once controlled b y the small group of city-states known as the K ay a Feder a tion (42 A D ), were proba bl y in tended for use in ritual ceremonies 77 1 Image Descriptions The images of works of ar t and sites in this section can be accessed in digital format on the CD-ROM. With the e x ception of images 14 and 18, which are reproduced as poster s all the images are also provided in slide f ormat. For the List of Images see p. 161.


The vessel would have been lled with liquid through the opening in the back, and the tail served as the spout. The low-red grayish white body clearly distinguishes these vessels from ceramic objects intended for everyday use. This example illustrates the sophisticated blending ofthe naturalistic and the formal that characterizes Korea's ceramic tradition. The bird's curvaceous body provides a striking contrast to the prominent, angular crest, protruding ears, and long, narrow beak. Kaya tombs have yielded a wide array ofsculpted pottery objects, including vessels in the shapes of birds and animals, mounted warriors, and chariots. These objects, along with other types ofpottery vessels, jewelry, weapons, and ceremonial regalia, were placed in the tombs to serve the deceased in the afterlife. While animalor birdshaped vessels were also produced in the neighboring kingdoms of Silla (57 B.C.668 A.D.) and Paekche (18 B.C.660 A.D.), the largest number were made in the Kaya Federation. The rounded contours and the inward curving foot found on this bird-shaped vessel are distinctive features ofKaya ceramic tomb wares.Notice:The contours ofthe vessel and the interplay ofrealism and abstractionConsider:The symbolic role of animals in ritual objects Illustrated in Arts ofKorea pl. 3, pp. 4748 3. Three Kingdoms period, Silla kingdom (57 B.C.668 A.D.), 5th6th century. Stoneware with traces ofincidental ash glaze; H. 14 in. (37.5 cm). Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1997 (1997.34.23)This large footed stand is an example ofthe gray stoneware vessels found in tombs from the fth to sixth centuries and is the product ofimportant technological advances in Korean ceramic production. With the exception ofChinese stoneware, the Korean stoneware ( ky™ngjil t'ogi ) ofthe Three Kingdoms period is the earliest known high-red ware in the world, requiring kiln temperatures in excess of1000C. These wares were produced in a wood-red climbing kiln, a tunnel-shaped structure typically built up the side ofa hill (see g. 9, p. 66). This closed-kiln design, in contrast to the earlier 78 2


open or semi-open kiln, produced intense and steady heat and allowed control ofthe oxygen ow into the ring chamber. The characteristic gray color ofThree Kingdoms stoneware is the result ofthe reduction ofoxygen in the chamber. Unlike the soft, low-red earthenware ( wajil t'ogi ) ofearlier periods, stoneware is hard, dense, and impervious to liquids. High-red glazes represent another important development in ceramic technology in this period. At rst accidentally produced by wood ash circulating in the kiln during ring, as seen on this stand, eventually these early ash glazes were produced deliberately. This stand was made to support a round-bottomed bowl or jar used as a container for food or liquid. The base displays alternating rectangular perforations, a decorative scheme generally associated with Silla in contrast to the Kaya preference for triangular cutouts. A pattern ofwavy lines is incised on the exterior ofthe deep bowl as well as the base. The stand's large size, erect shape, and well-ordered decoration are evidence ofthe potter's technical skill. Although they may have been used in domestic settings, stands with pedestal bases and footed vessels are usually found in tombs and were presumably used in ceremonial presentations offood to the deceased. These new types ofritual vessels are in part the result of changes in mortuary practices. They may also reect the inuence ofChinese material culture transmitted through the Han military commandery ofLelang, in northern Korea, which remained a Chinese colonial bastion on the peninsula for over four hundred years (108 B.C.313 A.D.). The vessel forms and the technological advancements in the production ofstoneware during the Three Kingdoms period were transmitted to Japan most likely through trade and the immigration ofKorean craftsmen. The Kaya Federation, which was in close contact with the Japanese islands to the south and southeast by sea, was especially inuential in this process.1Notice:The balanced proportions ofthis stand and the well-ordered decorationConsider:The suitability ofthe form and decoration ofthis stand to its ritual functionNote 1. The production ofgray stoneware in Japan, which dates from the Kofun period (ca. 3rd century 538), in the mid-fth century, marked a dramatic change from the low-red, reddish-colored ware of the previous J—mon and Yayoi periods. Known as Suekifrom sueru (to offer) 79 3


and ki (ware)this new type of ceramic ware was derived directly from the g rayware of the Three Kingdoms period in K orea. Sueki was created in a variety of shapes f or e v er y day use, for ceremonial functions, and for burial of the dead. A striking example can be found in Miyek o Murase Bridge of Dreams: The Mar y Griggs Bur k e Collection of Ja panese Ar t (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000), pp. 14, and T he P a ths Dreams Take: J a panese Art in the Collections of Mary Griggs Bur k e and The Metropolitan Museum of Art CD-ROM (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000). 4. P air of Earrings Three Kingdoms period, Silla kingdom (57 B C A D .) or K ay a Feder a tion (42 A D .), 6th centur y Gold; H. 4 in. (10.5 cm). Purchase, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1943 (43.49.5,6) The pair of earrings illustr a ted here represents the more elabor a te style of earring de v eloped in the sixth century from the simple and ele g ant K ay a type of the late fourth to early fth centur y. 2 Its middle section contains a globular bead and three small lea v es, similar to the earlier K ay a styles. The bottom section, attached to the middle section by two short chains, has twin pendants of a triangular seed shape, resembling beechnuts, a v ariety of which is known in Korea. The top section, which is complete consists of a fat, hollow ring and an interlocking middle ring In the Three Kingdoms period, r o yalty and the aristocracy acquired luxury goods not only for personal enjoyment but also as symbols of po w er and political authority. The large quantities of e xquisite je welry and other objects for personal use, as well as weapons and horse trappings, made of precious materi als that ha v e been reco v ered from tombs of this period attest to the ele g ant taste and impressive wealth of the upper classes. The most sumptuous of these luxury objects are those e x ca va ted from fthand sixth-century ro y al tombs in present-day K y ngju, the site of the capital of Silla, then known as Kmsng, or city of g old. These tombs ha v e re v ealed enormous quantities of pure gold objects personal ornaments such as ear rings, bracelets, and nger rings along with intricately crafted crowns, caps, belts, and shoes, many of which are embellished with jade 3 These items were worn b y both men and women, although it 80 4


is not clear whether they were used b y the living or made solely for the adornment of the deceased. The close similarities of earrings found in Japan with those from K ay a and Silla tombs suggest that such arti cles were imported from the south ern Korean kingdoms Using, at least in part, domestic supplies of g old ore, Korean gold smiths emplo y ed a variety of tech niques, some of which originated with the Greek and Etruscan gold smiths of southern Europe and w estern Asia. For example, the technique of gr anulation (forming and attaching g r ains of g old to a base to create a decor a tive relief pattern) is thought to ha v e been transmitted to northern China in the r st millennium B C and later to the Korean peninsula. 4 In the earrings illustr a ted here, g r anula tion was applied to the surface of the middle and bottom sections to create decor a tive patterns Notice: The variety of techniques such as hammering (to produce a a t sheet of g old), g r anulation, and double-looped wires used to produce these earrings Consider : The visual and aural impression of someone wearing these long, ele g ant earrings; the transmission of artistic techniques ov er long distances (typicall y pro duction methods mo v e with the people who practice them, while f oreign decor a tive motifs are trans mitted by the mo v ement of objects); how the importation of new technologies stimulates advancement and inno va tion in the production of material goods Notes 2. See Arts of K orea pl. 44 A p. 110. 3. The contents of Silla tombs ha ve remained largely intact owing to the relatively impenetr ab le tomb structure which was constructed of wood, sealed with cla y and co v ered with mounds of stone and earth. The tombs of Ko gur y and Paekche, which were based on a Chinese-style tomb design, had more accessible entrances and were thus more susceptible to plunder 4. For recent studies of the transmission of sophisticated metalworking techniques ov er long distances, see Joan Aruz et al., eds., T he Golden Deer of Eurasia: Scythian and Sarmatian T r easures from the Russian Steppes (New York and New Ha v en: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2000); Emma Bunker Gold Wire in Ancient China, Orienta tions (March 1997), pp. 94; and Pak, The Origins of Silla Metalwork. Illustr a ted in Arts of K orea pl. 44 C pp. 108, 110 81


5. Standing Buddha Unied Silla dynasty (668), 8th centur y Gilt bronze; H. 5 in. (14 cm). Ro gers Fund, 1912 (12.37.136) This small gilt-bronze statue of a standing Buddha is typical of the numerous images made for priv a te de v otion during the Unied Silla period, a high point in the produc tion of Buddhist sculpture in K orea. The gures lo w ered eyes e xpress a contemplative attitude and the peaceful countenance a feeling of serenity. The right hand displays the gesture of reassurance (Skt. a bha y amudr a ), while the left hand makes the sign of fullling wishes (Skt. v aradamudr a ) gestures that indicate that this Buddha might be Amitabha, who g ained popularity in the Unied Silla period with the rise of Pure Land Buddhism. The enlightened status of the Buddha is indicated b y the standard attributes (Skt. lakshana ) esta b lished in India a millennium earlier: the protuber ance on the top of the head (Skt. ushnisha ) demonstr a tes wisdom, the elong a ted earlobes represent nobil ity, and the neck folds symbolize auspiciousness (see g 1, p. 43). Comparisons with other exam ples of the period suggest that this statue proba bl y originally stood on a lotus-petal base and was backed b y a mandorla (aureole). The gure was meant to be seen only from the front, as the back of the head and body is hollo w ed out, a feature often seen in small gilt-bronze images of the late Unied Silla. Buddhism, supported by Koreas r ulers during the Three Kingdoms period (57 B C 668 A D ) as part of a pro gr am to consolidate the po w er of their respective states, became the ofcial religion throughout the Korean peninsula in the sixth century under the Unied Silla d ynasty. Buddhism was lavishl y patronized by the court and aristo cracy, and the increasingly close association of Buddhism and the state was marked by the construc tion of temples and the production of icons at ro y al expense Notice: The contrasts between the aspects of the statues appearance that con v ey a sense of spirituality v ersus ele g ance Consider : How this sculpture given its size, facial characteristics and frontal presentation, would function as an image for priv a te meditation and pr ay er; how it would look standing on a base backed by a mandorla, and surrounded by other ritual objects on an altar Illustr a ted in Arts of K orea pl. 68, pp. 150, 152 82 5


6. Bottle with Flattened Side Unied Silla dynasty (668), 8thth centur y Stoneware; H. 9 in. (22.9 cm). Purchase, Judith G. and F Randall Smith Gift, 1994 (1994.226) The early rulers of Unied Silla, enjoying the peace and stability that accompanied their unication of the Korean peninsula, pursued e xtensive contacts with Japan as w ell as with the Chinese Tang d ynasty (618). In addition, the numerous Buddhist pilgrims who seeking greater understanding of their faith, tr av eled by land and sea from Korea to China and India also brought a greater awareness of other cultures to the peninsula. The response of Unied Silla potters to foreign inuences can be seen in this a t-sided stoneware bottle of the eighth to tenth centur y The vessels form proba bly derives from the leather asks used b y nomadic tribes in the norther n regions of the mainland; these asks had slightly ared lips and a ttened sides that facilitated their suspension from saddles. The sur face of this vessel is unadorned, a characteristic of utilitarian stone ware containers in the Unied Silla and Kor y (918) dynasties The accidental splashes of ash glaze are the result of wood ash falling on the vessel during ring Notice: The shape of this bottle; the striking variations in color caused by the accidental occurrence of the ash glaze Consider : The adoption and adap tation of f oreign vessel shapes Illustr a ted in Arts of K orea pl. 10, pp. 58 7 A 7 B R after Finial in the Shape of a Dragon Head and Wind Chime Late Unied Silla (668)earl y K or y (918) dynasty, 10th centur y Gilt bronze; nial: L. 15 in. (39.4 cm); chime: H. 15 in. (38.7 cm). Purchase, The Vincent Astor Founda tion Gift, 1999 Benet Fund, and The R osenkranz Foundation Inc. Gift, 1999 (1999.263.a,b) This expertly cast, lavishly gilt bronze nial in the shape of a dr ag ons head and the accompany ing bell are among the nest pieces of metalwork of the late Unied Silla and early Kor y dynasties when Korean art had digested Chinese inuence and de v eloped a mature native style characterized b y renement and sumptuousness The imposing dr ag ons head originally g r aced one of the corner r afters of a Buddhist temple or a ro y al hall. The bell, which 83 6


functioned as a wind chime, would ha v e been suspended by an Sshaped iron hook from the iron loop at the dr ag ons mouth, which is corroded but intact ( g 11). In contrast to larger bells, which were sounded by striking the surface with a wooden mallet or stak e this small bell had a metal-plate clapper (now lost) attached to its interior An auspicious symbol as well as a decor a tive motif, the dr ag on is one of the most popular images in K orean art and culture. It is vie w ed as a guardian gure that protects humans and wards off e vil spirits The dr a m a tic features ofthis e x a m p l e large staring ey e s aring nostrils, wide-open mouth with protruding sharp fangs, and single hor n con v ey a erceness and invincibil ity in keeping with such apotropaic functions. The theme of protectiv eness is echoed in the decor a tion on the bell, which features a svastika a Buddhist symbol ofsafety and peace. Notice: The po w erful appearance of the dr ag on head; the ele g ant shape and decor a tion of the bell Consider : The visual effect of b uildings ornamented with such elabor a te gilt-bronze rafter nials and bells; the combination of Buddhist religious symbols with images of m ythical creatures 8. Mir r or with Decor a tion of Figures in a Landscape K or y dynasty (918). Bronze; Diam. 7 in. (17.8 cm). Fletcher Fund, 1925 (25.219.4) Bronze technolo g y was introduced into the Korean peninsula in about the tenth centur y B C most likel y from the northern regions of the mainland. Among the most frequently found bronze artifacts ex ca va ted from Bronze Age sites in Korea are mirror s the oldest of which date to the sixth to fourth centur y B C The early examples are decor a ted on the back (or nonreective surface) with geometric patterns and are belie v ed to ha ve been emplo y ed in shamanistic rituals. The use and production of bronze mirrors were transmitted to Japan from Korea. By the Kor y dynasty, mirror s became an item of daily use among the upper class. The geometric 84 7 A 7 B Figure 11. The wind chime would ha v e been suspended from the rafter nial in the manner suggested here .


designs of ancient times were aban doned in fa v or of decor a tive motifs such as oral and plant scrolls, aus picious birds (crane and phoenix), dr ag on and clouds, and nar ra tiv e themes in landscape settings W hile there are only a few surviv ing examples of secular painting from the Kor y period, secondar y e vidence, such as the decor a tion of celadon ware (see image 10 ) and the ornamentation of this mirror indicates that there was a sophisti cated pictorial tradition. K or y bronze mirrors are found in tombs as funerary objects for the deceased, in Buddhist pa g odas as ritual objects used in ceremonies to quell earth spirits, and as par t of the luxurious household furnish ings of the wealth y This example which has an ele g ant scalloped edge with pointed lobes, was proba bl y made for the latter setting. It was fashiona b le to present mirror s of this type as wedding gifts and to place them on elabor a tely deco ra ted stands Bronze mirrors are made of copper, tin, and zinc all of which are found in a b undance in Korea. One side of this mirror (the re v erse of that illustr a ted here) is polished to a high sheen to ser v e as the reective surface. The other side decor a ted with a nar ra tive scene in a garden setting, has a knob in the center through which a cord could be looped to suspend the mirror The scene depicts a gure, identi ed by his hat as a g ov ernment ofcial, crossing a bridge. On the opposite side of the bridge, a monk (with sha v en head and car r ying a staff) points the wa y In the back g round beyond the bridge is a tree proba bl y a cypress, bearing distinc tive clumps of lea v es. On the right is a palace g a te, in front of which is a seated gure anked by two a ttendants. Another gure emerges from the half-opened g a te V ariations of this nar ra tiv e scene are found on other mirror s made in China and Korea. The story depicted might be that of the legendary visit to the moon by the T ang dynasty (618) emperor Xuanzong (r. 712). According to this stor y a bridge to the moon was created when two magicians who were entertaining the emperor threw a stick into the air. After the three men crossed to the moon, the moon princess came out of her palace to greet the emperor and ordered her ser v ants to sing and dance for him. Notice: The numerous elements of the nar ra tive scene; the decor a tiv e features of the mirror Consider : The function of this mirror as an illustr a tion of a popu lar tale and as a luxury object 85 8


9. Incense Container K or y dynasty (918), 10thth centur y Lacquer with mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell inlay (o v er pigment) and brass wires; H. 1 in. (4.1 cm), L. 4 in. (10.2 cm). Fletcher Fund, 1925 (25.215.41a,b) During the Kor y period, lacquer ware with mother-of-pearl inla y reached a high point of technical and aesthetic achie v ement and was widely used by members of the aristocracy for Buddhist ritual implements and vessels, as well as horse saddles and ro y al carriages Inlaid lacquers combine texture color, and shape to produce a dazzling effect in both large and small objects. Although Korean lacquerware of the Kor y period was highly prized throughout East Asia, fe w er than fteen examples are known to ha v e survived, one of which is this exquisite box in the Metropolitan Museums collection. This paucity of material is largel y a ttributa b le to the fr a gility of lacquer objects and, to a certain e xtent, to wars and raids by foreign po w er s nota bl y those launched from Japan by T oy otomi Hideyoshi (1536) in the late sixteenth centur y. This three-tiered box is inlaid with mother-of-pearl and painted tortoiseshell on a black lacquer g round to produce a dense patter n of chrysanthemum ow ers and f oliate scrolls. The edges of the bo x are reinforced with twisted brass wire. The thin pieces of translucent tortoiseshell were painted on the re v erse with red and yellow pig ments, and the pieces then applied to the object with the painted side face down. The combined use of mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell is apparently peculiar to Korean lac quer, although it must be pointed out that the same combination inlaid into hardwood is seen on a number of musical instruments, all proba bl y of Chinese origin and da ting from about the eighth centur y, in the Shs-in in Japan. Extant contemporaneous objects in both celadon and lacquer sug gest that this box was one of f our that t around a central round box. These objects ha v e traditionall y been identied as cosmetic bo x es, though it is unlikely that all of them were used for this purpose The presence of Buddhist imager y on related examples may indicate that bo x es of this kind were par t of a set of incense containers tha t encircled a box in which a Buddhist rosary might ha v e been k e pt. Notice: The visual effect of the different surface materials; ho w the black lacquer sets off the inla y materials; how the oral patterns co v er the bo x C o n s i d e r : The time and care needed to prepare small pieces of tortoise 86 9


shell and mother-of-pearl, then inlay them onto a lacquer ground; the relationship between inlaid lacquerwares and inlaid celadons (see images 11, 13, and 14), both hallmarks ofKory™ art Illustrated in Arts ofKorea pl. 55, pp. 12829 10. Kory™ dynasty (9181392), early 12th century. Stoneware with incised and carved design ofgeese, waterbirds, and reeds under celadon glaze; H. 10§ in. (26.6 cm). Fletcher Fund, 1927 (27.119.2)Celadon wares are among the most widely admired ofKorean ceramics. Produced in Korea during the Kory™ dynasty, they reached the height ofperfection in technology, form, and decoration between the early twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. Around the ninth or tenth century, with the adoption of celadon production techniques used at the Yue kiln complex in modern Zhejiang Province in southeastern China, Kory™ potters took the rst step toward the manufacture of celadon ware. Initially inuenced by Chinese techniques and designs, the Korean celadon industry, centered in the southwestern part ofthe peninsula, soon asserted its independence. By the beginning ofthe twelfth century, Korean potters had developed the rened forms, naturalistic designs, highly transparent glazes, and distinctive grayish blue-green color that won high praise from visiting Chinese, one ofwhom pronounced Korean celadons as "rst under Heaven."5The color of Kory™ celadon ware is derived from the presence ofsmall amounts of iron oxide in the glaze, which was red in a reducing atmosphere. Kory™ potters initially decorated their celadon wares with incised or carved designs, as seen on this wine container. Carved decoration was executed using one oftwo methods. In the rst method, a needle was employed to incise the design in the leather-hard clay, after which a sharp tool was pressed against the lines at an angle to emphasize the design. In the second method, the 87 10


clay around the edges ofthe design was carved away, causing the design to stand out in relief. The popular motifofwaterfowl among reeds combines Korean aesthetic sensibilities and a strong interest in naturalistic imagery. Scenes ofthis type also appear in Chinese paintings ofthe Southern Song dynasty (11271279), with which the Kory™ court maintained cultural and diplomatic ties.6Notice:The tonal differences in the celadon glaze; the liveliness and naturalism ofthe plants and birdsConsider:The relationship between the ewer's form and the organization ofthe decoration; how the ewer's design would look as a painting on silk or paperNotes 5. Xu Jing, Xuanhe fengshi Gaoli tujing (Illustrated Record ofthe Chinese Embassy to the Kory™ Court during the Xuanhe Era), ed. and comp. by Imanishi Ryœ (Gifu, Japan: Imanishi Shunjyœ, 1932). This text, written by the Chinese scholarofcial Xu Jing (10911153), who visited the Kory™ capital in 1123 as a member of a diplomatic mission from the court ofthe Northern Song emperor Huizong (r. 1101 25), is the oldest and most informative commentary on Kory™ celadon ware. See Itoh, Korean Ceramics from The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka pp. 913. For additional information on Kory™ celadon ware, see Arts ofKorea pp. 233415, and McKillop, Korean Art and Design pp. 3658. 6. An example ofa Southern Song painting in the Metropolitan Museum's collection with a similar theme is Egrets in Water Reeds ofthe late twelfth century (47.18.77); published in Wen C. Fong, Beyond Representation: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, 8th14th Century (New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum ofArt and Yale University Press, 1992), pl. 46, p. 261.Illustrated in Arts ofKorea pl. 11, pp. 6061 11. Kory™ dynasty (9181392), late 12th century. Stoneware with reverse inlaid design ofpeonies under celadon glaze; H. 2Œ in. (5.7 cm). Rogers Fund, 1917 (17.175.9)The decoration ofthis small bottle is a rare example ofthe technique ofreverse inlay. (For a description ofthe inlay technique in Kory™ celadon ware, see image 13.) The area around the design was carved away and the background then inlaid with a white substance, which, when the piece was glazed and red, produced a green pattern against a cream-colored ground.Notice:The contrast between the green and white colors; how the design complements the shape of the bottleConsider:The skill and imagination required to reverse the inlay process 88 11


12. Melon-Shaped Wine Ewer K or y dynasty (918), 12th cent u r y. Stoneware with carved and i n c i s e d design ofbamboo under celadon g l a z e ; H. 8 in. (21.6 cm). Gift of M r s. Ro g e r G. Gerry, 1996 (1996.471) The g r aceful form, rened decor ation, and lustrous blue-green glaze distinguish this e w er as one of the nest products of the Kor y celadon kilns at the peak of their production. The car v ed and incised decor a tion emulating the natural f orms of melon and bamboo e x em plies the Korean practice of dr awing on nature for inspir a tion when working in cla y. This e w er, proba bl y made to hold wine, originally may ha v e been accompanied by a bowl-shaped basin, which, when lled with hot water, would ha v e k e pt the contents of the e w er warm. 7 Luxurious utilitarian celadon wares such as this example were fa v ored by the aristocracy. Because they were from aristocr a tic families and had w ealthy patrons, many Buddhist monks in the Kor y period also f ollo w ed the practice of the nobility in using celadon ware Notice: The parts of this e w er that resemble bamboo or a melon; the lustrous, jadelike color of the celadon glaze Consider : Natural forms as a pri mary source of artistic inspir a tion Note 7. See Itoh, K orean Ceramics from The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka gs. 6, 7, p. 17. 13. Bottle K or y dynasty (918), 13th centur y Stoneware with inlaid design of chrysanthemums under celadon glaze; H. 13 in. (34.6 cm). Fletcher Fund, 1927 (27.119.6) This bottle, made during the height of celadon production in Korea, a ttests to the technological and aes thetic achie v ements of K or y pot ters in the production of ele g antl y f ormed and decor a ted vessels, as w ell as to the Korean preference f or themes from nature. Inlaid chrysanthemum blossoms are aligned along the bottles gentl y cur v ed sides, which ha v e been f ormed into lobes The time-consuming technique of inlay in celadon ware ( sang g am ) in v olves incising or carving the design into the unbaked, leatherhard clay with a needle or wooden tool and lling in the resulting depressions with a white or black 89 12


substance 8 The piece is given a biscuit, or r st, ring, then coated with a celadon glaze and red a g ain a t a higher temper a ture. Although inlaid decor a tion was used in Chinese ceramics during the Tang (618) and Northern Song (960) dynasties, it was not widespread and its application to celadon ware was ne v er full y e xploited. Among makers of K or y celadon, ho wev er, it became a fa v ored decor a tive technique, esta blishing a distinct and important cate g ory of K orean ceramics Inlaid celadon vessels such as this example epitomize the rened sensibilities of the Kor y aristoc r acy. While ordinary people used simple, undecor a ted stoneware ro y alty and the aristocracy created a demand for large quantities of celadon-glazed objects. The nest v essels were made in ofcial kilns which worked to g ov ernment spec ications and were supervised b y court ofcials. The fondness for detail and exquisite materials is also evidenced in the inlaid lacquer ware and Buddhist paintings of the Kor y period (see images 9 and 15). Notice: The way in which the chrysanthemums ha v e been depicted; the bottles shape; ho w the scale of the ow ers emphasizes the volume of the bottle Consider : W hether the bottles f orm and design are more natural istic or decor a tive; what messages are con v eyed by ones choice of utilitarian wares and domestic furnishings Note 8. The exact composition of the inla y substances used by Kor y potters remains a subject of discussion. According to a recent study by Pamela Vandiver (The T echnolo g y of K orean Celadons, in Itoh and Mino et al., T he Radiance of J ade and the Clarity of Wa ter pp. 152), the white or black inlays were not made of white kaolinitic or dark fer r uginous clays, as is commonly belie v ed, but composed mainl y of quartz particles or cubic particles of magnetite. Vandivers analysis, ho wev er is not accepted by all scholar s. 90 13


14. Poster A Maebyng K or y dynasty (918), late 13th early 14th centur y Stoneware with in laid design of cranes and clouds under celadon glaze; H. 11 in. (29.2 cm). F letcher Fund, 1927 (27.119.11) A maebyng is a vessel with a small mouth, short neck, round shoulder and constricted waist. The form is derived from the Chinese meiping or prunus vase. The Kor y maebyng is distinguished from its Chinese counterpart by a saucer-shaped mouth and a bod y that forms a pronounced S-shaped cur ve resulting in a slightly ared base. A few of these vessels in China and Korea ha v e retained a cup-shaped co v er o v er the mouth, suggesting that they were used to store wine Although inlay was widel y emplo y ed throughout East Asia in metalwork and lacquerware, the use of the inlay technique in the decor a tion of celadon ware, known as sang g am is peculiar to Korea (for a description of this technique, see image 13 ). By the mid-twelfth or early thirteenth centur y the inla y technique had become the most fre quently used method of decor a tion in Korean celadon ware .Its successful application to celadons was made possible by the Korean potters de v elopment of the highly translu cent glazes that allo w ed the decor a tion underneath to sho w through clearl y. The body of this maebyng is ornamented with inlaid clouds and cranes, symbols of longevity. The design is enhanced by the black outline of the funguslike heads and long trail of the white clouds, and the black cur v ed strokes that dene the plumage ofthe birds. Encircling t he mouth and base is a key-fret pattern. This repeated squared spiral derives from the ancient Chinese thunder pattern, and is frequently found on Chinese and K orean decor a tive objects and architectural ornaments Notice: The painterly appearance of the crane and clouds; the maebyng s shape Consider : The relationship between the vessels design and form; the relatively loose ar r angement of the design elements (compare image 10 ) Illustr a ted in Arts of K orea pl. 18, pp. 70, 74, 417 91 14


15. Unidentied artist (ca. 13th century), Amitabha Triad K or y dynasty (918). Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk; 47 32 in. (121.6 81.9 cm). R o ger s Fund, 1930 (30.76.298) The Buddha Amitabha (Amita) was the focal image of worship in Pure Land Buddhism, a de v otional sect that enjo y ed great popularity in K orea during the Kor y dynasty De v otees were assured personal salv a tion and rebirth in Amitabhas W estern Paradise upon faithful recitation of his name. Here Amitabha, encircled by a large mandorla and with a golden nim b us surrounding his head, is shown seated on an elabor a te lotus throne He wears a red monastic robe embellished with patterns painted in gold. On his chest is a svastika an auspicious symbol representing Buddhist teaching; on his palms and the sole of his one visible foot are c hakr a (wheel) motifs, symboliz ing the e v er-turning dharma (law). Amitabhas identity is esta blished by his hand gesture, the dharmachakramudra, representing the preaching of the Buddhist la w, and by the presence of the bodhi sattvas A v alokiteshvara (Kwanm), on his left, and Mahasthamaprapta (Tae Seji), on his right. A v aloki teshvara, the bodhisattva of com passion and wisdom, holds a bottle of sacred water in his left hand and a willow branch in his right. In the center of his crown is a tiny image of Amitabha, his spiritual master Mahasthamaprapta, who symbol izes Amitabhas wisdom and helps people realize the importance of seeking enlightenment, holds in his right hand a rectangular object with a red ribbon; a tiny precious bottle appears in his crown. The three gures are arranged as a triada long-established f o rm a t t h a t can be found in India sev e ra l centuries earlier and appears in Korean Buddhist sculpture by at least the sixth century. Amitabha, the most important gure and the subject ofv e n e r ation and medita t i o n is depicted larger in size and frontally posed, occupying the apex ofthe triangle f o r med by the three deities. The slender, tapered gures of t h e two attendant bodhisa t t va s sho w n standing on lotus pedestals below him in three-quarter view and in a gentle t r i b h a n g h a (thrice-bent) p o s t u r e are in marked contrast to A m i t a bhas powerful presence. 9 The gures are uently dr a wn in cinnabar red. Their facial fea t u r e s are differentiated: the face of the Buddha is broad, while the youthful faces of the bodhisattvas are elon ga ted. The long, narrow eyes of the Buddha contrast with the almondshaped eyes of his attendants. On all three gures, the eyebrows ex ecuted meticulously with ne individual brushstrokes, re v eal 92 15


the hand of a master painter. The gures sumptuous garments are embellished in gold with motifs of c r anes among clouds (on Amita b h a s inner garment, visible on the right slee v e), lotus medallions (on his outer robe, co v ering his shoulder s and draped across his left arm), composite chrysanthemum or oral roundels (on the bodhisattvas translucent robes), and various types of plant scrolls (on the bor ders of the gures garments). Notice: The relationship of the three gures and the differences between them; the sumptuous details of the garments; the various parts of Amitabhas throne Consider : How the composition and the decor a tive elements of this painting functioned to make it an object of religious de v otion; ho w the relative importance of the three gures is indicated by their size position, and posture Note 9. The Sanskrit ter m tribhang a which derives from Indian tradition, refers to the depiction of the body with the head, torso and hips bent alternatively to the left or right. Illustr a ted in Arts of K orea pl. 73, pp. 162 16 A B C Unidentied artist (early 14th century), W ater-Moon Av alokiteshvar a K or y dynasty (918). Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk; 44 21 in. (113.7 55.3 cm). Charles Stewart Smith Collection, Gift of Mr s Charles Stewart Smith, Charles Stewart Smith Jr. and Howard Cas w ell Smith, in memory of Charles Stewar t Smith, 1914 (14.76.6) This superb painting depicts one of the most popular Buddhist deities in East Asia, A v alokiteshvar a (Kwanm), the bodhisattva of in nite compassion and wisdom. Here he is shown as the W a ter-Moon Av alokiteshvara (Suwl Kwanm), one of his numerous guises and one frequently depicted in Kor y Buddhist paintings. Chinese records suggest that this manifestation of the bodhisattva originated in China during the Tang dynasty (618 907), in the eighth centur y. 10 93 16 A


This representation of the Wa ter-Moon A v alokiteshvara por tr a ys the deitys standard attrib utes: the image of the Buddha Amitabha in his crown (see detail, image 16 B ); the willow branch tha t symbolizes healing, displa y ed in a kundika (a ritual vessel used for sprinkling water) placed in a clear glass bowl to the gures right; and a full moon at the top of the painting. Depicted in the moon is a hare standing under a cassia tree pounding the elixir of immortality a theme based on a well-known Chinese legend. Av alokiteshvara sits on a rock y outcrop surrounded by a sea of s wirling wa v es, representing his island abode of Mount Potalaka (Naksan). In the water are small rocks with protruding stalks of precious coral; barely discernible in the background, to his left, are se v eral large stalks of bamboo. The boy Sudhana, who, according to scripture, visited Mount Potalaka and the homes of fty-three other Buddhist saints on a spiritual journey in search of ultimate truth, stands at A v alokiteshvaras feet in a pose of ador a tion. 11 Opposite the youth, a sumptuously dressed g r o u p comprised of the dr ag on king of the Eastern Sea, his retinue (who might represent the aristocr a tic donors who commissioned the painting), and sea monsters present offerings of incense, coral, and pearls (see detail, image 16 C ). Av a l o k i t e s h va r a is attired in beautiful robes and sashes, with int r i c a te gold details on his jew e l r y and clothing. Holding a cr y s t a l r o s a r y in his right hand, he sits with his right leg crossed and his left foot placed on a lotus-f l o w e r s u p p o r t. Surrounding his body and symbolizing his divinity is a large luminous mandorla (aureole), while a nimbus (halo) encircles his head. The luxuriousness of the paint ing materials and the bodhisattvas a ttire and accessories, as well as the numerous delicately rendered details, well expresses the ideal of c hangm (Skt. alamkar a ). This idea of con v eying a sense of sacred splendor through rich ornamenta tion and visual glorication was pre v alent among the upper classes in the Kor y period and part of the belief that ones goals could be achie v ed through the proper per f ormance of rituals, which necessi tated icono gr aphically correct images and suita bl y furnished settings N o t i c e : The impressive detail and delicacy ofAv a l o k i t e s h va r as g a u z e robes and jew e l r y; the supplicants attitude of a d o r ation and v e n e r a t i o n ; the landscape elements that crea t e an environment for the g u r e s Consider : The relationship between visual splendor and spiritual po w er; 94 16 B 16 C


the aspects of Av alokiteshvaras appearance that suggest compas sion, wisdom, and nobility Notes 10. For a detailed description of the sources of this image, which include Buddhist and Daoist texts, Chinese and Central Asian pictorial con v entions, and K orean legends, see Pak, The Korean Ar t Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in Arts of K orea pp. 433. 11. Sudhanas tr av els are described in the Ava tamsaka Sutr a the inuential Buddhist scripture that provided the textual basis f or Korean renderings of the W a ter-Moon Av alokiteshvara. Illustr a ted in Arts of K orea pl. 75, pp. 166 17 A B Unidentied artist (14th century), Illustr a ted Manuscript of the Lotus Sutr a (detail) K or y dynasty (918), ca. 1340. F olding book, gold and silver on i n d i go d yed mulberry paper; 106 pa g e s each 13 4 in. (33 11.4 cm). Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1994 (1994.207) This la v i s h l y illustrated f o u rt e e n t h century manuscript, produced on mulber r y paper d y ed indigo blue and e x ecuted in gold and silver demonstr a tes the standards of ex cellence for which Kor y sutras are renowned. Like most Korean illuminated manuscripts of this period, it is presented in a rectan gular accordion format that facili tated reading. The text is the second volume of the Lotus Sutr a one ofthe most inuential Buddhist texts in East Asia and, along with the Ava tamsaka Sutr a the most frequently copied sutra in Korea during the Kor y period. The Lotus Sutr a presents in concrete terms the essence of Maha y ana Buddhism namel y the doctrine of universal salv a tion of all living beings and the attainment of Buddhahood, the ultimate aim of e xistence Read from right to left, the manuscript begins with the title, written in gold, f o l l o wed by illustrations of episodes described in the inscribed t e xt, executed in minute detail and l av i s h l y embellished in gold. The i l l u s t r ations are framed by a border o f v a j r a (thunderbolt) and c h a k r a ( w h e e l ) m o t i f s symbolizing indes t r uctibility and Buddhist teachi n g s respectiv e l y. 1 2 At the far right, the historical Buddha Shaky a m u n i s h o wn seated on a dais behind an altar and surrounded by bodhi sattvas and guardians, preaches to his disciple Shariputra in the company ofother monks (see detail, i m a ge 17 B ). In the upper left of t h e frontispiece is a scene illustra t i n g 95 17 A


the parable ofthe b u r ning house, which relates the story ofa w e a l t h y man and his children. The children are playing in the house, una w a r e t h a t it is plagued by demons, poisonous insects, and snakes and that it is also on r e Their fa t h e r in order to entice his children a w a y from the danger, offers them three c a rt s drawn by an ox, a deer, or a g o a t according to each childs preferences and interests. When the children exit the b u r ning house, h o wev e r they each receive a cart even more ma g n i cent than they expected. This parable illustra t e s h o w expedient methods(the modest carts) can lead sentient beings (the children) from the eeting and perilous world of sensual perception (the house) to a g r e a ter goal, the vehicle of M a h a yana Buddhism (the resplendent car t s ) The second par ab le, shown in the lo w er left, concerns an old man and his son, who in his youth aban dons his father and lives for many y ears in another land. As he grows older, he becomes increasingly poor and seeks employment in prosper ous households. After wandering from place to place, he stumbles upon the new residence of his no w w ealthy and successful father. Not recognizing his father, the son ees in fear that he will be ensla v ed. His father, realizing that his son is incapa b le of living as the sole heir to such a prominent man, disguises himself as a moder a tely wealth y man and hires his son as a laborer whose job is to clear away e x cre ment. Graduall y he entrusts his son with greater responsibilities so that the young man grows accustomed to administering his masters affairs and slowly de v elops self-assurance and generosity. At this time, his father re v eals his true identity and bestows upon his son his entire fortune In this par ab le, the father represents the Buddha, and the son symbolizes unenlightened sentient beings. Their master, recognizing that they are unprepared to accept this greater glor y waits until they adapt to their more modest roles before g r anting them the promise of ultimate enlightenment. At the end of the scripture, de v otees are warned that those who disre g ard the Lotus Sutr a will be reborn as deformed beings, as reviled as the wild dog being chased by the chil dren in the lo w er left corner of the sutras frontispiece 13 The text tha t f ollows the illustr a tion is written in silver in a highly rened standard script ( haes ). The copying of sutras, the written texts that transmit the teachings of the Buddha, was widely encour a ged in Buddhist practice, and patrons and artisans alike were rewarded with religious merit for their efforts 14 Ever y 96


stage of the production of Buddhist scriptures required great care and spiritual purity. The r a w materials indigo-d y ed mulber r y paper ink, pigments (in this case, gold and silver po w ders mixed with animal glue), and mounting materials w ere of the highest quality and w ere meticulously prepared. Unlik e most Buddhist paintings of the period, sutras record the names of the callig r apher s artisans, super vising monks, and lay de v otees who participated in or commissioned their production, usually in an inscription at the end of the text. W hen a sutra was completed, special ceremonies of dedication w ere held to commemor a te the occasion. Sutras produced at the Roy al Scriptorium (Sa gy ngwn) during the Kor y period were highly valued by monasteries and temples throughout East Asia. Notice: The sumptuous materials and intricate detail of this manu script; the devices used to separ a te and connect the different scenes depicted Consider : The relationship between p at r o n ag e religious motivation, and art production; what the materials and appearance of this sutra con v ey a bout the aesthetic preferences of the Kor y court and aristocracy Notes 12. The prototype for this frontispiece illustr a tion can be traced back to a Song d ynasty (960) woodblock print. The ar r angement of the nar ra tive scenes of the Metropolitans sutra is directly borro w ed from Song illustr a tion. Images of this kind, together with religious texts, were brought to Korea in large quantities b y K orean monks who went to China to stud y Upon their return to Korea, these texts and pictures were reproduced in handwritten copies and woodblock prints and made a v aila b le to other Korean monks. For the Chinese woodblock print that ser v ed as a model for this frontispiece see Pak, The Korean Art Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in Arts of K orea g 25, p. 437. 13. These illustr a tions are identied b y P ak, ibid., pp. 437 and p. 477, note 119. F or a complete recounting of these tales see Leon Hurvitz, Scripture of the Lotus Blossom of the Fine Dharma (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976). 14. This practice is thought to ha v e been introduced into Korea during the Three Kingdoms period (57 B C 668 A D ). Al though the earliest dated extant example of a Korean illustrated sutra was made in 1006, most of the surviving illustr a ted sutras w ere produced in the fourteenth centur y. See Pak, Illuminated Buddhist Manu scripts in Korea. In times of peril, such as the Mongol in v asions of K orea in the thir teenth centur y sutras were also commis sioned in an effort to safeguard the nation. Illustr a ted in Arts of K orea pl. 78, pp. 171 97 17 B


18. P oster B Unidentied artist (late 14th century), Kshitigarbha (Chijang) K or y dynasty (918). Hanging scroll, gold and color on silk; 33 14 in. (84.5 36.8 cm). H. O. Ha vemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mr s. H. O. Ha v emeyer, 1929 (29.160.32) The popularity of the bodhisattv a Kshitigarbha (Chijang) in Kor y Pure Land Buddhism is demon str a ted by the frequent depiction of the deity in de v otional paintings Kshitigarbha is most commonl y portr ay ed as a monk holding a mendicants staff and a wish-fulll ing je w el (Skt. cintaman i ), the light of which could illuminate e v en the darkest corners of hell. 15 W ith the growing popularity of the Pure Land school at all le v els of K orean society in the thirteenth centur y, during which time the peninsula suffered six in v asions by Mongol armies, the promise of paradise for the faithful and the threat of hell f or evil beings became increasingl y a ttractive concepts. The image of Chijang standing on lotusow er pedestals and holding his staff and cintamani represented to de v otees his po w er o v er hell, from which he could deliver unfortunate beings and lead them to paradise The variety of colors used in this painting from the malachite g reen of the gold-edged nimbus and the bright cinnabar red of the u n d e rs k i r t to the bluish gray monks robe and the dazzling gold of the textile patterns provides striking contrasts. The rich ornamentation of the decor a tive motifs on the gar ment is e x ecuted with virtuosity Despite such technical brilliance ho wev er, the bodhisattvas face is somewhat precious, with narrowl y set eyes and very small nose and lips, and the drapery is stiff and a t, with little suggestion of v ol ume. These features, as well as the schematic cur v es of the garment and the pointed corners of the hemlines, indicate that this painting was made no earlier than the late f ourteenth centur y. Notice: The delicately rendered details of the painting: the trans parent cintamani the medallions on the robe, the je w els that ornament the monks staff, and the lotusb lossom pedestals Consider : W hether the gures e xpression and posture inspire a sense of comfort; the use of line v ersus volume in this image Note 15. This icono gr aphy derives mainly from Chinese Five Dynasties (907) and Northern Song (960) representa tions of Kshitigarbha in Dunhuang Illustr a ted in Arts of K orea pl. 77, pp. 168, 170 98 18


19. Image Hall, Haein-sa Temple South K y ngsang Province, October 1997. Photo gr aph by Elizabeth Hammer Haein-sa was esta b lished on K aya mountain in South K y ngsang Province in southern Korea in 802 and reached its present size in the mid-tenth centur y It is famed as the repository of the T ripitaka K oreana the entire Buddhist canon car v ed onto just o v er 80,000 wood b locks for printing in the thirteenth centur y Although parts of the tem ple compound ha v e been destro y ed twice, the T ripitaka Koreana no w recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural treasure, miraculousl y escaped damage Like most other Sn Buddhist temples, Haein-sa is remotely situ a ted in the mountains, which pro vides a quiet atmosphere conduciv e to meditation. Because of the un ev en ground plane, monasteries such as Haein-sa do not follow the strict axial ar r angement of urban temples. Although the basic la y out of entrance g a tes, stone pa g odas w o r ship halls, and monks residences interspersed with courtyards, is f ollo w ed, the buildings are situated along the contours ofthe mountain. The worship hall pictured here is decor a ted on the exterior with col orful paintings depicting important ev ents in the lives of the founding monks 20. Stationery Box Chosn dynasty (1392), 15th centur y Black lacquer with mother-ofpearl inlay; H. 3 in. (9 cm), W. 14 in. (36.5 cm). Promised Gift of F lorence and Herbert Irving (L. 1992.62.3) The production of inlaid lacquer in Korea continued in the Chosn period, during which time the ne detail and mosaiclike patterns of K or y inlaid lacquers (see image 9 ) w ere replaced by larger and more prominent designs. The scrolling oral vine on this fteenth-centur y box is formed with thin strips of mother-of-pearl, with larger, crack led pieces depicting the lea v es and ow er s It is noteworthy that three different types of ow ers grow on the same scrolling vine; that the vine co v ers the entire surface; and that the larger lea v es are of the acanthus type, with its characteris tic curled-back ends. The only con currence of all these elements in 99 19

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the decor a tive arts of East Asia took place in the late fourteenth and early fteenth centuries 16 Notice: How the scrolling vine lls the surface of the box; the abstract quality of the lea v es combined with the small circles that ll the inter stices of the design Consider : The change in the trea tment of ornamentation in various media; how the appearance of this scrolling vine suggests the growth of an actual plant Note 16. See W a tt and Ford, East Asian Lacquer : T he Florence and Herbert Irving Collection p 317. 21. Flask-Shaped Bottle Chosn dynasty (1392), 15th centur y Stoneware with sg r afto design of ow ers under punchng glaze; H. 8 in. (21 cm). R o gers Fund, 1986 (1986.305) In the early y e a r s ofthe Chosn d y n a s t y Korean potters, working with new energy and condence a ttempted to revitalize wha t remained of the Kor y dynasty (918) celadon tradition. T h e result ofthese eff o r ts was p u n ch n g w a r e 1 7 The term is a contraction o f punjang hoechng sa g i l i t e ra l l y, c e r amic ware ofa grayish g r e e n c l a y body covered with white slip and a clear greenish glaze a n d was rst used in the twentieth cent u r y (the original name ofthis ware remains unknown). P u n ch n g w a s manufactured only in the f t e e n t h and sixteenth centuries. Yet during this short time, the industry o u r ished and potters produced objects in a variety ofshapes and decora t e d with sev e r al methods. Thought of a s utilitarian objects in Korea and used by all classes, p u n ch n g wares w e r e w i d e l y appreciated for their aes thetic appeal in Muromachi (1392 1573) Japan, where the g r e a t tea master Sen no Riky (152291) helped to create a taste for their bold rustic f o r ms and vigorous designs. 1 8 Punchng represents an impor tant de v elopment in the Korean ceramic tradition. Its indebtedness to Kor y celadons can be seen in the g ra yish green glaze, although, because they contain less iron o xide punchng glazes are not as g reen in tone as celadon glazes In addition, the simplied decor ative technique of stamped designs used in celadons of the late Kor y period, in the second half of the thirteenth to the fourteenth centur y was adopted by Chosn potters in the decor a tion of earl y punchng wares 100 20

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This fteenth-century bottle was decor a ted on both sides with a oral design using the sg r afto technique. In this method, white slip is applied to the surface of the clay bod y and a design is incised into it. The slip is then scraped a way in the areas surrounding the design to expose the g ra yish blue body beneath. After the piece is coated with a transparent glaze and red, the white-slip design stands out clearly a g ainst the dark back g round. In this example, the boldl y rendered oral decor a tion comple ments the thickly potted vessel. The glaze has pooled in places on the surface, producing subtle tonal v ariations N o t i c e : H o w the o r al design stands out in relief; the rougher appear a n c e o f the object in comparison to K o r y celadon wares ( images 104 ); the l i ve l y and spontaneous appear a n c e o f the decora t i o n C o n s i d e r : The differences betw e e n the standards ofproduction techniques and designs developed by K o r y and Chosn potters Notes 17. For further information on punchng ware, see Itoh, K orean Ceramics from The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka pp. 36, 40, 81, 146. 18. The inuence of punchng ware techniques and aesthetics can be seen in Japanese ceramics such as a Minoware dish for use in the tea ceremony (1975.268.436), published in the MMA Bulletin (Summer 1987), no. 51, p. 44, which re v eals the same preference for r usticity and accidental effect. 22. Wine Cup Chosn dynasty (1392), 15th centur y White porcelain; H. 1 in. (4.1 cm), Diam. 4 in. (11.4 cm). Ro gers Fund, 1917 (17.175.1) W hite-bodied porcelain wares ( paekcha ) were r st produced in K orea at the beginning of the Chosn dynasty, in the r st half of the fteenth centur y and continued to be popular throughout the d ynasty 19 The early phase of por celain manufacture is characterized b y undecor a ted white wares. These wares reect the austere tastes associated with Neo-Confucianism, which was embraced by the Chosn r ulers as the ofcial state ideolo gy and advocated by the p r e e m i n e n t social class, the y a n g b a n The y ang ban, who held the highest civil and military positions in g ov ernment, de v oted themselves to study and self-cultiv a tion in the Confucian tradition and sought to fashion a 101 21 22

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political and social system based on Confucian ideals, principles, and practices. Of paramount impor tance in y angban society were the strict rules g ov erning ancestral worship and mourning rites Associated with purity, white porcelain was considered especiall y suita b le for objects used by the court and y angban households, in particular, ritual dishes and con tainers such as this small doublehandled cup. Cups of this kind were used for offering wine on special occasions, such as memorial cere monies performed at an ancestral altar 20 The cup would ha v e been held with both hands, as is the custom in East Asian ritual and f ormal settings Notice: The simplicity of the cups f orm and appearance Consider : The connection between Confucian ideals and white-bodied porcelain Notes 19. White porcelaneous wares were pro duced in the Kor y dynasty (918) around the same time as celadon wares b ut ne v er achie v ed widespread popularity Because of their often insufcient ring temper a ture, which can lea v e the cla y and glaze incompletely vitried, they are technically e x cluded from the cate g ory of true porcelains. For more information on the production techniques and designs of Chosn white porcelain ware, see Itoh, K orean Ceramics from The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka pp. 30, 98, 149. 20. For a description of ancestral halls and worship practices in the Chosn period, see Kim, K orean Arts of the Eighteenth Centur y pp. 84. Illustr a ted in Arts of K orea pl. 28, pp. 84, 86 23. J ar Chosn dynasty (1392), 18th centur y Porcelain with underglaze copper-red decor a tion of a g r apevine; H. 10 in. (25.5 cm). The Har r y G. C P ackard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Har r y G. C. Packard, and Purchase F letcher, R o ger s Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975 (1979.413.2) P ainting in underglaze copper-red was more difcult to accomplish than its counterpart decor a tiv e medium, underglaze cobalt-blue because copper readily oxidizes and turns to shades of gra y or black during ring, or e v en disappear s entirel y Underglaze copper-red decor a tion on high-red ware is most likely an in v ention of K or y (918) potter s who succeeded in producing this color early in the twelfth century when it was used sparingly in the decor a tion of 102 23

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celadon ware. This type of decor ation was revived at provincial kilns in the eighteenth century with the ourishing of the decor a tive arts The jars une v en prole and bold, quickly painted design impar t a sense of vibrancy and naturalism. W hile Korean craftsmen used many of the same decor a tiv e motifs gr apevines, dr ag ons bamboo, ow er s as their Chinese and Japanese counterparts, they often e x ecuted these images with a distinctive dynamic style Notice: The shape of the jar; the freedom with which the design was painted Consider : W hether this jar appear s clumsy or appealing; the aesthetic ideals that motivated the production and appreciation ofthis jar (compare image 10 ) Illustr a ted in Arts of K orea pl. 37, pp. 95, 99 24. Large Jar Chosn dynasty (1392), 18th 19th centur y White porcelain; H. 14 in. (37.5 cm). The Har r y G. C P ackard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Har r y G. C. Packard, and Purchase F letcher, R o ger s Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975 (1979.413.1) Among the most striking of the white porcelain wares produced in the Chosn period are large utili tarian jars such as this one, which was made by joining two bowlshaped forms at their rims. (The seam is partially visible along the jars midsection.) It would ha ve been especially admired for its irregular shape, a result of slight sa g ging during the ring The porcelain kilns of the Chosn period produced objects of v arying le v els of quality. The best g r ade of porcelain was made f or the court at the ro y al kilns in K wangju, in K y nggi Province south of the capital Seoul, as well as at the provincial kilns under the auspices of the Saongwn, the gov ernment bureau in charge of ceramic production. The ro y al kilns w ere relocated e v ery ten years or so, in order to ensure a constant supply of rewood, immense amounts of which were consumed to produce the temper a tures in ex cess of 1200 C needed for ring porcelain. Other provincial kilns produced both punchng (see image 21 ) and porcelain for local use, and occasionally as tribute to the court. Throughout the history of K orean ceramics, one can see the a ttempt to combine functionality with f o r ms and designs that possess a natural, spontaneous quality The Korean potter did not resor t to exa g ger a ted forms or unneces sary decor a tion to achie v e a sense of perfection or articial beauty 103 24

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Instead, the true beauty of K orean ceramics lies in their pure and mod est forms, which are determined b y technique and function, and in their minimal decor a tion. Notice: The une v enness of the glaze and the jars asymmetrical prole; the visible mark around the mid-section where the two bowl-shaped forms were joined C o n s i d e r : The qualities of a s y m m e t r y and ir r e gularity as e x p r e s s i o n s o f n at u r alness and spontaneity 25 A B Unidentied artist (15th century), Landscapes in the Style of An Kyn: Evening Bell from Mist-Shrouded Temple and A utumn Moon o v er Lak e Dongting Chosn dynasty (1392). Pair of hanging scrolls, ink on silk; Each 34 17 in. (88.3 45.1 cm). Purchase J oseph Pulitzer Bequest, and Mr. and Mr s Frederick P. Rose and John B Elliott Gifts, 1987 (1987.278a,b) I n the early Chosn period, from the founding of the dynasty in 1392 to about 1550, landscape painting ourished and de v eloped in a ne w direction. Dr a wing on the nativ e K or y dynasty (918) painting tradition and adapting recentl y introduced styles from Chinas Ming dynasty (1368644), Chosn artists be g an to produce landscape paintings that blended Chinese con v entions with more distinctl y K orean characteristics. The preeminent landscapist during this time was the court painter An K y n (active ca. 1440). His inno va tiv e style, which e x erted enormous inuence on Korean landscape painting, was inspired by Chinese monumental landscapes, particu larly those of the Northern Song (960) master artist Guo Xi (ca. 1000ca. 1090). 21 The energetic brushwork and d ra m a tic contrasts ofdark and light in these two Chosn paintings reect the dominant inuence of A n Ky n 2 2 These stylistic char a c t e r i s tics ofthe An Kyn school of p a i n t ing were par t i c u l a r l y well suited to the depiction ofthe celebra t e d theme Eight Views ofthe Xiao and Xiang Ri v e r s which was rst f o rm a l ized in China during the elev e n t h c e n t u r y and became popular in Korea in the fteenth century (see image 26 ). Eight V i e w s c o m p o s i t i o n s were based on a set ofpoems e x t o l ling the beauty and melancholy of 104 25 A B

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the entire land scape of mountains river s and m a r shes in the Lake Dongting region, in the moder n Chinese province of Hunan. The Metropolitan Museums hanging scrolls depict two ofthe Eight V i e w s scenes and were presumably once p a r t ofa set ofeight. Evening Bell f r om Mist-Shrouded T e m p l e ( i m a g e 2 5 A ) is lled with a misty, some w h a t m e l a n c h o l y a t m o s p h e r e Tiled rooftops visible through the mist s u g gest the presence ofa l a r g e monastic complex in the foothills of an imposingly tall mountain r a n g e Autumn Moon over Lake D o n g t i n g ( image 25 B ), a rather dark painting which depicts an empty boat moored at the shore in the f o r e ground and a d o u b le-storied pavilion dimly visib l e in the middle ground, gives the impression ofa nocturnal scene. Both paintings omit standard details of human interest g u r e s boa t s a rustic bridge, a bustling mountain m a r k et, or even a well-trodden pa t h This absence suggests a disinterest on the part ofthe artist in narra t i v e detail and underscores his concern with capturing the mood of t h e landscape and a moment in time. In contrast to the horizontal handscroll f o rm a t favored by Chinese a rt i s t s Korean depictions of t h i s Eight V i e w s theme are commonly presented in hanging scroll f o rm a t and often mounted as a f o l d i n g s c r e e n Notice: The brushwork and con voluted mountain forms; the shar p contrasts between light and dark areas; how wash is used; that silk darkens with age Consider : The treatment of space; the precise manner of painting the architectural elements compared with the more boldly rendered mountain forms; that for Korean artists, the Xiao and Xiang river s area was completely imaginary and could be glimpsed only through imported Chinese paintings; the reasons for the lack of color Notes 21. An important handscroll painting b y Guo Xi in the Metropolitan Museums collection is Old T r ees, Level Distance (1981.276). Guo Xis best-known work is Ear l y Spring in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, and is published in James C Y. W a tt and Wen C. Fong P ossessing the Past: T r easures from The National Palace Museum, Taipei (New York and Taipei: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and National Palace Museum, 1996), pl. 60, p 129. 22. For a comprehensive study of the Metropolitan Museums paintings and their connection to An K y n, see Hong nam Kim, An K y n and the Eight Views Tradition: An Assessment of T wo Land scapes in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in Arts of K orea pp. 367. Illustr a ted in Arts of K orea pl. 84, pp. 182, 186 105

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26 A B Unidentied artist (late 15thth century), W ild Geese Descending to Sandbar Chosn dynasty (1392). Hanging scroll, ink on silk; 49 29 in. (126.4 48.5 cm). Purchase, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, John M. Cr a wford Jr. Bequest, and The Vincent Astor F oundation Gift, 1992 (1992.337) Monochrome landscape painting was fa v ored by both liter a ti and professional court painters in K orea in the fteenth and sixteenth centuries. This painting is an e xample of K orean artists inter pretation of the landscape painting idiom of Chinas Northern Song d ynasty (960). The title identies the work as one of the Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang River s a poetic theme traditionally associated with the Northern Song painter Song Di (ca. 1015ca. 1080) that became a fa v orite subject for painters not only in China but, from the twelfth century onward, in Korea and J apan (see images 25 A and B ). The distant mountains, the low hills accented by trees (see detail, image 26 B ), and the a t riverbanks landscape elements that the artist has carefully organized into dis tinct ground planes create a peaceful and expansive vista. The geese descending to a broad sand bank at the foot of the mountains in the distance and the returning shing boat in the fore g round, seen through a misty haze, suggest an ev ening scene. Each of these ele ments is sensitively rendered in differentiated tones of ink and pale ink washes This painting takes as its inspi ra tion a poem, inscribed in Chinese characters in the upper right cor ner after the four-character title: On the fr o zen frontier is a hail of ar ro ws Along the Golden River [ Jinhe ] ther e are no rice elds Brothers one and all, ying down in skeins After ten thousand li 23 they arrive a t Xiao and Xiang T he distant waters shine like reels of silk, T he level sands are white as glinting frost. At the fer r y qua y no one is about, Close to the setting sun, the geese descend ever more g r acefull y. ( T ra n s l a tion by Roderick W h i t e l d ) The poem is written in ir r eg u l a r v erse, a form popular during the Song dynasty (960). The r st two lines refer to a hunt in the cold, b leak steppe along Chinas north ern frontier from which the wild geese mig ra te south, a reference to the conquest of the Song by the Mongols and their subsequent rule of China under the Yuan dynasty (1272). 106 26 B 26 A

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Notice:The organization ofthe different landscape elements to create a unied, coherent composition; the use ofmist to suggest distance; the contrast between the sharply delineated landscape elements in the foreground and the more softly rendered forms in the backgroundConsider:The position ofman in nature as suggested by this painting; the relationship between the apparent mood ofthe painting and that ofthe poemNote 23. A li is equivalent to about one-third ofa mile.Illustrated in Arts ofKorea pl. 85, pp. 182, 188 27. South Ky™ngsang Province, October 1997. Photograph by Elizabeth HammerChirisan National Park extends into three provinces in the southern part ofthe Korean peninsula, North Ch™lla, South Ch™lla, and South Ky™ngsang. Characteristic of Korean mountain ranges, the peaks tend to be close together, with steep and narrow valleys. Mountain references saturate Korean culture. For example, the common phrase san n™m™ san ("mountains beyond mountains") describes the appearance ofthe terrain and also expresses a sense ofresignation in the face offrequent troubles. These mountains in the Sobaek range, with their brilliant autumn colors, have inspired painters and poets for millennia. The poet Yang Sašn (15171584), for instance, wrote the following: Though they say, "The hills are high," All hills are still below heaven. By climbing, climbing, climbing more, There is no peak that cannot be scaled. But the man who never tried to climb, He says indeed: "The hills are high."24Note 24. Richard Rutt, ed. and trans., The Bamboo Grove:An Introduction to Sijo (Ann Arbor:University ofMichigan Press, 1998), poem no. 33. 107 27

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28. Unidentied artist (16th cen tury), Gr a pevine in the Wind Chosn dynasty (1392). Hanging scroll, ink on silk; 31 15 in. (80 40 cm). Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift and Friends of Asian Ar t Gifts, 1994 (1994.439) A wind-tossed g r apevine, heavy with ripening fruit, the rustling of its dessicated lea v es almost audible is rendered with a variety of mas terfully handled brush techniques The sway of the serpentine branch in large arcs is e x ecuted with strokes of changing speed and pressure to suggest both contour and volume in a technique known as ying white (in which areas of the unpainted silk show through). The contrasting textures of plump fruit rendered without outlines in the so-called boneless style of brushwork and brittle lea v es are achie v ed with carefully modulated tones of w et and dry ink that create a luminosity within the painting This work is proba bl y a fr a gment of a larger composition, which ma y ha v e included a poetic inscription b y the artist. Ink-monochrome compositions ex ecuted in a highly callig r aphic style such as this example are associated with amateur liter a ti painter s The subject of gr apevine rendered in ink, like the Four Gentlemen plum, orchid, chr ysanthemum, and bamboo was fa v ored by Chinese and Korean liter a ti painters alik e Among the Korean artists who won fame as painters of gr apevines were Sin Cham (1491) and Sin Saimdang (1504), the r st female painter recorded in Korean histor y Paintings of this kind w ere most often vie w ed in the sarangbang the study and living quarters of the male heads of y ang ban households. In keeping with Confucian aesthetic sensibilities these rooms were furnished simpl y and modestl y with white paper walls, wood furniture, plain white or blue-and-whitedecor a ted porcelain vessels, writing utensils made of natural materials, books and ink-monochrome paintings and callig r aph y. Notice: The different types of brushwork; the expressive quality of the branches Consider : The contrast between the bold and swiftly e x ecuted brushstokes used to depict the gr apevine and the theme of autumn fading into winter 108 28

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29 A B Unidentied artist (late 16th century), Brahma (Pmchn) Chosn dynasty (1392). Hanging scroll, ink and color on hemp; 84 88 in. (214.6 224.8 cm). Gift of Mr s Edward S. Harkness, 1921 (21.57) This monumental painting on hemp d e picts the Indian deity Br a h m a ( P m c h n ) i d e n t i able by the Sanskrit syllable o m in a circle a b o ve his belly and his tow e r i n g h e i g h t accompanied by his retinue ofattendants and musicians. B r ahma, a Hindu deity, was incorp o r ated into the Buddhist pantheon as a guardian ofBuddhist teachings. His heaven is described in Indian m y t h o l o gy not as a place of m e d i t a tion but as one of p l e a s u r e popul a ted with heroes, enter t a i n e r s, and musicians like those in this painting. The central gure of B ra h m a d o m i n a tes the composition, which is lled with three rows of b o d h i s at t v as and heav e n l y a t t e n d a n t s bearing ceremonial objects or musical instruments or with their hands in a gesture of w o rs h i p Ela b o r a t e j e weled canopies surmount the g r o u p The elongated proportions of the gures and the schematic facial f e at u r e s hair, and robes are all executed with a heightened sensitivity to color, te x t u r e and detail. The mannered gure style, stylized a b s t r action ofthe g a rm e n t s and composition in which the gures l l almost the entire pictorial space parallels sev e r al other Chosn Buddhist paintings ofthe sixteenth century. Such paintings would have been an i n t e gral part ofBuddhist temple r i t u a l s especially those perf o rm e d to ensure protection for the country during the many periods in which it suffered frequent foreign inv a s i o n s Although it was the primar y impetus for artistic activity during the Kor y period (918), Buddhism suffered an increasing loss of ro y al and aristocr a tic patronage during the succeeding Chosn dynasty. Owing to these changed conditions, Buddhist paintings of the fteenth and sixteenth centuries underwent signicant changes in format, materials, and painting style The fabric on which this work is painted also marks a signicant departure from that used in Kor y paintings. The predominant use of hemp (or sometimes thick paper) in sixteenthand se v enteenth-centur y monumental Buddhist paintings is undoubtedly due to economic circumstances: silk and gold had become too expensive to use for Buddhist images, especially under the conditions of austerity imposed b y the early Chosn rulers and as a result of the signicant change in patronage, from the court to 109 29 A

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w ealthy provincial donors and local monasteries. Finall y painting on hemp required less demanding craftsmanship. While paintings on silk required specialists who could apply the colors to both the back and the front of the painting sur face, works on the thicker hemp w ere painted only on the front. Music is an important part of K orean Buddhist ritual. In this painting, musicians are shown pla ying drums, utes, and string instr uments (see detail, image 29 B and images 33, 34 ). N o t i c e : The various elements of B r ahmas heaven; the arr a n g e m e n t o f the gures; and the use of s c a l e in conveying the rela t i o n s h i p b e t w een the central gure and his r e t i n u e C o n s i d e r : The different aesthetic r e vealed in this painting compared with that ofK o r y Buddhist paintings (see images 15 ); the mannered appearance ofthe g u r e s ; the conuence ofdifferent religious tr a d i t i o n s Illustr a ted in Arts of K orea pl. 81, pp. 178 30. Unidentied artist (17th cen tury), P ortrait of Sosan Taesa (Chnghdang, 1520) Chosn dynasty (1392). Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk; 59 30 in. (152.1 77.8 cm). Seymour Fund, 1959 (59.19) This portrait of the eminent Chosn monk Hyujng, who was more widely known as Ssan T a e s a is a rare early example of a depic tion of a Korean monk and an important historical and religious document. The gure, who holds a y whisk in his right hand, is por tr ay ed in three-quarter view seated on a wooden chair, his shoes neatl y ar r anged below him on a footstool. The careful delineation of the monks full face, in particular the elong a ted eyebrows, the broad mustache, and the closely cropped beard, was intended to give the sitter a realistic appearance At a time when Buddhism was se v erely repressed by the Chosn gov ernment, Hyujng restored order to the community of monks and wrote the basic text for Korean monks Snga kwigam (Model for Sn Students), which is still fol lo w ed today by members of the Sn order 25 In this text and in his teachings, he attempted to synthe size the doctrines of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism. In 1593, when he was se v enty-three y ears old, Hyujng, serving the gov ernment as Commander of the Eight Provinces and the Sixteen Buddhist Schools, led an ar m y of Buddhist monks a g ainst the Japa nese in v asion forces of Toy otomi 110 29 B

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Hideyoshi (1536) and helped to reco v er the Chosn capital, Hanyang (modern Seoul). In reco gnition of his achie v ement, he was honored upon his retirement in the f ollowing year with the highest title that could be besto w ed on a Buddhist monk. In addition to his other abilities, and in keeping with common practice among the upper classes, Hyujng was also an accomplished callig r apher P ortrait paintings of eminent monks, particularly those of patri archs or founders of schools, were enshrined in Buddhist temples to be re v ered by disciples. Such por traits, whether e x ecuted during the subjects lifetime or after his death, w ere often an idealized image ra ther than a commemor a tion of actual physical appearance. The Metropolitans painting is one of se v eral surviving copies of a nowlost portrait of monk Hyujng ex ecuted during his lifetime The painting includes two i n s c r i p t i o n s The rst, in the upper left cor n e r written in silver that has n o w tarnished, identies the subject o f the por t r ait as Pujongsu Chnghdang Taesa. The second inscription, written in black ink below the p o rt r ait, records the names of t h e paintings donors and the monks r e s p o n s i b le for the ceremony held to celebrate its completion. 2 6 Notice: The artists skillful depic tion of the subjects hands and face g arments, and the chair in which he is seated Consider : The function of this por trait as a tribute to and reminder of a religious leader; what feelings the portrait of a religious leader might inspire in a disciple or in a casual vie w er Notes 25. For an insightful account oflife in a p r e s e n t d a y Sn monastery, see R o b e r t E. B u s well, The Zen Monastic Experience: Buddhist Practice in Contempor a r y K o re a (Princeton: Princeton Univ e r sity Press, 1 9 9 2 ) 26. A translation of the second inscription and a commentary about its date are pro vided in Pak, The Korean Art Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in Arts of K orea pp. 444. 111 30

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31. R ank Badge ( Hyungbae ) with Paired Tiger-Leopards Chosn dynasty (1392), 18thth centur y Silk and metallic thread; 10 10 in. (25.4 27 cm). Ro gers Fund, 1951 (51.40) In 1454, the Chosn court adopted a system of insignia of r ank for civil and military ofcials based on that of the Chinese Ming dynasty (1368), to whom the Chosn pa y ed tribute. As in China, square badges, embroidered with images of both real and imaginary birds or animals denoting a specic rank, w ere worn on the front ( h yung ) and back ( bae ) of court costumes ( g. 12). R e gulations g ov erning the hierarchical relationship between the Chosn and Ming courts required that the badges wor n b y Korean ofcials of the r st rank be equivalent to those of Chinese ofcials of the third rank. In 1734, after the fall of t h e Ming d y n a s t y the Chosn gov e r nment established a system that, for the rst time, assigned insignia to all nine ranks ofKorean court o f c i a l s Civil ofcials ofthe rst to third rank were denoted by a pair o f c ra n e s the emblem f o rm e r l y used by Ming civil ofcials ofthe r s t rank. A single silver pheasant represented ofcials ofthe f o u r th to ninth rank. In 1871, the court enacted changes in the r a n k b a d g e system that lasted until the end o f the dynasty in 1910. The white c ra n e symbol ofa lofty scholar as well as a Daoist immortal, was used for civil ofcials (a pair of c r anes f o r the rst to third rank and a single c r ane for the f o u r th to ninth). The i m ag i n a r y tiger-leopard d ep i c t e d h e r e which signied courage and the power to expel evil spirits, was used for military ofcials (a pair of tiger-leopards for the rst to third rank and a single tiger-leopard f o r the f o u r th to ninth). Embroidery has been a highl y re g arded and well-de v eloped ar t f orm in Korea since at least the third centur y B C when Chinese historical records note that Korean ambassadors wore embroidered costumes. Women of all classes practiced this craft, and a ladys marriage prospects were signi cantly enhanced if she was skillful with her needle 27 R ank badges as well as other embroidered gar ments and decor a tive accessories w ere usually made by the women of the household and were often given as gifts on special occasions (Embroidered items could also be obtained from workshops.) Among a womans most prized possessions w ere her Se v en Friends: needle scissor s spools (a wedding trous seau could include a hundred spools decor a ted with auspicious em b lems), leather or fabric thimbles a ruler, thread, and a small iron. 112 31

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The construction of hyungbae began with an underdrawing on the base fabric, usually woven silk. (Sericulture was brought to Korea from China, and even after the domestic production ofsilk was well established, some high-quality silk was still imported from China.) For the embroidery, silk was carefully twisted and then laboriously stitched using a variety ofsimple techniques, especially satin stitch, at stitch, and couching. Some areas, such as the bands ofsemicircles that form the mountains in the rank badge illustrated here, were raised by padding, perhaps with strips ofpaper secured with couching stitches and then covered with satin stitches. The striking eyes ofthe animals were made by couching into place threads made ofthin strips ofgold leafon paper wrapped around a silk core.Notice:The visual impact ofthe colorful motifs ofthe badge; the evenness ofthe needleworkConsider:The use ofstylization to create a more decorative effect; the status ofembroidery, which was practiced by women ofall classes; clothing and accessories as an indicator ofsocial status and ofcial position; the association ofanimals and birds with ofcial ofceNote 27. See Amos, "Korean Embroidery,"and Chung, The Art ofOriental Embroidery: History, Aesthetics and Techniques 113 Unidentied artist (17th century), Portrait ofan Ofcial (traditionally identied as Cho Mal-saeng, 13701447). Ch™son dynasty (1392 1910). Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk, 70§ 41 in. (178.3 104.4 cm). The National Museum ofKorea, Seoul

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32. Box Chosn dynasty (1392), 19th centur y Painted wood with a ttened o x-horn inlay; H. 6 in. (15.2 cm). Promised Gift of F lorence and Herber t Irving (L. 1999.65) The ox-horn painting ( hwa g ak ) technique can be traced back to the fth century in Korea. In the Chosn period, it was commonl y used to decor a te small container s f or personal possessions, sewing equipment, and accessories of w ellto-do ladies. In this nineteenthcentury box, the ox horn was cut, soaked in water, boiled, and then pressed into thin, a t sheets. The sheets were painted with a design in vibrant colors and attached to the wooden box with the painted surfaces face down. The box was given a protective coat of v arnish, which in this example has become somewhat cloudy with age and mello w ed the tone of the pigments V arious auspicious plants and animals decor a te this box. The dr ag on is a po w erful creature tha t controls the clouds and rain; the r am, one of the animals of the East Asian zodiac, suggests life in retirement from society; the crane a relatively long-lived bird, repre sents longevity; and the phoenix symbolizes good luck, peace, and harmony. Here, these creatures are surrounded by stylized clouds and ow er s including peonies, the lush blossoms ofwhich represent fer t i l i t y Upper-class men and women traditionally lived in separ a te areas of the home. Mens quarter s in k eeping with Confucian ideals of modesty and restraint, were simpl y furnished with books and writing utensils. Womens quarter s in con trast, were decor a ted with brightl y colored paintings, embroideries f olding screens, and container s such as this box. 28 Notice: The boxs bright colors and lively images; how the sense of energy is created; the se g re ga ted composition; the abstracted forms of the images that create a decor ative patter n Consider : The austere tastes reected in the furnishings of a mans living quarters compared with the exuberant tastes e xpressed in those of a womans quarters; the messages contained in the choice of auspicious symbols Note 28. A display featuring typical living quar ters of upper-class men and women in the Chosn period is on permanent display a t the American Museum of Natural Histor y, New York City. See also Laurel Kendall and Mark Peterson, K orean Women: View from the Inner Room (New Ha v en: East R ock Press, Inc., 1983). Illustr a ted in Arts of K orea pl. 57, pp. 132 114 32

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33. Chng-ak Kay a gm (Plucked Zither), ca. 1980 Made by Kim Kwang Ju, South Korea. W ood, silk, cotton; L. 65 in. (165 cm). Gift of K orean Cultural Service, 1982 (1982.171.1) The ka ya gm is a twelve-string zither that is plucked with the thumb and r st three ngers of the right hand. Performers sit on the oor, in keeping with Korean cus tom, and rest the lo w er part of the instrument across their knees W ith two or three ngers of the left hand, they simultaneousl y press down on the strings to pro duce intermediate pitches and such ornamental effects as vibr a to As indicated by its name ka ya refers to the K ay a Feder a tion (42 562 A D ) of the Three Kingdoms period (57 B C 668 A D ), while gm means stringed instrument the ka ya gm has been pla y ed in Korea f or centuries. According a legend recorded in the Samguk sagi (Histo ries of the Three Kingdoms), King K asil of Kay a ordered that an instrument be created from a Chi nese prototype ( zheng ) and music be composed for it by the master K orean musician U Rk. When U Rk was forced by warfare to ee to neighboring Silla, he took the ka ya gm with him. The e x ca va tion from Silla tombs of pottery gurines playing this instrument, as w ell as the survival of f our ninthcentury examples in the Japanese imperial treasury Shs-in (where they are identied in Japanese as sirai-goto or koto of Silla), attest not only to the antiquity of the ka ya gm b ut also to the continua tion of its basic structure and appearance This c hng-ak ka ya gm is an e xample of the larger type of plucked zithers used for court music. It is made primarily of paulownia wood mounted with pegs and x ed and mo vab le bridges, o v er which are stretched twelve strings of twisted silk. The distinctive rams-head shape that decor a tes the top of the instrument dates to the Three Kingdoms period. 115 33

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34. G r oup ofMusical Instruments Fr om top left: Chang go (drum) Chosn dynasty (1392), 19th centur y Wood, hide, metal, rope; L. 25 in. (64.7 cm). The Crosb y Brown Collection of Musical Instr uments, 1889 (89.4.141) Taepyngso (oboe) Chosn dynasty (1392), 19th centur y Wood, metal, reed; L. 16 in. (41.9 cm). The Crosby Brown Collec tion of Musical Instruments, 1889 (89.4.147) Ching (large gong) 20th centur y Bronze, Diam. 15 in. (38.7 cm). Gift of Daewoo Group, 1981 (1981.28.10) P ak (clapper) Ca. 1980. Wood; L. of each slab 14 in. (36.9 cm). Gift of Daewoo Group, 1981 (1981.28.12) So go (drum) Mid-20th centur y Wood, hide; L. 13 in. (33.1cm). Gift of Dr. Won K yung Cho, 1981 (1981.136) Kkwaenggwari (small gong) with mallet 20th centur y Bronze, Diam. 7 in. (19.7 cm). Gift of Daewoo Group, 1981 (1981.28.11a,b) The metal gongs illustr a ted here which derive from Chinese forms w ere struck with a wooden mallet. The large gong ( c hing ), held suspended from a cord, was origi nally used by armies to signal retreat from battle (a drum was sounded to instruct the ar m y to advance) and later primarily for military processions. The small g ong ( kkwaenggwar i ) produces a sharper sound when struck and was used especially for perfor mances at the ancestral shrine of the Yi ro y al famil y rulers of the Chosn dynasty (1392). Holding the top lip of the gong the musician dampens its sound b y touching the center while it is still resonating The Great Peace Oboe ( taepyngso )is related to the Chinese s o n a and the Indian s u r a It consists ofa large metal bell, wooden tube, and metal lip disk tted with a short double reed. There are seven nger holes on the t o p and one on the back. Because it produces a loud, piercing nasal sound, this instrument is especially s u i t a ble for outdoor military proc e s s i o n s In modern times, it has also been adopted for far m e r s music and Confucian ancestral rituals. The small drum with handle ( sogo ), is used, along with a wooden rod, in folk music. The face of this e xample is decor a ted with the ancient symbol tae g euk a circle of re v olving elds of red and blue that represents the philosophical 116 34

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concept of yin and yang ( m and y ang ). This symbol also occupies the center ofthe Re p u b lic ofK o r e a s national ag. The hourglass-shaped drum ( c hanggo ) has been in use since a t least the Ko g u r y kingdom (37 B C 668 A D ) and is today the most widely used traditional percussion instrument in Korea. Although during the Chosn period it was primarily used for court perfor mances, it now accompanies all kinds of K orean music. The c hanggo is related to Chinese and Japanese v ersions but is larger. Set on the oor in front of the musician, the drum is pla y ed by pounding the left side with the palm, creating a soft and low sound, and striking the right side, which is co v ered by a thinner piece of hide, with a bam boo stick. The pitch can be altered b y moving the belts encircling the laces (attached here with dr ag onhead hooks) that keep the drum co v erings taut. Traditional c hanggo are made from a single piece of paulownia wood, with cow and horse hides on either side, as seen on this example The hardwood clapper ( pak ) is another rhythmic instrument tha t has long been emplo y ed in Korea. The six long wooden sticks are loosely bound by a deerskin string a t the thinner ends. Used for cour t and ritual music, the clapper is sounded once to begin the perfor mance, when the rhythm changes and three times at the conclusion of the composition. 35. T eukg y eong Ca. 1981. Wood, marble, feather beads, horn; H. 82 in. (210 cm). Gift of K orean Cultural Service, 1982 (1982.171.3a,b,c) This L-shaped marble sla b sus pended in a colorful stand, was sounded at the end of court cere monial musical performances The thickness of the sla b which is struck at the end with a hor n mallet, determines the pitch; this e xample sounds approximatel y middle C T eukg y eong are tradition ally decor a ted, as seen here, with ducks, symbols of joy and delity; phoenixes, messengers of peace and prosperity; and pinecones, which represent longevity and good luck. 117 35