From 16 Oct 2021 to 4 Sep 2022 Keramiekmuseum Princessehof presents the exhibition KOREA. Today we know the country from brands such as Samsung and Kia, kimchi and the Oscar-winning film Parasite. For many young people, Korea is inextricably linked with K-Pop, bands such as BTS are incredibly popular. The country was long closed to the west and its rich culture is still relatively unknown. Keramiekmuseum Princessehof sheds light on this ancient world. We show the long history of Korean culture, in which ceramics have always played an important role. This allows us to crawl under the surface of the cliché image. Themes such as food culture, beauty ideals and rituals are discussed on the basis of masterpieces from the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, which are on display in the Netherlands for the first time.
Korea remained a mystery for a long time, despite various attempts by Western countries to invade. On the basis of themes such as food cultures, rituals and beauty ideals, the Princessehof dives under the cliché image and visitors discover a rich and age-old culture.
Top pieces from Seoul
From enchanting celadon from the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392) to pure white porcelain from the Joseon period (1392-1897). Hundreds of masterpieces from the National Museum of Korea (NMK) in Seoul, combined with their own collection and supplemented by loans from the Museum of Ethnology in Leiden and the Gugak National Center in Seoul, form the basis for telling the stories. In addition, contemporary Korean artists such as Juree Kim and Kyung-Jun Cho show how ceramics still play an important role in Korean society.
Celadon make-up boxes, Goryeo dynasty (918-1392), stoneware, d. 17.5 cm (round box), National Museum of Korea, Bongwan14858
For the composition of the exhibition, the Princessehof works with a sounding board group consisting of Dutch Koreans and Korea specialists. At the end of 2020, the museum issued a call for members with a Korean background. For the sounding board group, the Princessehof was looking for a diverse panel in which different ages, professional groups and backgrounds are represented. A surprising number of applications were received, from which a group of eleven participants was ultimately chosen after careful selection.
With a blog series we give a look behind the scenes in the making process of the exhibition. Every month we introduce someone who contributes to the realization, here also some sounding board members have their say. Curator and linchpin of the exhibition Eline van den Berg kicked off.
A richly illustrated bilingual publication will accompany the exhibition. Hee-Jeong Kim, curator at the NMK, contributes with an introduction that provides an overview of Korean history and the role ceramics played in it. Curator Eline van den Berg uses the themes to explain a selection of objects that go deeper into the different aspects of Korean culture.
Thanks to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the National Museum of Korea, the Gugak Centre, Museum of Ethnology and Peter van Children
This exhibition is made possible in part by the Mondriaan Fund, the Korea Foundation, Prince Bernhard Cultuurfonds and its Angela E Fund and the Association of Friends of the Keramiekmuseum Princessehof
Partners of the Princessehof: Ottema-Kingma Foundation, Association of Friends of the Princessehof Ceramics Museum and Club Céramique
Keramiekmuseum Princessehof is co-financed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Municipality of Leeuwarden