Korean porcelain goes to Brazil
By Kwon Mee-yoo
Ninty-six pieces of traditional and modern Korean ceramics presenting the nation’s cultural diversity are on show in Brazil.
The National Museum of Korea (NMK) opened “The Diverse Spectrum: 600 Years of Korean Ceramics” at the Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) Wednesday.
Co-hosted by the Korea Foundation and MASP, the exhibit is a part of the Korea Festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Korean immigration to Brazil.
A group of 103 Koreans left their home country in December 1962 and arrived in Brazil in February. The special exhibition aims to enhance the understanding of Korea in the South American country.
“This exhibit is the first to introduce Korean cultural assets to South America. Brazilians can experience the clean and simple beauty of white porcelain from Korea through it,” Kim Young-na, director of the NMK, said at the opening of the exhibit in Brazil’s largest city.
A Portuguese catalogue will be published next month to help locals better understand Korean culture and ceramics, Kim added.
Blue-and-white porcelain from Joseon Kingdom
/ Courtesy of National Museum of Korea
The exhibition is composed of two parts. The first features white porcelain from the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910) owned by the NMK. The pure white porcelain represents the major Joseon idea of neo-Confucianism, which studied the logic and ethics of life. Some of the ceramic pieces have patterns wishing for wealth, longevity and happiness. In addition to various jars, porcelain stationery such as pencil holders and “yeonjeok” (water dropper) are also on display.
Contemporary ceramic works and other types of artwork inspired by porcelain grace the second part. Eleven artists are participating in the show.
Yee Soo-kyung creates a new work from porcelain shards, while Shin Sang-ho projects the image of a patchwork quilt through 75 ceramic tiles.
Shin Mee-kyoung presents replicas of Korean traditional ceramic vases in soap and Cheong Kwang-ho has re-created their shapes with copper wire. Ko Young-hoon and Koo Bohn-chang portray Joseon era earthenware through painting and photography, respectively.
The exhibition introduces both traditional and contemporary Korean art and they present a unique esthetic feeling together.
“The Diverse Spectrum: 600 Years of Korean Ceramics” runs through Nov. 25. Other events at the Korea Festival include traditional Korean performances and movie screenings in six Brazilian cities — Sao Paulo, Brazilia, Porto Alegre, Piracicaba, Recife and Curitiba.
Kim Woo-sang, president of the Korea Foundation, said, “Brazil is an important partner of Korea and we expect this festival to promote true friendship between the two countries.”
For more information, visit www.kf.or.kr or masp.art.br.