Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Korea's utmost craftmanship at Sydney

One of the largest museums in Sydney will showcase ancient and contemporary Korean artworks, to mark 50 years of relations between Korea and Australia.

The Powerhouse Museum will introduce Korea’s cultural heritage through a designated four-month exhibition.

The exhibition, which starts on Oct. 27 and runs through Feb. 26 2012, will highlight tangible masterpieces of Korea’s ancient metal craft.

But more importantly, it will aim to convey to Australians and numerous visitors to the country a Korean spirit of “jang-in,” or utmost craftsmanship.

“Korea has much to show the world on how to pursue development while maintaining a very strong cultural heritage,” said Dawn Casey, director of Powerhouse Museum, at a news conference, Monday, in central Seoul. “The exhibition represents the traditional cultural heritage of Korea’s excellent and beautiful metal craft and contemporary metal craft.”

“The Korean consul-general invited the museum to host an exhibition to celebrate the 50 years of friendship between Australia and Korea,” Casey added.

The museum is expecting the four-month exhibition to attract more than 400,000 visitors. Organizers are hoping that design students and those involved in Korean studies will find the exhibition useful in advancing their knowledge on Korean culture and tradition.
The opening day of the exhibition coincides with Australia’s national day of celebration for the landmark year of bilateral relations, she said.

The exhibition reflects growing interest among Australians in learning more about their fourth largest trading partner. Korean culture is less well known to the Australian public than cultures of Asian neighboring economies like China or Japan. “This exhibition truly reflects how Korea became an economic powerhouse and began again after colonization,” Casey said, as she underlined that the exhibition will cover various periods of Korean history.

The exhibition will use a wide range of display techniques, including mood graphics and sound, and will be organized into different sections, covering the metal crafts from the Bronze Age; Buddhism influences in Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392)’s culture; and everyday life of the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910).

Also, the exhibition will show how Korea overcame the devastation of the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945) and the Korean War (1950-1953) thorough contemporary artworks.

The Powerhouse Museum, which attracted 6.8 million visitors in 2009 and 2010, previously hosted two exhibitions on Korean culture; Korean textile and costume in 1998 and Korean pottery as part of the Sydney Olympic art festival in 2000.

To reciprocate Australia’s efforts to introduce Korean culture, the National Museum of Korea will hold an exhibition on Australia’s aboriginal culture in 2013, said Lee Hyoung-ho, director-general at the culture ministry.

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