Friday, January 6, 2012

At the Asian: Closing this Sunday (Jan 8th)

 Drum-shaped bottle with peony decoration. Korean, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910); late 15th - early 16th century. Buncheong with iron-painted design. Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul.

The Buncheong exhibit of Korean ceramics at the Asian will be closing January 8th and as it's a free day at the Asian, try to check the exhibit out before it closes.

Buncheong ceramics emerged as a distinct Korean art form in the 15th and 16th centuries. Colors range from cream to titanium white, some with decorative elements in black. The work is elegantly simple but with a homey, spontaneous quality that adds to its appeal. There are numerous shapes on view - bottles and bowls in all shapes and sizes. Some of the decoration is whimsical and one - of a dog squatting to do his business - slyly funny. Other pieces have carved or incised images of flowers, fish, birds, trees and other natural motifs.

What is ironic is that Buncheong was devalued in by the upper classes and nobility in Korea in favor of more ornate porcelain. Yet, the spare aesthetic was admired by Japanese potters and influenced the development of the bowls and cups used in the Japanese tea ceremony.

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