Sunday, 25 June 2017

Asian Civilisations Museum: Joseon Korea

For those who are interested in Korean culture and art, you must not miss this special Korean theme exhibition 'Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life' at Asian Civilisations Museum.

It's drizzling when we came out from Raffles MRT (Exit H).
Kids sharing umbrella with Hangul printing.

Visited ACM last Sunday with my kids without my hubby because he'd to go to work  after Urban Camping at Pasir Ris.

ACM - Joseon Korea (22 Apr - 23 Jul 2017).

It's admission free for 'Seoul Awesome! Weekend Festival' and so much  entertaining activities available for both adults and children such as Korean Traditional performances, workshops, Hanbok experience, traditional games and free tasting of pingsu and popcorn.

Although this museum has permanent galleries, but the background of
receptionist area was plastered with giant Irworobongdo.

The exhibition hall at the second floor is divided into smaller galleries based on the themes. There are 14 interesting and engaging themes where you can see all these treasures with your own eyes...

Court Treasures and City Life: Joseon Dynasty was one of the 
longest dynasties in the world history which lasted more than 500 years.

Moon Jar Porcelin and Goryeo Celadons such as Ewer, Brushrest, Vase and 
Kundika from National Museum of Korea are currently displaying at 
Departing from Goryeo Dynasty.

Manuscript of Lotus Sutra Vol. 2 

The most distinction between Goryeo and Joseon is from their religious. Goryeo which inheriting Silla's traditions and cultures was influenced by Buddhism in their daily life. However, Buddhism was suprressed during Joseon Dynasty because principles of Confucianism were greatly adopted.

Royal Authority and Court Culture.
Irworobongdo: Folding screeen of Sun, Moon and 5 Peaks.

Received goodie bag after we snapped a photo here, 
tagged @acm_sg and posted on Instagram and Facebook.

Rooted by philosophy of Confucianism, King Sukjong made this Royal Seal of 
King Taejo when he granted posthumous title to King Taejo about 300 years later. 
Eulogy book made from ten slabs of jade was concurently carved to show his 
filial piety and respect for ancestors. 

Talking about King Sukjong causing my mind to auto playing 'Walk In A Dreamy Road (애지아)' - OST of popular historical drama Dong Yi about love story between King Sukjong and Choi Suk-bin.

 Gujangbok (구장복) King's Robe with 9 symbols
 (4 ying symbols and 5 yang symbols).

This ceremonial robe wore by the Joseon kings for the formal and important occasions such as the garye (celebration rites), gillye (auspicious rites), hyungnye (inauspicious rites).

It's paired with myeonryugwana hat with beads surrounding king's head, face, and ears. It means that the king is required to avoid personal feelings, desire, humble himself, and to keep his body and mind holy. (Vera Lee) 
This photo was taken at Unhyeongung displaying mannequins 
of King Gojong in Gujangbok and Queen Min in Jeogui
for their royal wedding ceremony.

After King Gojong proclaimed himself as the first Emperor in 1897, he changed Gujangbok to Sibijangbok (12 symbol dress) and changed the color of Jeogui from red to blue color. You can find Queen's ceremonial robe at 'The Queen and Her Court' gallery...

Jeogui (적의) was the formal robe for a Joseon Queen. Similar to Gujangbok, 
it's reserved for the important occasions such as her own wedding or state events.

Joseon Royal Family parade infront of Korea Traditional 
Cultural Experience Center at Incheon Airport.

Please check my previous post if you want to know more about Gollyongpo, ordinary robe with dragon embroidery. The dragon's clawed and colors define the position from the robe. Joseon Kings wore red Gollyongpo and Emperor wore golden robe after the Daehan Empire.

Besides Hanbok for King and Queen, you can find other types of traditional customes and accessories used on different occasions such as wedding and first birthday during Joseon Dynasty. 

 Hwarot (활옷) was traditional Korean attire with flowers embroideries
worn during the Goryeo and Joseon Dynasty by royal families for
ceremonial occasions. Commoners only permitted to wear
hwarot on the wedding day.

Auspicious emblems such as peaches and cranes as symbols of longevity
are interspersed with butterflies and pair of birds to represent conjugal 
harmony. Peonies connote wealth and honour, lotuses embody purity
and fertility. On the shoulder embellished a popular Chinese phrase 
'二姓之合,百福之源'  (meaning: the union of two families is the 
source of a hundred blessings).

 A pair of wooden geese with wrapping cloth, pouch and spoon case
are some of the important items in traditional wedding customs.

I actually seen these wedding gifts at Bettl Hanbok's store,
and finally figured out why they displayed these oriental items there...

A set of carved wooden Korean Wedding Geese (원앙세트 = Mandarin duck set), often wrapped in colorful Bojagi (보자기) leaving only the necks and heads exposed. 

Mandarin ducks are chosen as marriage gifts in Korean wedding because it's believed that they mate for life unlike other types of ducks, and if one of the pair dies, the other will mourn. In Korea's custom, Mandarin ducks represent peace, pure, fidelity, and plentiful offspring.

The female duck may have a ribbon tied around her beak as a sign that the wife should be quiet and support her husband. It is also common to see a ribbon around both ducks' beaks signifying that silence is a virtue.

 Bojagi cloth are used to cover giftsand food as a sign of 
respect. It's believed to retain good luck and happiness.

Newlywed brides embridered pouch with ten longevity 
symbols as gifts to their parents-in-law to express
filial piety.

Not sure whether this pouch is similar to lucky pouch (Bokjumeoni) which traditionally worn with hanbok because there is no pocket in hanbok. During Joseon Era, royal family send a bag which has roasted beans wrapped in red paper to their relative as new year gift. It believe that it guard against evil spirits and bring blessings.  

Korean Embroidery Spoon Case.

 Dangui (당의) Royal Court Hanbok (top).
Norigae, Tiger claw Norigae, Pendant with Parfume case
and 3-part Norigae (bottom left to right).

This hanbok is daily wear for women in royal court. Other women would wear this when they visited the court or attended special ceremonies. 

Unhyeongung Dangui (당의) Royal Court Hanbok Dress |
Please check my previous post about Dangui Hanbok at Unhyeonggung Palace.

Norigae (노리개) was originally referred to 'pretty and playful object.'

Norigae's a typical traditional accessory for hanbok that attached to jeogori goreum (coat strings) or chima (skirt). Previously designs, size and material of norigae showing the social status of the wearer. The motifs of the main ornament of the norigae were usually auspicious characters.

Norigaes were not only decorative but function as good luck charm. Norigae with tiger claw is said to protect the wearer from animals like snake, bells were believed to chase away evil spirits. Duckssymbolized the love and harmony. 

Some women used their main ornament as perfume case, used as a needle case which was considered as a feminine virtue. In Sageuk drama, some attached 'jangdo' ornamental knife to their norigae. The material used to make jangdo is silver (eunjangdo) or gold (geumjangdo) with steel blade. Women used jangdo for self-defense. When women wore jang they had a breast-tie, called paedo and pocket called nangdo. 

Three-part norigae was the most elaborate and embodied harmony among heaven, eart and human. However, one part norigae was more suitable for daily use. 

The saekdongot is a type of hanbok with colorful stripes sleeves. 

The name literally means 'rainbow-coloured (saekdong)  cloth (ot)' in Korean. Saekdong was usually worn by children from the age of one to seven year old during Lunar New Year, Dano Day and their first birthday.

The sleeves consisted of five colors which representing five cardinal directions (obang): East (blue-green), West (white), South (red), North (black), Center (yellow). This combination represented harmony and believed to have protective powers for blessing the child with health, long life and good luck. Saekdong sleeves has been used throughout hanbok such as jeogori (a short jacket), magoja (a buttoned jacket), durumagi (overcoat), wedding robes and ritual dress of shamans.

 Queen for 5 minutes 5분의왕비 at KTO Hanbok Experience Booth.

Sportif Soohorang is ready for 2018 Pyeongchang 
Winter Olympics Games, how about you?

Please click here for more information on Pyeongchang, Soohorang and Bandabi...

There are many more interesting treasures from the National Museum of Korea and the National Palace Museum in Seoul that you might not want to miss them. It's the first time they exhibiting them in Singapore, so why not take a glimpse into traditional culture of Korea of 500 years long history right here at Asian Civilisations Museum.