Korean Folk Painting at PAM

Pasadena, CA, August 16, 2011 – Pacific Asia Museum presents the exhibition Auspicious Beauty: Korean Folk Painting in the Focus Gallery from October 7, 2011 to March 25, 2012.illustrates auspicious subjects such as birds and flowers, mythology, characters related to virtues, and scholars’ objects. The exhibition will be divided by these themes, and discuss the meanings of each subject and the patrons who commissioned the works. The dates of the objects range from the mid-16th century to the early 20th century.

This exhibition includes a stunning eight-panel screen of flowers and rocks recently acquired by Pacific Asia Museum. The motif represents wealth and eternity, and would likely have decorated a women’s personal space to fill the household with auspicious meaning. A screen such as this one would have been prepared as a wedding dowry and cherished as a family heirloom for generations.

Minwha, or folk painting, during the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) serves as an entry point to Korean culture, reflecting societal values, religious ideas, and popular humor. Auspicious Beauty introduces popular themes in minwha and illuminates their meanings, functions and patrons. Usually placed in a room in folding screen format or hung on walls in scroll format, this genre illustrates various subjects such as scholars’ equipment, characters related to Confucian virtues, and natural themes such as birds-and-flowers and a range of animals. These minwha not only decorated the rooms of many households but were also understood to bring good luck, ward off evil spirits, and depict moral virtues. In contrast to highly revered literati painting by scholar-gentlemen, minwha received little respect as an art form but continued to enjoy strong support among the growing middle class during periods of political stability.

Left Image: Dragon, Korea, Joseon Dynasty, (1392-1910); 19th century. Paper.
Center Image: Screen of Flowers and Rocks, Korea, Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910); 19th century. Ink and mineral pigments on silk, Pacific Asia Museum Collection, Gift of Dr. Don W. Lee in loving memory of his parents, Lee Bum-Soon and Min Young-Eui.
Right Image: Chaekkori (Scholar’s Items), Korea, Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910); 19th century, Ink and color on paper, Gift of Mr. & Mrs. R. William Johnston.


Related Programs:

Story Time

October 1, 10:30 a.m.

In prepation for Auspicious Beauty: Korean Folk Painting, we feature tales from Korea as part of our ongoing Silk Road Story Time series for families. Includes a craft, snack, balloon and admission to the galleries. Free for members or $10 per family

Korean Arts Council mixer
October 7, 3 p.m.
Enjoy the first day of Auspicious Beauty: Korean Folk Painting as well as a curatorial exploration of two key Korean items in the special exhibition 40 Years of Building the Pacific Asia Museum Collection as part of the Art & Coffee series. After, chat over coffee with others interested in the art and culture of Korea and learn how to get involved in this exciting new museum council

Free Family Festival: Celebrating Korean Arts and Culture
October 23, noon-4 p.m.
Enjoy free admission to all the galleries including featured exhibition Auspicious Beauty: Korean Folk Painting, plus performances, hands-on crafts, demonstrations, and fun activities as we celebrate Korean arts and culture! Co-sponsored by the Museum’s Korean Arts Council

Curator’s Tour
January 28, 2 p.m.
Exhibition curator Yeonsoo Chee leads a tour of Auspicious Beauty: Korean Folk Painting for visitors


About Pacific Asia Museum

Pacific Asia Museum is one of only four institutions in the United States dedicated exclusively to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. The museum’s mission is to further cultural understanding through the arts. Since 1971, Pacific Asia Museum has served a broad audience of students, families, adults and scholars though its education and outreach programs.


Pacific Asia Museum is located at 46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. Museum opens Wednesday through Sunday 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is $9 general, $7 students/seniors, and free for children ages 11 and younger. Admission is free every 4th Friday of the month.

Website: http://www.pacificasiamuseum.org

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