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Powerhouse Museum Opens Korean Treasures and the Spirit of Jang-in

The Powerhouse Museum presents Korean Treasures and the Spirit of Jang-in on view 28 October 2011 – 12 February 2012.

This stunning exhibition, supported by the Korean government, celebrates “Year of Friendship’ between Australia and the Republic of Korea, marking 50 years of bilateral relations. As Australia’s fourth largest trading partner, Korea also occupies a pivotal position in East Asia both politically and culturally.

Cloisonné hair pin with bamboo and plum flower design, Joseon (1392-1910), collection of the National Museum of Korea

Metal is a fundamental material used in everyday Korean life and has been chosen as the focus for this exhibition representative of Australia-Korean relations, with iron being one of Australia’s largest exports to Korea.

Korea is a nation with a dramatic history and rich tradition. Today, Korea is a vibrant and dynamic nation known for its superior IT industry, its exquisite design aesthetic and the well known ‘Korean Wave’ – spread of Korean culture across the globe. We are delighted to host a Spirit of jang-in exhibition, celebrating the life and culture of our neighbouring country,” said Dr Dawn Casey, Director, Powerhouse Museum.

This stunning exhibition celebrating superior metal craftsmanship, takes you on a journey from the Korean Bronze Age to today with jang-in or artisans who devoted their lives to mastering their skills.

Excite your imagination and spirituality through this exhibition which has 163 exquisite objects including the 10 Korean national treasures and works by three Korean living national treasures. Mood-changing graphics, music and aromas evoke the Korean environment that influenced jang-in’s (craftsmen’s) creations. One of the highlights of the exhibition is the Silla crown, belt and crown ornament set from Cheonmachong (Tomb of Heavenly Horse) which will be on display for the first time outside of Korea.

“Metal has been chosen as the linking material thread for this exhibition as it is used as a medium for telling stories of Korean history and culture. Spirit of Jang-in, (essence of the Korean artisans), was chosen as the conceptual thread to introduce the aesthetic sensibilities of Korea. Together they weave an expressive narrative of a rich cultural heritage,” said Min-Jung Kim, Curator, Powerhouse Museum.

Spirit of jang-in: treasures of Korean metal craft exhibition takes visitors through a journey in nine sections:-

– Metal craft beginning (Korean Bronze age, 1000BCE-200CE)
– Kingdoms of gold (Power of royal authority during the three Kingdoms period, 57BCE-935CE)
– Land of prayers (Spread of Buddhism, 668-1392)
– Tales from the land of morning calm (Iconography, symbolism and design, 668-1910)
– Poetry of daily life (Objects used in daily life, 668-1910)
– Time of pain (Japanese occupation and Korean War, 1910-1953)
– Lost and found (Lost tradition and revival, 1953-present)
– Contemporary creative spirit (Works by contemporary artists)
– A new home (Works by Korean-Australian artists)

Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street Ultimo, PO Box K346 Haymarket, Sydney NSW 1238, Australia
Telephone: (02) 9217 0111

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