Wisdom of Old Artisans Come into Life

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Wisdom of Old Artisans Come into Life

Wooden furnitures are considered one of the most authentic works of art in Korean art history. The craft demonstrates a fundamental notion in Eastern philosophy, which is to rule a harmony with nature, and allow the natural shape of the wood to show through as an important factor in design.

What is particularly apparent about these antique furnitures is the fact that they use "grains" of the wood as a decoration. The ones that were made during the late Chosun dynasty are one example.

Since most of the works introduced during the period were custom made, when viewing these artworks one can easily pick up the clients' preferences and the old masters' exquisite craftsmanship.

Starting tomorrow through December 31st at the Hoam Art Museum an exhibition entitled 'Aesthetics of Korean Wooden Furnitures' will provide a rare opportunity to view a diverse range of masterpieces of Korean crafts in one show.

The items displayed feature 58 pieces of traditional wooden furnitures and crafts, which include writing tables, shelves, pencil cases, and closets. It is one of the two themed exhibitions taking place in the Hoam museum annually.

The museum stresses that the works were selected among those having the most minimal artificial decorations. Instead, the curators preferred designs that emphasized the harmony of lines and planes, especially those allowing for the natural beauty of the materials.

Made suitable for scholars, who are usually the owners of Sarangbang furnitures used for the bachelor's room, they are moderate and simple in their design.

Meanwhile, furnitures used for the master bedroom, such as closets and dressing tables, are intricate and elegantly made. Though these furnitures may not be eye-catching, or may even appear shabby to some viewers, the works are known to reflect the social background and artist's subjective point of view.

Most of the works featured in the exhibition are low in height, since
the people in the old days spent more time sitting around in an Ondol room-a room with a heated floor.

They also eliminated the use of nails, but instead applied a natural technique of gearing for even the smallest parts.

When viewing these artworks, it may be helpful to look for how the planes are proportioned and the grains and patterns used.

For more information call 031-320-1801.

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