Two ducks adrift in swift waters

Home > Culture > Arts & Design

print dictionary print

Two ducks adrift in swift waters


Name: Swimming Ducks

Period: Joseon, 19th century

Hong Se-seop (1832-1884), a scholar-painter, is said to have excelled in paintings of birds and animals. These two hanging scrolls, together with six others, originally seem to have formed an eight-panel screen. In the screen, Hong depicted pairs of ducks, herons, ibis, geese and magpies among reeds, water plants, lowering plums and bamboo. It seems that the birds and their backgrounds were paired to represent the four seasons. Although these same birds have often been featured in traditional Korean paintings of birds and animals, Hong’s use of the boneless method - doing away with outlines or painting the background with ink while leaving the object white - appears new and refreshing. His bold representation of the swiftly flowing water in which the ducks are swimming aptly displays the new sensibilities evident in the last phase of Joseon painting.

*The photos and text for Treasure Trove are provided by the National Museum of Korea. For more information, call (02) 2077-9000 or visit
Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)