Majestic Ceremony: Royal Court Paintings of the Joseon Dynasty

Wednesday, May 31 ~ Thursday, August 31, 2017

Korean Cultural Center NY Sarangbang (사랑방) Special Installation
(460 Park Ave., 6th Floor, New York, NY)

Opening Reception: Wednesday, May 31 at 6-8pm

Korean Cultural Center New York is pleased to present Majestic Ceremony: Royal Court Paintings of the Joseon Dynasty featuring three paintings by Chee Seok Hwang who is a master of depicting the Joseon Dynasty court paintings. 

The artworks will be displayed in the unique Sarangbang space at the Korean Cultural Center New York, a reproduction of a room that is one of the most representative living spaces of Joseon Dynasty traditional homes; the room holds the ideas and values of the period. 

Hwang inherited and developed the traditional techniques of royal court paintings and of the  ‘Uigwe,’ the Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea (1392-1910). The Uigwe is a massive collection of 3,895 books composed with detailed illustrations and texts of various royal ceremonies and rituals such as weddings, coronations, funerals, and even architectural paintings of the palaces and the city. Cheoljonggaryebanchado (King Cheoljong’s Royal Wedding Procession), Suwon Hwaseong Seojangdae Yajodo (Military Training Executed at Seojangdae, the West Command Post), and Irworobongdo (Single Panel Screen of the Sun, Moon and Five Peaks) will be in display to show the ideologies and cosmological studies of Joseon dynasty.

As a dynasty with strong Confucian values, these graphically depicted records were made to pass down the principles, traditions, and cultural heritage to the next generations. Because of its importance as a cultural and historical archive, the collection was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 2007.

Realizing the importance of transmitting this legacy, Hwang has devoted her efforts in recreating these paintings to utmost precision. Through painstaking research and meeting with foremost experts, she found the exact pigments used in the original paintings and learned how to make traditional scrolls and foldings. According to her, “‘tradition’ requires more endeavor than creation” and treats each work as if she were reenacting a ritual.

Chee Seok Hwang received her B.A. at Ewha Women’s University, M.A. at Yonsei University, and Ph.D. in Education at Sejong University. Her works have been widely displayed in various institutions such as the Zanabazar Arts Museum, Mongolia; National Moogang Museum, China; National Ueno Park Gallery, Japan; and Athene National Art Gallery, Greece. Numerous awards for her outstanding works include, but not limited to UN Administration Grand Prix from Seoul Metropolitan Government, Congeniality Award from the 23rd and 28th Korea Traditional Art Promotion, and Special Selection Award from the 39th Korea Annual Traditional Handicraft Arts Competition. She is also working as the head of Joseon Dynasty Royal Culture Research Center.  

Miro Yoon