2018 travel diary 3 – The Smile of Baekje

10 – 11 November 2018. My trips to Korea are usually preceded by a hurried piece of research on the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) website trying to find out what notable items of tangible or intangible heritage, or what other historic or scenic sites there might be, to attract an inquisitive traveller to the places […]

Exhibition Visit: An Eternal Cycle at Mokspace

In a hectic London Korean exhibition calendar which often seems biased towards installations and video art, we should welcome an exhibition which features well executed paintings which you would happily hang on your wall. Mokspace’s current exhibition, An Eternal Cycle – Paradise and Purgatory, is doubly unusual in featuring Buddhist-inspired paintings. Such work is rarely […]

Rediscovering the Lost Kingdom of Baekje

History, according to the saying, is written by the victors. The unification of the three kingdoms of Korea under Silla in 668 AD solved the problem of constant war in the peninsula, but created a significant problem for modern day historians, in that very little of the culture and heritage of Baekje (BC 18~AD 660) […]

Abstracts: Korean Buddhists Arts of the Koryŏ and Chosŏn Kingdoms

Here are the abstracts for the series of talks on Korean Buddhist arts at SOAS on 19 May 2011: Gyeongwon Choe (Kansas University) Marginalised yet Devoted: Buddhist Paintings Commissioned by Nuns of the Early Joseon Palace Cloisters This lecture examines the three extant Buddhist paintings commissioned by Buddhist nuns in the palace cloisters of the […]

Park Chan-soo gives Buddhist art a new voice

Most classic representations of Buddha, and indeed many items of Buddhist art more generally, are quiet and pensive. As they have come down to us, they are painted in subdued and muted colours, or left in simple undecorated stone or metal. At her lecture at the KCC last week, Park Young-sook pointed out that originally […]