National Museum of Korea

Today we visited the National Museum of Korea (국립중앙박물관) in Seoul. It is a pretty extensive museum and because of limited time, I only got to see a little bit of the vast amount of material available. It seems better, therefore, to have this post be a photo-log of some pictures I took while I was there rather than a full blog post about the trip.

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The architecture of the museum as a whole is very impressive and contemporary.
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View of the gift shop. I really liked the layout of the geometric glass windows 

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In the middle of the main hall, there is the towering Gyeongcheonsa Ten-Story Pagoda. It was originally built for the Gyeongcheonsa Temple in 1348 (in Gyeonggi-do) but was smuggled to Japan during the Japanese occupation of Korea. In 1906, the pagoda was returned, and is now kept in this museum because outside conditions were too harsh for it. It is Korea’s 86th National Treasure, and also another reflection of the traditional set right in the middle of a modern space, physically speaking. It was a good find, and made the trip to this museum worth it!
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As seen in the museum: Buddhist Hanging Scroll at Bukjangsa Temple | Hakneung, et al. | Joseon Dynasty, 1688, Color on hemp, Bukjangsa Temple (Sangju), Treasure No. 1278.     Description: “Shakyamuni with a halo ornately encircled with flames stands out as the central figure. Surrounding the Buddha are groups of bodhisattvas, guardian deities, and disciples depicted in different sizes according to their degree of importance… Depicting an assembly gathered to listen to the sermon of shakyamuni on Mt. Yeongchwisan…”

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Joyous Party of Guo Ziyi | Anonymous | Joseon Dynasty, 19th Century, Ink and color on silk
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Detail of above.

Looking at the exhibits and especially the art, I definitely was inspired and hope to go back and take a more careful look soon!

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