[KS] rice images on Korean ceramics

Jungmann, Burglind jungmann at humnet.ucla.edu
Mon Apr 29 13:30:32 EDT 2002

There are also a few paintings by 18th and 19th century artists, for
instance, a farmer plugging the field by Yun TusO, and by Kim Hongdo, on a
screen dated 1778  (National Museum of Korea in Seoul) "Threshing Grains",
and in another genre screen by the same painter (undated, same museum)
"Wedding a Rice Paddy", and "Plowing." I suspect that more albums in the
tradition of "plowing and weaving" must have been painted by court artists,
too. The "ChosOn wangjo sillok" should give information on that.
Burglind Jungmann.

-----Original Message-----
From: Vladimir Tikhonov [mailto:vladimir.tikhonov at east.uio.no]
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2002 2:08 AM
To: Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
Subject: Re: [KS] rice images on Korean ceramics

There is an accepted theory in Korean archeology that the picture on the
famous "Nonggyeongmun Ch'eongtonggi" ("A bronze vessel with
Agriculture-related design"; dated usually as bronze age artefact) depicting
a man (genitalia emphasized) with something resembling a hoe in hands, is
actually about either agriculture or some agriculture-related ritual. You
may view the object on National Museum's website.

V. Tikhonov 

At 16:23 24.04.2002 -0700, you wrote:

Dear List Members,
is there anyone out there (best would be curators and art historians), who
has any idea why there seems to be a total ABSENCE of rice motifs on Korean
ceramics (incl. celadons, onggis, fine wares) of all(?) of Korea's historic
periods. Artists depict all kinds of things but never rice nor any
references to rice, rice paddies, or harvest celebrations. Of course, there
are countless idiomatic references to rice in Hangul with many indications
of the importance of rice in Korean life (and even death).
I do suspect a cultural taboo, perhaps because of the enormous "life force"
believed to be contained in rice, but haven't been able to figure out where
such a taboo would have to come from. Why this important omission, why the
taboo, why is there no indication through the literature or oral
traditions. Or is there?
Your comments and the passing on of the problem to pertinent sources will
be greatly appreciated.
Mike Reinschmidt

Vladimir Tikhonov,
Department of East European and Oriental Studies,
Faculty of Arts,
University of Oslo,
P.b. 1030, Blindern, 0315, Oslo, Norway.
Fax: 47-22854140; Tel: 47-22857118


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