[KS] Koreanstudies Digest, Vol 147, Issue 10

Ji-Hyun Lee arts.jhlee at gmail.com
Wed Sep 16 23:26:21 EDT 2015

Re: art history question (Ji-Hyun Lee, a Thai ceramic box in Gunsan Univ.)

Andrew's inquiry and mentioning of Thai ceramic just triggered my old
memory of two interesting Thai pieces back in 2008. While conducting my
research on Buncheong ceramic for my MA dissertation, I spotted two
Ayutayan (1350-1767) iron-underglazed boxes in collection of the Gunsan
University Museum, Gunsandae 289, 290, and 291, labled as "Iron underglazed
buncheong ware."

I reported these pieces to the Museum curator and asked for their detailed
provenances, but have not heard much from him since and these items are
still labeled intact in the Gimhae Buncheong DB. I believe these are
probably not purchased items but excavates from the coastal area, because
the surfaces are heavily worn out and the museum is not likely to pay much
for such enigmatic pieces. Would they possibly have been lost properties
of a SE Asian marine dispatched to Joseon via Ming China?

- Ji-Hyun

2015-09-15 1:00 GMT+09:00 <koreanstudies-request at koreanstudies.com>:

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> <<------------ KoreanStudies mailing list DIGEST ------------>>
> Today's Topics:
>    1. Re: art history question (Youngsook Pak)
> ---------- 전달된 메시지 ----------
> From: Youngsook Pak <yp at soas.ac.uk>
> To: Korean Studies Discussion List <koreanstudies at koreanstudies.com>
> Cc:
> Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2015 23:16:46 +0100
> Subject: Re: [KS] art history question
> Dear Mr. Zatouchi,
> Lotus is a universal symbol of sun, even birth and death, in ancient
> Egypt, Greece, and Hindism, long before it became the central motif in
> Buddhist art.
> Youngsook Pak
> (Professor of Korean Art History)
> On 11 September 2015 at 09:55, Andrew <zatouichi at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Dear Maya and Soyoung,
>> Thanks for your responses.
>> I understand Maya's points on comparative methodology and do not mean to
>> imply any hyperdiffusion theory or direct contact between Korea and ancient
>> Greece. To my knowledge, Three Kingdoms and earlier earthenware do not have
>> the lotus or cloud/wave designs but I assume some Chinese (southern or
>> northern?) ceramics contemporary to the introduction of celadon to Goryeo,
>> must have - (or are they found on bronzes?)
>> I find it hard to believe the ancient Mediterranean patterning is a
>> coincidence; some of the items have the 'lotus petals' around the base and
>> neck, and geometric cloud/wave just below the neck, very similar to the
>> convention on medieval maebyeong. What I hope art historians might have
>> common knowledge of is whether this design is found in India or the Middle
>> East and which direction it might have traveled.
>> Is there concrete evidence that the lotus petals have always been lotus
>> petals, or could it have been a reinterpretation of an existing
>> conventional design? The same pattern could take on new interpretations
>> according to local culture (as e.g. the reinterpretation of Buddhist
>> symbols by Confucian literati {or were they still culturally Buddhist?})
>> Separately, in Thailand I've seen very high quality celadons, with
>> iron-ore painted fish designs similar to the fish on *buncheong-sagi*. I
>> always wonder about the fish on early Joseon *buncheong* because they
>> are absent from the preceding Goryeo celadon.
>> sincerely
>> Andrew
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