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Essential Korean Art: From Prehistory to the Joseon Period
Price per Unit (piece): KRW 30,000
USD 22.65
Author: Youngdae
Publisher: HYEONAMSA
Pub. Date: Nov. 2004
Pages: 420
Cover: Softcover
Dimensions (in inches): 8.82 x 6.02 x 1.14
ISBN: 9788932312590
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To make foreigners feel close to Korean fine art, a seemingly remote and sometimes difficult art form, appears to be a daunting task. However, in "Essential Korean Art," the author Park Young-dae succeeds in accomplishing that mission through sympathetic and entertaining portrayals of old arts. Park, also a painter himself, successfully enlivens human struggles and accomplishments of old masters, without getting lost in the technical descriptions burdensome to a layperson. The simple and lurid explanations of Buddhist and Confucian concepts make the art more understandable and meaningful. This book successfully conveys a portrait of Korean graphic art and in doing so gives the reader a feeling for Korean culture and history not found in ordinary histories. This visually attractive and interesting-to-read book is filled with stories about the artists and their milieu, and discusses the settings and techniques used in the works as well as how the art reflects the character of the artist and the artist's world. Although the original text was intended for Korean readers, the author introduces complex aspects of Korea's culture and spirituality so clearly that foreign readers will have no difficulty understanding even if they lack any prior knowledge. Footnotes and a short glossary provide additional background. This book is composed of five parts: "Clear and Serene Light" (dealing with arts from ancient Korea to Goryeo Dynasty); "Records of Life and Dreams" (early Joseon period); "A Bright and Magnanimous Mind" (mid-Joseon period); "Charm and Taste of Joseon"; and "The Depth and Profundity of Paintings" (both later Joseon period). The lion's share of the cultural relics introduced in this book is taken by those collections by the National Museum of Korea. The book also does justice to the originality and beauty of Korean classical art, which has long been hidden in the shadows of its Chinese influence and modification by Japanese neighbors.

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