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Exhibition presents modern masterpieces of Joseon-era porcelain, headgear

Vestige Blue-White collection by Kim Deok-ho (Yeol Korean Heritage Preservation Society)
Vestige Blue-White collection by Kim Deok-ho (Yeol Korean Heritage Preservation Society)

The Yeol Korean Heritage Preservation Society, a private organization dedicated to promoting Korean aesthetics and cultural heritage, will showcase pieces created by two artisans -- “gat” master Jung Choon-mo and ceramicist Kim Deok-ho.

The exhibition “Lines/Layers” will open Dec. 1 at Yeol Bukchonga in central Seoul as part of the organization’s annual year-end showcasing of works by the winners of the Yeol Artisan of the Year and Yeol Young Craftsman of the Year awards, who were selected at the end of last year.

Established in 2013, the Yeol Artisan of the Year award recognizes a master artisan who has contributed to the preservation of Korean craft culture. This year’s winner, Jung Choon-mo, specializes in gat -- the traditional headgear made of horsehair and bamboo worn mainly by “yangban,” or the gentry class of the Joseon era (1392-1910).

Gat master Jung Choon-mo (Yeol Korean Heritage Preservation Society)
Gat master Jung Choon-mo (Yeol Korean Heritage Preservation Society)

Jung, who has been designated as the holder of National Intangible Cultural Heritage No. 4, is one of the few masters of gat today, having devoted nearly 50 years of his life to keeping the craft tradition alive.

Past recipients of the Yeol Artisan of the Year award include Lim Keum-hee, master of “dahoe” and “mangsu,” hand-woven decorations used for fashion and ceremonial purposes in the Joseon era; metal craft masters Kim Jong-hun, Heo Dae-chun and Ahn Yi-hwan; and Yoon Gyu-sang, a master of paper umbrellas.

The Yeol Young Craftsman of the Year -- which is given to promising young craftspeople who have developed new perspectives on traditional crafts -- was awarded to ceramicist Kim Deok-ho, who creates modern works of “baekja,” or white porcelain from the Joseon era.

The exhibition “Lines/Layers” is sponsored by Van Cleef & Arpels and will run through Jan. 15. Reservations are required due to the pandemic and can be made at (02)735-5878 or info@yeol.org.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)

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