April 20, 2006:

[achtung! kunst] *exhibition* : Seoul Calligraphy Art Museum: "Terauchi Collection"

The Korea Times, 04/14/06
Meeting With Returned Treasures
Masatake Terauchi's Collection of Choson Arts Will Go on Exhibit
By Kim Tae-jong

[image] “Nakpa Pilhi,” an illustrated poem by Yi Gyong-yun (1545-1611),
will be displayed for the first time in Seoul at the “Terauchi
Collection” exhibition. /Courtesy of Seoul Calligraphy Art Museum

A substantial number of South Korea's historically valuable cultural
treasures are now preserved in many other countries. The assets were
either stolen by those from great powers or simply taken away by many
foreign collectors.

Fortunately, some of the properties have been returned, and an upcoming
exhibition will display some 100 pieces of artistic works returned home
from Japan 10 years ago.

Titled ``Terauchi Collection,'' the exhibition will present paintings,
calligraphies and a collection of poems from the Choson Kingdom, which
were originally collected and taken to Japan by Terauchi Masatake
(1852-1919), the first Japanese resident governor general during the
Japanese colonial rule here. The exhibits will be on display from April
25 to June 11 at Seoul Calligraphy Art Museum in southern Seoul.

Most of the general's collections were carefully preserved in the form
of books in his private library and passed down to his descendants, and
they were later exhibited and preserved at Yamaguchi University. And
some of them were donated to South Korea's Kyunnam University, South
Kyongsang Province 10 years ago.

Right after their return in 1996, some of them were showcased at an
exhibition in 1996 yet without a proper examination of their historical
values. But, after 10 years of study on their value, the items will be
shown to public.

``The pieces are so precious given their rarity,'' said Ahn Hwi-joon,
chairman of National Committee for Cultural Properties, during a news
conference held Wednesday at Seoul Calligraphy Art Museum. ``Especially
as they are great sources and materials for the study of Choson's

Given that many efforts by the government and private sectors to return
the nation's cultural properties from abroad have failed, the exhibition
is also meaningful as it is the most successful restoration, Ahn said.

[images] Clockwise from teh right top photo: Chong Son's (1676-1759)
"Hangangdokchodo" is believed to be teh oldest surviving work by the
painter; An early work by famous calligrapher Kim Chong-hui (1786-1856);
The painting "Chundangdaesasondo" records the history of King Yongjo
(1694-1776) celebrating the completion of Chonggye Stream in 1770 at
Changdok Palace. /Courtesy of Seoul Calligraphy Art Museum

The items at the exhibition include the works by Yi Gyong-yun
(1545-1611), who only existed in history books with brief explanations.
Known by his penname Nakpa, Yi was a member of royal family but led the
life of a painter. Historical records say his works had an great
influence on contemporary artists but none of his works were available
until the restoration.

His painting with a poem titled ``Nakpa Pilhi,'' where a scholar riding
a donkey deeply concentrates on poetic sentiments, shows the
contemporary painting style with its strong strokes, Ahn said.

Other exhibited items also include the nation's most renowned scholars'
works and paintings such as Kim Chong-hui (1786-1856), Chong Son
(1676-1759) and So Kyong-dok (1489-1546).

Jung Sun's ``Hankangdokjodo'' at the exhibition is believed to the
oldest surviving work by the painter, and Kim Chong-hui's calligraphic
work shows the early stage of his works before he invented ``Chusa
Style'' following his penname.

Visitors can also see several paintings recording historical events such
as ``Chundangdaeyonghwadangsisahusasondo,'' where King Yongjo
(1694-1776) celebrated the completion of Chunggye Stream in central
Seoul at Changdok Place with his government officials.




with kind regards,

Matthias Arnold (Art-Eastasia list)



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