This installation, drawn entirely from the permanent collection and ranging from the fourth century B.C. to today, explores multifaceted depictions of nature in Korean art. The display shows how select motifs, especially plants and animals, have been illustrated on ceramics, painting, sculpture, lacquer, and textiles, and what they mean. Some types of images and symbols are nearly universal across East Asia; others are specific to Korea. One section of the exhibit demonstrates a Korean penchant for abstraction and for amplifying the qualities of natural materials or distilling form and color.
Patchwork wrapping cloth (jogakbo), ca. 1950–80. Silk; 24 x 24 in. (61 x 61 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 2007 (2007.152)