The Diamond Mountains—perhaps the most famous and emotionally resonant site on the Korean peninsula—is the theme of this international loan exhibition. Though the region has inspired cultural pride since ancient times, its location in what is today North Korea has kept it largely inaccessible in modern times. Featuring nearly thirty works—from delicately painted scrolls and screens to monumental modern and contemporary art—the exhibition presents the visual imagery of this iconic site from the eighteenth century to the present. Among the highlights is a designated Treasure from the National Museum of Korea: an album by Jeong Seon (1676–1759), who revolutionized Korean painting. Most of the objects on view have never before been displayed in the United States.
The exhibition is part of a celebration marking the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of The Met's Arts of Korea Gallery. The exhibition's opening month also coincides with South Korea's hosting of the Winter Olympics Games in Pyeongchang.
"A melancholy beauty of a show ... flabbergasting loans" — The New York Times
The exhibition is made possible by The Met's collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea (MCST) and the National Museum of Korea (NMK).
Support for the publication is provided by MCST and The Kun-Hee Lee Fund for Korean Art.
View an album of ink paintings on silk by the nineteenth-century painter Kim Hajong.
Read an interview on Now at The Met: "Diamond Mountains: A Conversation with Curator Soyoung Lee."
In this blog post, Curator Soyoung Lee highlights two contemporary paintings on view in this exhibition by Shin Jangshik, whose panoramic painting of the mountains served as a backdrop at the recent Korean leaders summit. Lee also discusses the Diamond Mountains as a potential symbol of reunification on the peninsula in a Fox5 News segment.
Jeong Seon (Korean, 1676–1759). Mount Geumgang Viewed from Danbal Ridge, leaf from the Album of Mount Geumgang, 1711. Ink and light color on silk, 14 1/4 x 14 7/8 in. (36.1 x 37.6 cm). National Museum of Korea, Seoul, Treasure No. 1875