Press release

Diamond Mountains:
Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art

Diamond Mountains: Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art

Exhibition Dates:  February 7–May 20, 2018
Exhibition Location:  The Met Fifth Avenue, Arts of Korea Gallery, Gallery 233
Press Preview:  Tuesday, February 6, 10 am–12 pm


The Diamond Mountains—perhaps the most iconic and emotionally resonant site on the Korean peninsula—is the theme of an international loan exhibition that will open at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on February 6, 2018. Though the region has inspired cultural pride since ancient times, its present location in North Korea has kept it largely inaccessible in modern times. Featuring nearly 30 landscape paintings from the 18th century to the present—from delicately painted scrolls and screens to monumental modern and contemporary artworks—Diamond Mountains: Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art will present the visual imagery of this emblematic site. The highlight of the exhibition will be an exquisite early 18th-century album—a designated Treasure from the National Museum of Korea—by the master painter Jeong Seon (1676–1759), who revolutionized Korean painting by breaking with conventional generic imagery and depicting native scenery. The exhibition is the first in the West on this important subject, and most of the works have never before been displayed in the United States.

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).

Diamond Mountains is part of a celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of The Met’s Arts of Korea Gallery, and the opening coincides with the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The exhibition will also include works by renowned painters such as Kim Hajong (1793-?) and Sin Hakgwon (1785-1866).

Diamond Mountains: Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.

Support for the catalogue is provided by MCST and The Kun-Hee Lee Fund for Korean Art.

The exhibition is organized by Soyoung Lee, Curator in the Department of Asian Art at The Met.

The exhibition will be featured on The Met website, and also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #MetDiamondMountains.




Updated February 8, 2018

Image: Jeong Seon. Mount Geumgang Viewed from Danbal Ridge, leaf from the Album of Mount Geumgang, 1711. Ink and light color on silk. National Museum of Korea, Seoul, Treasure no. 1875

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