The National Palace Museum of Korea Presents“Buncheong Bowl with Inscription” as the Curator’s Choice for August
- 15th Century Ceramic Vessel Inlaid with Inscription
to Be Showcased in the Gallery and on YouTube/ Starting August 4.-
The National Palace Museum of Korea (Acting Director: Joen Gi-Sun), an affiliate of the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea, has selected a buncheong bowl with inscription as the “Curator’s Choice from the Royal Treasures” for the month of August. In addition to being showcased in the Royal Court Life gallery on the second floor of the museum, these bowls will be presented virtually in a YouTube broadcast staring August 4.
* National Palace Museum of Korea YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/gogungmuseum
* Cultural Heritage Administration YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/chluvu
This inscribed buncheong bowl was produced in the fifteenth century and characterized by densely stamped rows of circles that are filled with white slip. Its exterior wall is inlaid with the name of its region of production (陜川, Hapcheon) and of the government office for which it was intended (長興庫, Jangheunggo*). This bowl is therefore known as Buncheong Bowl with Stamped Design and Inscription of “陜川”(Hapcheon) and “長興庫” (Jangheunggo). Ceramic vessels inlaid with such inscriptions were widely produced at the time.
* The Jangheunggo was the government office that supplied goods for use in the royal court.
Rulers with different standards were used during the Joseon Dynasty depending on the subject being measured. Rectangular brass rulers were calibrated with five different units of measurement – one side with yegicheok (used for manufacturing objects related to ancestral rites) and jucheok, (for scientific instruments) and the other three sides respectively with hwangjongcheok (for musical instruments), yeongjocheok (for land or construction), and pobaekcheok (for cloth).
In 1417, King Taejong (r. 1401 –1418) issued a decree that all ceramics wares that are paid to the state as a tax must be inscribed with the name of the office of their intended use. This was a measure to combat losses through the theft of court wares. Moreover, wares were inscribed with their production location as a means to help manage and supervise their condition and quality. This bowl is notable in that it is inscribed with Jangheunggo, the major government office responsible for supplying goods to the royal court since the founding of the Joseon Dynasty. In addition to this month’s Curator Choice, other examples of buncheong ware with inscriptions are on display in the gallery. Together, they provide an interesting glimpse into the production and distribution of buncheong ware under the supervision of the government during the early Joseon Dynasty.
The museum may currently be accessed only in accordance with the requirements in place to reduce the potential for the spread of COVID-19. Those who are unable to visit the gallery in person can still enjoy this month’s Curator’s Choice virtually through a video with Korean and English subtitles available on the museum’s website (gogung.go.kr). Our visitors can also see on the YouTube channels of the museum and of the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea.
Division: The National Palace Museum of Korea
Exhibition & Publicity Division
Contact person: Lim Gyeong-hee (02-3701-7631), Lee Ji-hye (02-3701-7634)