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Moon Jar

Contemplations on the Moon Jar

November 18, 2009–May 16, 2010

The Arts of Korea Gallery features an elegant, large-scale work entitled 25 Wishes by the well-known artist Ik-joong Kang (American, b. 1960). Consisting of twenty-five subtly differentiated images of a porcelain moon jar, this multi-panel installation replicates, repeats, and transforms that familiar and iconic Korean art object from the Joseon period (1392-1910). The work also embodies layers of poignant associations from the artist's own life and engages the viewers to visualize their own reveries.

On loan from the artist, 25 Wishes is exhibited alongside a striking installation of porcelains from the Museum's permanent collection, the centerpiece of which is the exquisite eighteenth-century Moon Jar. A set of thirty-four porcelain epitaph tablets (1736) with elegant calligraphy written in cobalt blue is displayed in its entirety for the first time—the presentation echoing the contemporary art installation and transforming the pieces into abstract art. Also making an appearance are two recently acquired minimalist works by the contemporary potter In-chin Lee (b. 1957), as a bookend to the dialogue between the traditional and the new.