국립중앙박물관 NATIONAL MUSEUM OF KOREA

  • Calligraphy and Painting Wood and Lacquer Crafts
    Wood and Lacquer Crafts

    Introduction

      • From early in history, various wood and lacquer crafts have been produced in Korea, using different types of wood with beautiful grain. Records from Chinese historical texts, corroborated by modern-day excavations of sites from the Korean Bronze Age, confirm that wood and lacquer crafts were being produced and used in the Korean peninsula as early as 3,000 years ago.
      • Woodcraft of the Joseon period (1392-1910) is renowned for its austere yet sophisticated aesthetics, wherein minimal decoration is added in order to highlight the natural grain of the wood. As in the preceding Goryeo period, lacquerware inlaid with mother-of-pearl was widely produced in Joseon, with the number of users gradually increasing throughout the period. In addition, craftworks made with painted sheets of ox-horn were briskly produced in the late Joseon period. These wood and lacquer crafts manifest the true aesthetics of Korea, characterized not only by elegant beauty, but also by balance and harmony with nature.