by John-Michael Poon
From ceramics to porcelain and from calligraphy to painting, the beauty of Korean culture and art is renowned for its simple aesthetic and pureness of form. The ROM has been a long-time steward of an impressive collection of works from Korea. Now, thanks to a partnership with the National Museum of Korea (NMK), visitors to the ROM have an even better opportunity to appreciate these exceptional works.
On Friday, April 26th, the Royal Ontario Museum officially opened our newly renovated Gallery of Korea at a special reception. Many dignitaries and guests joined us to celebrate the occasion, including Ms. Kim Youngna, Director of the National Museum of Korea, Mr. Chung Kwang-kyun, the Consul General of Korea in Toronto and numerous representatives from the Korean Canadian Cultural Association and the Canadian Association for the Recognition and Appreciation for Korean Arts.
Located on the Museum’s first floor in the Asian suite of galleries, the Gallery of Korea renovation was supported by a generous gift from the NMK. Among the additions to the display are 10 new works of contemporary ceramic and a video installation documenting the work of master ceramic potter Kim Jeong-ok. In addition, a unique time line of Korean history was added, featuring touchable replica artifacts from the ROM’s collection, ranging from the Bronze Age (1000-300 BCE) to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).
The improvements to the gallery will offer visitors an opportunity to learn about and enjoy more than 250 objects from the ROM’s collection, considered one of the finest collections of Korean art and artifacts in the Western Hemisphere.