An Enhanced Gallery of Korea at the ROM

Revitalized gallery highlights the remarkable legacy of Korea’s history and art

Porcelain bowl with cobalt blue decoration under a transparent glaze.   1998 Kim Jeong-ok (1941–)   999.15.1    Gift of the artist(Toronto, Ontario – April 26, 2013) The newly renovated Gallery of Korea was unveiled in a reception held today at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM).  The special event, hosted by the ROM’s Director & CEO Janet Carding, was attended by representatives of the National Museum of Korea, the Consulate General of Korea in Toronto, the National Museum of Korea, the Consulate General of Korea in Toronto, and members of C.A.R.A.K.A (Canadian Association for the Recognition and Appreciation for Korean Arts). This project has been financially supported by the National Museum of Korea.

At the event, in acknowledging the contributions to the Gallery, Janet Carding said, “On behalf of the ROM and its visitors, we’re grateful for your generosity which has allowed us to improve our presentation of Korea’s remarkable legacy of history and art. We are glad you are with us today so that you may experience the impressive results.”

In response, Kim Youngna, Director of the National Museum of Korea, stated, “With this renovation as a catalyst, the National Museum of Korea and the ROM will continue to develop and strengthen our collaboration. We are pleased that this newly invigorated gallery will allow for a deeper understanding and even greater interest in Korean culture in Canada.”

Chung Kwang-kyun, Consul General of Korea, expressed, "On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Canada and the 'Year of Korea' in Canada in 2013, I am pleased that the Gallery of Korea is newly reopened. I am proud that the Consulate General has played a bridge role in this venture and I sincerely hope that the Gallery of Korea will provide ROM visitors the valuable opportunity to appreciate Korean culture and beauty"

The Gallery of Korea, located on Level 1 in the Museum’s historic Philosophers’ Walk building, showcases over 250 exceptional objects and represents one of the finest collections of Korean artworks and cultural objects in the West.  Among its array of objects is furniture, paintings, printing technology, and decorative arts. The assemblage conveys the long history of Korea’s material and visual culture.

The ROM is pleased to be able to make enhancements to the Gallery t o better reflect the quality of the collections and to provide greater historical context to them. While the ROM’s comprehensive collection of Korean ceramics, dating from the 1st century BCE to modern times, has always been a focal point in the Gallery, a display of stunning contemporary ceramics has now been installed. Featuring the works of 10 renowned artists, the display is vividly complemented by a video installation documenting the work and legacy of the esteemed Master Potter Kim Jeong-ok.  These newly added ceramics are of particular appeal for Dr. Christina Hee-Yeon Han, the Gallery of Korea’s Curatorial Consultant and Research Associate at the ROM.

Another new element is an enlightening historical timeline of Korean history, located near the Gallery’s new entrance. The objects depicted in the timeline are sourced from the collections of the ROM and the National Museum of Korea. Creating a more interactive experience, and continuing the ROM's award-winning commitment to accessibility for all visitors, this timeline wall includes touchable reproductions of a number of the Gallery’s key objects from the Bronze Age (1000-300 BCE) to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). These are accompanied by Braille labels in English and French.

The ROM looks forward to introducing more visitors to the vibrancy of Korea because of these gallery enhancements, and is grateful for the generous support of the National Museum of Korea and the Consulate General of Korea in Toronto for making this possible.

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