France has been celebrating Korean culture as part of a year-long cultural exchange programme which started last September.
This cultural exchange programme marks the 130th anniversary of diplomatic relations with the Land of Morning Calm. Throughout France, concerts, performances and retrospectives have been organised.
In Nice, not one, but three exhibits are being held at the Musée Départemental des Arts Asiatiques this summer, entitled ‘Saison coréenne’ (Korean season).
Kokdu, compagnon de l’âme
The first exhibition, “Kokdu, compagnon de l’âme” (Kokdu, Companion of the Soul) focuses on those small wooden-caved figurines so popular in South Korea. Used to decorate biers, the purpose of the Kokdu was to accompany the deceased into the next world, making their final journey as pleasant as possible, and to cheer up the loved-ones left behind. Among the preserved Kokdu sculptures, one can find aristocrats, soldiers, acrobats, monks, and servants, depending on the role the deceased played in society, while the afterlife is represented by dragons and the Phoenix.
Intérieur coréen, œuvres d’In-sook Son
Running concurrently, the exhibition “Intérieur coréen, œuvres d’In-sook Son” (Korean Interiors, the Works of In-sook Son) pays tribute to the skills and know-how of In-sook Son, shown for the very first time outside of South Korea. Revisiting traditional embroidery techniques with a modern approach, this contemporary artist has created pieces that include many different genres, from hanbok (traditional costumes) and pojagi (wrapping textiles) to folding screens and furniture.
Apesanteur enchantée, œuvres de Seund Ja Rhee
Finally, “Apesanteur enchantée, œuvres de Seund Ja Rhee” (Enchanted weightlessness, the works of Sund Ja Rhee) presents the unique creations of Seund Ja Rhee. She is a South Korean painter, printmaker and ceramist who moved to the Tourette-sur-Loup in 1958 where she built the “Milky Way”, a large atelier and exhibition room. In partnership with the Seund Ja Rhee institution and the Mediterranean Union for Modern Art, this exhibit offers a glimpse of this artist’s prolific artworks with many paintings, engravings, ceramics and bronzes on display.
Apesanteur enchantée, œuvres de Seund Ja Rhee runs until the 12th of September. Kokdu, compagnon de l’âme and Intérieur coréen, œuvres d’In-Sook Son both run until the 7th of November.
The museum is open daily from 10am to 6pm (5pm after the 16th of October), and closed Tuesdays.
Tel: +33 4 92 29 37 00
Lead image courtesy Kokdu Museum, Seoul; all other images courtesy Musée des Arts Asiatiques