People of Gaya Confederacy and Silla Kingdom in the Three Kingdom Period
1,500 years ago, used various kinds of mugs. It is said that in the history of human
civilization, there are only a few nations that made and used various kinds of mugs
with handles as Gaya and Silla did. It is presumed that the mugs with handles were
used for drinking beverages or tea, and these ritual vessels deliver both Gaya
Confederacy and Silla Dynasty already had developed ritual and drinking culture at an early stage.
The mug has a variety of colors ranging from grayish blue to black and brown,
and bear exquisite beauty and design with concise and elegant shapes and agile lines;
especially the shape of different handles made by craftsman’s subtle touch, shows a
unique and outstanding individuality. One could see such as waves of water, the origin
of the world's creation and symbolizing immortality, and patterns of clouds on the surface
of the mug. Such iconography is exceptionally sensuous and minimal so they remind us
of looking at contemporary abstract paintings.
Understnding these Gaya and Silla mugs is essential in tracing the origins of Korean culture
and art. They are not only a significant relic and legacy reflective of the original form and beauty,
but also an elegant objet with contemporary sendse of beauty and taste.
The exhibition aims to re-examine the neglected artistic value of the Mug with Handle from
Three Kingdom period in Korean history, and was able to happen by putting a great deal of
effort art critic Young-Taek Park collecting the mugs for last ten years.
For a last decade, Gallery Hyundai presented exhibitions showing traditional Korean culture
by exploring artifacts and paintings of Joseon Dynasty such as folk paintings, Chaekgeori,
paintings of flowers and birds, Munjado, traditional furniture and crafts, and received many
compliments internally and abroad.
Indeed, the exhibition, Archaic Beauty - Mugs in Three Kingdoms Period will be a meaningful
exhibition and chance to rediscover the admirable aesthetic of pottery culture of Gaya and Silla.