What was the role of portraiture in establishing identity and legacy in the Joseon dynasty? How do contemporary portraits navigate the boundary between the individual and the collective? Find out in this thought-provoking exhibition, which explores the deep history of portraiture in Korean culture.
Rare ink-on-paper drafts of portraits of Bunmu (renowned military) meritorious officials form the core of Likeness and Legacy in Korean Portraiture. The exhibition shares discoveries about these works that came to light during a 2012 conservation and subsequent study, including new findings about portraiture and artistic processes during the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910).
The exhibition pairs these draft portraits on paper with a selection of finished paintings on silk and contemporary approaches to portraiture by Korean and Korean American artists. Photo-based, mixed-media, and video works by Korean artists Do Ho Suh and Yun Suknam, as well as Korean Americans Ahree Lee and Young June Lew, raise issues of conformity, group identity, and gender in the information age.
Image: Draft portrait of Lee Sam (detail), 1751. Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392–1910). Ink on colors on paper. Asian Art Museum, Gift of Arthur J. McTaggart, 1992.203.d. Photograph © Asian Art Museum.