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Minhwa: The Beauty of Korean Folk Paintings

Opening Reception Event: Friday, October 4, 2019 at 6 PM
On View: October 4 - 21, 2019
Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C.
2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, D.C.

Join the opening reception, presentation, & workshop on Friday, Oct. 4!

Join us for the opening of Minhwa: The Beauty of Korean Folk Paintings, an exhibition of works by 19 living artists following in the footsteps of an iconic art tradition, in partnership with the Korean Minhwa Center at Keimyung University. This exhibition introduces minhwa, Korea’s traditional folk paintings that depicted people’s tangible hopes and dreams through unconventional yet artistic expressions. Popularized during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897), minhwa are known for their bright colors, humorous depictions, and various virtues embedded symbolically within the imagery. 

Minhwa: The Beauty of Korean Folk Paintings comprises 20 paintings by 19 artists from the Keimyung University Korean Minhwa Center who have followed in the footsteps of traditional minhwa painters of previous centuries. Their work spans a variety of iconic styles and subjects, including flora, fauna, landscapes, iconology, and a traditional study complete with books and stationery. Through a broad sampling of minhwa’s major thematic elements, viewers will encounter this cherished art form in all its glory while also taking a glimpse at the mythology, beliefs and views of the Korean people throughout time. 

The public opening reception event will also include a special introductory presentation by minhwa artist Stephanie S. Lee entitled An Introduction to Minhwa, and a free drop-in art workshop for guests. 

Admission to the opening reception on Friday, October 4 at 6:00 p.m. is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Minhwa: The Beauty of Korean Folk Paintings remains on view through October 21, 2019.
Often the work of untrained, itinerant, anonymous artists, minhwa flourished in the 19th century and were gradually shared among a large segment of the Korean population, especially common people. Minhwa came to represent ordinary people’s freedom of expression, revealing their innermost thoughts and aspirations. Today, minhwa are both an essential part of Korean heritage and rich source material for pop culture and creative design. 

Participating Artists 
Kwon Jungsoon, Kim Miroung, Kim Mijung, Kim Hyekyung, Kim Hyejeong, Park Kyungsook, Park Myeongho, Bae Hyangsuk, Song Kowoon, An Eulsoon, Woo Sukja, Yu Mira, Yoon Misun, Lee Sunghyeon, Lee Sookmi, Lee Younghee, Lee Changhee, Jang Jonghee, and Han Jinhee
Above from top, excluding headline image:Tiger and Magpie by Jungsoon Kwon, Yeonhwado by Jang-Jonghee, unidentified, and unidentified.
Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C.
2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW | Washington, D.C. 20008
munwha15@mofa.go.kr | (202) 939-5688

Hours: Monday - Friday | 9 am-noon & 1-6 pm
closed for US and some Korean national holidays
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Visit the KCC Website
Upcoming, Ongoing, & Local Events
Fall for the Book: Searching For Answers in South Korea
Thursday, October 10, 9:00-10:15 PM
George Mason Univ., Merten Hall, Room 1201 (4441 George Mason Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030)
Livestreamed across continents, Eugenia Kim and Alice Stephens discuss their Korean roots and the ways in which identity and personal experience have shaped their latest novels. Kim’s The Kinship of Secrets tells the story of two sisters separated by half a world and the Korean War, and how their vastly different upbringings affect their identities and their family ties. In Stephens’ debut novel Famous Adopted People, two friends, both Korean adoptees of white parents, search for the answers to their past and must grapple with what their identity means to them. Free. Details & RSVP HERE.

[Exhibition] Portraits of the World: Korea
On View through  Nov. 17, 2019
National Portrait Gallery (8th St NW & F St NW, Washington, DC 20001)
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery's second exhibition in a series dedicated to highlighting the global context of American portraiture features “Mother III”, a pivotal work by pioneering feminist artist Yun Suknam. In this first exhibition to focus on the South Korea-based artist’s work in a U.S. museum, Yun’s wood assemblage will be displayed in conversation with portraits by and of American feminist artists. Free general admission daily; curator-led public tour on Sunday, Jan. 6, at 3 p.m. General details HERE.

[Performance] Bereishit Dance Company
Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 8 PM
The Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Ln. North Bethesda, MD 20852-3385)
Bereishit Dance Company is a groundbreaking Seoul-based company that approaches Korean traditional culture from a contemporary view. Judo and Balance & Imbalance, two of the company’s acclaimed works, are stunning examples of their style that merges the control and full-body excitement of break dance with sleek artistry and urban cool. Complete with live traditional pansori music, Bereishit Dance Company’s extravagant performance reaches the heights of athletic ability fused with beautiful choreography.Details & Tickets HERE.

[Exhibition] Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece
September 21, 2019–March 22, 2020
Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
A single object—a beautiful gilt wood sculpture of Gwaneum, the bodhisattva of compassion and the most popular deity in Korean Buddhism—is the focus of this loan exhibition from the National Museum of Korea. Details HERE.
Check out our quarterly program booklet!

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