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7 / Domestic Life

Grapevine in the Wind
Grapevine in the Wind
Artist / Origin Korean artist
Region: East Asia
Date Chosôn Dynasty, 16th century
Material Ink on silk
Medium: Painting
Dimensions H: 31 ½ in. (80 cm.), W: 15 ¾ in. (40 cm.)
Location The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Credit © The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource, NY

expert perspective

Soyoung LeeAssociate Curator of Asian Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Grapevine in the Wind

» Korean artist

expert perspective

Soyoung Lee Soyoung Lee Associate Curator of Asian Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

In Korean history, and let’s just talk about the Chosôn history which was the last 500 years up to 1910, a good part of painting that was produced was produced for the court, for the royal court. They were made by court artists, court painters who were appointed into that bureau. And so they were partly for public propaganda to espouse the new Confucian principles that the elites lived by. But, of course, they were produced for private enjoyment as well. They were made as either hanging or hand scrolls. So most of the time, they were not hung on walls the way that Western paintings or European paintings were in frames. They would be stored away and brought out for the particular occasions and then hung and viewed, and discussed, and so forth.

The Korean society and home during the Chosôn Dynasty was very segregated in terms of the sexes. And it was usually the males who engaged in these art activities. So usually it would be the head of the household and his own practices of the arts and his friends’ enjoyment of the artworks would take place in his study, known as the sarangbang, which is basically the center of the household. And so it served both as his private study and a public space for entertaining guests.” 

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