This exhibition, begins on August 22, 2010 and ends on November 28, 2010, is about Korean funerary figures from the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.
Korean Funerary Figures: Companions for the Journey to the Other World features seventy-four Korean funerary figures—most carved in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—known as kkoktu. These charming and festively painted wooden figurines of clowns, tigers, acrobats and more were created to adorn biers used to convey coffins during funeral processions.
Their clothing and poses reflect the realities of rural Korean village life during a period about which few written records remain. Perhaps even more interestingly, the kkoktu are a window on a characteristically Korean attitude towards death. Though the kkoktus’ gaiety seems incongruous with mourning, they express a culture’s deep desire that the dead enter the next world surrounded by joy—and an appreciation of the fleeting nature of all experience.
This exhibition was organized by The Korea Society. The works presented are on loan from the permanent collection of the Seoul-based Ockrang Cultural Foundation. Support for the Los Angeles presentation was made possible by the Shirley and Ralph Shapiro Director’s Discretionary Fund.
The accompanying programs are made possible through the Yvonne Lenart Public Programs Fund and Manus, the support group for the Fowler Museum.
Sponsor(s): Fowler Museum at UCLA
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