News & events > Treasures of Korean metal craft exhibition in Australia
28 Oct 2011 - 12 Feb 2012

Treasures of Korean metal craft exhibition in Australia

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The Spirit of jang-in exhibition celebrates 50 Years of Friendship between Australia and the Republic of Korea.
Exquisite national treasures from Korea in gold, silver and bronze, together with contemporary works feature in this exhibition, which runs until February 2012 at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia.

From the Korean Bronze Age to the present day artisans, traditionally known as jang-in, have used metals to create functional objects, objects of great beauty and objects of powerful symbolism. The way metal has been used and regarded in Korean society tells a compelling story of its history, culture and most meaningful rituals and beliefs.

This exhibition traces the development of metal craft from ancient artisans to the spectacular ‘kingdoms of gold’ of the Silla royalty, the influence of Buddhism on craft skills and practice, the simple beauty of everyday objects, and the impact of the dark days of the early 20th century. Reflecting a contemporary spirit of jang-in, a selection of works from Korean artists living in Korea and Australia is also featured.

Video: Traditional and metal craft techniques

The video below shows three Korean master jang-in, or artisans, and their traditional metalcraft techniques. In Korea these masters are known as "Important Intangible Cultural Property". For example, Won Kwang-sik, Master of Cast Iron, is Important Intangible Cultural Property No 112 with lost-wax casting.