Funeral Figurines: A Unique Art Form of Traditional Korea

As Part of our 2012 celebrations ‘All Eyes On Korea’, Korean Cultural Centre UK will shortly be hosting a Korean art lecture on Kokdu, relating our summer 2012 exhibition, ‘Korean Funerary Figures: Companions for the Journey to the Other World,’ by Dr. Charlotte Horlyck, the lecturer in Korean art history at SOAS, University of London.

The talk explores the world of Kokdu, Korean wooden funeral figurines. They were placed on the funeral bier, and thus functioned as the final companions of the dead. The funeral bier carried the coffin of the deceased to the burial ground. From dancers and musicians, to servant girls, government officials, soldiers and Buddhist monks, the figurines represent an idealized mini-cosmos that surrounded the dead to their final resting place. In this talk the use of funeral figurines in early Korea will be discussed, and the various roles and meanings of Kokdu will be examined. This lecture will be helpful to gain better understanding of the summer exhibition, ‘Korean Funerary Figures: Companions for the Journey to the Other World.’

* Dr. Charlotte Horlyck is a lecturer in Korean art history in the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She formerly curated the Korean collection at the Victoria and Albert museum in London. She has published widely on Korean art and archaeology, and is presently working on a book length study of Korean mirrors, as well as an edited volume on death, mourning and the afterlife in Korea.

DATE: Monday 3 September 2012, 19.00
VENUE: Korean Cultural Centre UK

SPEAKER: Dr. Charlotte Horlyck, SOAS, University of London

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