The Korea Herald


[Korea Quiz] Voluminous traditional Korean porcelain

By Korea Herald

Published : Dec. 6, 2023 - 10:30

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Large, voluminous and round white pottery vessels known as “moon jars” stand as quintessential examples of South Korea’s Joseon-era porcelain art.

Originating from the late 17th century, these distinctive porcelain jars maintained their popularity through the late Joseon period, setting themselves apart as unique creations not replicated in China or Japan.

The term "moon jar" is a relatively recent invention, created by Korean modern art master Kim Whan-ki and renowned art historian Choi Soon-woo, who were struck by the artwork's resemblance to a full moon floating in the night sky.

Today, seven moon jars are designated as national treasures in Korea.

In recent years, the moon jars from the Joseon era and their modern renditions have experienced a surge in popularity, gaining international recognition.

In April, contemporary Korean artist Yoo Ji-an's moon jar was gifted to US President Joe Biden by President Yoon Suk Yeol during his visit to the White House, a symbolic gesture that underscored the cultural significance of the artifact.

A moon jar from the 18th century fetched $4.5 million at British auction house Christie’s "Japanese and Korean Art" sale in March, marking the highest price ever recorded at auction for a moon jar.

In 2019, K-pop superstar group BTS member RM posted a photo with artist Kwon Dae-sup's moon jar, sparking a wave of interest among the band’s vast fan base.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also recognized the value of moon jars in 2010 when it acquired three paintings of moon jars by artist Choi Young-wook at Scope Art Fair Miami in the US.

The moon jar's allure has also extended to the realm of home decor in Korea.

In October, Daiso, a popular Korean discount store, launched a line of affordable moon jar selections. Over 9,500 units were sold in a month after the release.

Answer: c