The Korean art collection began with the donation of a group of Korean ceramics in 1966 by Bak Jeonghui, then president of the Republic of Korea, after a visit to the museum. The collection grew gradually until 2000, when the museum acquired over 200 works of art from an important collection in Los Angeles. Highlights include wonderful examples of objects from the Three Kingdoms, Goryeo, and Joseon periods, with an emphasis on Buddhist and literati painting, ceramics, lacquer, and sculpture.
Image: Seated Buddha, Korea, Goryeo dynasty, 10th–11th century, Cast iron, 25 1/4 × 20 × 18 in. (64.14 × 50.8 × 45.72 cm), Gift of the 2013 Collectors Committee (M.2013.44).
Korean wrapping cloths (known as bojagi in Korean) are celebrated for both their form and function. As wrapping cloths, bojagi were used ubiquitously in premodern Korea to wrap items for transport or storage, to cover food, and even to protect precious goods. Designs range from embroidered symbolic depictions of nature to patchworks of random scraps of cloth in an array of colors…
Upon entering the Korean galleries on your way to see the greatest hits of traditional Korean art—from a Joseon moon jar to textiles to hanging scrolls—a breathtaking burst of blue to your left will stop you in your tracks. This is Young-Il Ahn’s Water SZLB15 (2015), the newest addition to LACMA’s growing Korean contemporary art holdings..