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Museum Hours
Thurs: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
Cafe Hours
Fri-Mon: 10 AM—4:30 PM
Thurs: 1—7:30 PM
Location
200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
415.581.3500
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Region

Korea

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Background Information

Importance of Land and Mountains in Korean Culture

This image shows mountains and harvested rice in the autumn near the village of Andong in South Korea. Andong has been preserved as a traditional village, and exhibits both upper- and lower-class houses from the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910). The Korean peninsula is filled with mountains. Mountains form natural barriers and also create distinctive regions within Korea. Rice is a staple crop in Korea. Land formed the basis of wealth for most of Korean history. Rice was harvested not only for food, but also to pay for taxes.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College and Beyond

Artwork

Illustrations of Buddhist texts and ritual formulas, 2001

Illustrations of Buddhist texts and ritual formulas (Rashmivimla-vishuddhiprabhasa-dharani-sutra) (Mugujeonggwang Daedarani), 2001, by Dong-uArtist: Myeongcheon. Korea. Handscroll; sutra, gold on paper. Gift of Dong-u seunim, 2002.12.2.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College and Beyond

Lesson

Illuminated Manuscripts: The Sacred Art of Narration

Students will: 1.) Identify the format and elements of a sutra. 2.) Examine why sutras (the teachings of the Buddha) are important historical and religious documents. 3.) Analyze why the writing of sutras is considered an important religious act. 4.) Construct and illustrate an accordion book manuscript based on the sutra format used during the Goryeo dynasty (Korea).

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)

Artwork

Guardian king of the west (Gwangmok cheonwang)

Guardian king of the west (Gwangmok cheonwang), 2002-2003, by Jae-u (Korean, born 1966). Ink and mineral colors on cotton. Gift of Jae-u, 2004.10.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College and Beyond

Artwork

Ewer with lid, approx. 1050-1125

Ewer with lid, approx. 1050-1125. Goryeo dynasty (918-1392). Stoneware with blue-green (celadon) glaze. The Avery Brundage Collection, B60P123+.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College and Beyond

Background Information

Buddhist Manuscripts (Sutras) of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392)

The religious fervor and opulence of the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392) can be seen in the intricately hand-copied sutras (the teachings of the Buddha) that date to this period. Korean monk-scribes were commissioned by royals, aristocrats, and individual high-ranking monks to write the sacred words of the Buddha by applying pigments of ground gold and silver to deep indigo–dyed mulberry paper. They began by pictorially narrating the sermons of the Buddha with key episodes within the sutra chapter on the frontispiece (first four sutra panels). The rest of the sutra comprised flowing calligraphy translating the Buddha’s teachings.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College and Beyond

Lesson

Artful Storytelling (lesson)

Objective: Students gain an appreciation and understanding of art and culture, and build language skills by reading; developing scripts; making choices about gesture, voice, and expression; and performing traditional stories alongside art objects in the Asian Art Museum’s collection galleries.

Duration: One class period over the course of 1 week

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)

Background Information

An Introduction to the Geography of Korea

Korea is a mountainous peninsula surrounded by the sea on three sides. It shares its northern borders with China and Russia, and its closest southern neighbor is Japan, which lies across a narrow strait. Learn more.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College and Beyond

Video

At the Table: Kwangjuyo Ceramics and Corey Lee

The Bay Area is known for its unique food culture and the exquisite plating techniques that are essential to a memorable presentation. Corey Lee — chef of Benu, Monsieur Benjamin and In Situ — uses wares made by Kwangjuyo, a Korea-based company that promotes the beauty of Korean dining culture.

GRADE LEVEL: High School (9-12), College and Beyond