New exhibition: pounding and polishing metallic art
New exhibition: pounding and polishing metallic art
  • 강성혜
  • 승인 2009.06.01 12:42
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 By Kang Sung-hye & Park Ra-kyung


              A metal deer and gigantic bowl-like art piece catch the quick glances of busy students and hold their glimpses a while longer as they glint proudly in the sunlight. These are few of the metal art pieces newly displayed as part of the “Metal Art in - Pounding and Polishing” held by theEwhaMuseum until July 24 in commemoration of Ewha’s 123 Anniversary.

 The exhibition’s main theme, metal, is commonly perceived as a mechanical and cold substance, but the exhibition aims to reinterpret it as a warm material which has enriched people’s daily lives since ancient history. Metal has harmoniously combined technology and the human environment through history in many different ways. “We wish to let our visitors know the true value and wonders of metal,” said Lee Joo-eun, curator of theEwhaMuseum . 


  According to the museum, art in general has been long noted as a luxurious material because of its outstanding quality in hue, gloss, and texture. For this reason, metals were used only in making the most vital and valuable tools. Because the metal requires an exquisite artisan touch, the produced works are of the finest quality. Metal crafts also have diverse uses that come from its conductivity and sound-reverberating functions.

 ”Metals were also valued for its conservativeness,” said Lee. ” It is very firm and can be recycled many times for it is neither fragile nor perishable. It is also fire-resistant, and viewed as a perfect material for making weapons, thus a symbol of dominant power.”

 As history moved its stage to the 20th century, metal has broadened its domain. Nowadays, metals are not only used for state-of-the-art architecture, but also for making art pieces. The field of sculptures, formally focused on the art’s voluminous aspect, opened up the new trend, “The Age of Metal Abstraction,” in the late 1950s.

 The exhibition is divided into four different rooms and the outside exhibition under the themes named Wealth, Righteousness, Consistency and Skill.

 “The rooms display many different metal works of the same era that range from accessories to Buddhist arts that show how diversely metal, especially gold, can be used,” said Lee. The Skill room and outside exhibition simultaneously show the first generation of modern metal artisans and the award-winning new metal artisans.

 “I was particularly impressed by how gold accessories still keep their shine after all these years,” said Lee Jee-hyun (Painting & Print Making, 4) “The old art pieces are very light and exquisite and whereas the modern metal art works are larger, unique and each conveys a different message. I think there is an interesting contrast there.” 

  The museum prepared various events where visitors can experience the actual process of “pounding and polishing” metals. The performance of Pyunjong, the metal-made traditional musical instrument, will be held at the museum lobby as an opening ceremony to entertain the visitors with musical attraction of the metal. Also a program called “Being a sculptor” allows visitors to have a chance to actually make a piece of sculpture by using aluminum cans. Copperplate-etching and printmaking are also provided. Programs are available from May 19 to July 24; exhibition hours are from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm. Admission is free.


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