Korean / Bowl / Koryo period, 12th centuryKorean
Koryo period, 12th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Korean
Creator Name-CRT: Korean
Title: Bowl
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1100
Creation End Date: 1199
Creation Date: Koryo period, 12th century
Creation Place: Korea
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Ceramics
Materials and Techniques: Stoneware with carved design under glaze
Dimensions: H. 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm); D. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.195
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Rights: http://www.asiasociety.org
Context: Although Korean ceramics remain relatively unknown in the West, they have long been studied in East Asia. Stonewares with pale gray-green glazes are among the items listed as 'first under heaven' by the 12th-century Chinese author Taiping Laoren, and this type of Korean ceramic is the only non-Chinese item on his list. Korea's famous green-glazed wares also appear in The Illustrated Description of the Chinese Embassy to Korea during the Xuanhe Period (Xuanhe fengsi Gaoli tujing) of about 1124 by the envoy Xu Jing, who described the glaze as sharing 'the radiance of jade and the crystal clarity of water.'

Green-glazed stonewares were first made in Korea in the 9th and 10th centuries. By the 11th and 12th centuries, they were the most widely produced form of Korean ceramic. In the 12th century, a distinctively Korean type of green-glazed stoneware was created, characterized by its inlaid slip decoration; this type remained popular until the 14th century. The main centers for the production of greenwares were Puan in North Cholla Province and Kangjin in South Cholla Province, which are located on the southwest coast of the peninsula.

Korea had strong maritime ties with south China, and the development of green-glazed wares in Korea is often linked to the prominence of this tradition in China, particularly during the 9th through 13th centuries. As a result, Koryo-period (918-1392) greenwares sometimes parallel the shapes and decoration of Chinese wares, particularly such southern wares as Yue and Qingbai. Most of the scholarship on Korean green-glazed ceramics (many of which do not depend on Chinese prototypes) and the value placed on Koryo ceramics in China during the late 11th and early 12th centuries suggest that the relationship between Chinese and Korean ceramics may be more complex and interactive than previously thought.

This charming bowl illustrates the use of natural forms that typifies Koryo-period greenwares. The lotus petals incised on the sides and enhanced by the pooling of the glaze reflect the importance of this flower in the decorative arts of East Asia. Prototypes for the shape and decoration of this bowl are found in Chinese Yue ceramics. Korean and Chinese ceramics often exhibit the cracks seen in the glaze ofthis bowl, known as 'crackle' or 'crazing' (created by the shrinking of the glaze in the kiln). This effect, often deliberately achieved, is admired in East Asia.

Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 86.
Related Document Description: Mowry, Robert D. 'Korean Art in Western Collections: The Asia Society--The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection.' Korean Culture 3 (March 1982), pp. 6-7.
Related Document Description: Mowry, Robert D. 'Koryo Celadons.' Orientations (May 1986), p. 35.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.195
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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