When the practicality and style are combined together, the beautiful of the traditional culture becomes more valuable. The Korea traditional woodcraft is completed with natural processing technique, organic wood grain and the beauty of ideal proportion. This simple and graceful wood furniture with the upper part inlaid with mother-of-pearl is imbued with great splendor showing the beauty of Korean style. The decorations that use hawksbill turtle’s skin and fish-skin also represent the tradition of woodcraft in the Joseon dynasty. The pottery with lines drawn on its shite surface also expresses the sentiment and artistry of Koreans in the old days. Through the various exhibits related to the sea, we hope you can feel and enjoy the beauty of Korean culture and tradition turned into art.
The front of the chest is inlaid with mother-of-pearl (except for the back), and the upper and lower parts have the doors which are decorated with the same design. The design of the front which is inlaid with mother-of-pearl without space has three different themes. The decorative patterns of 5 bets are attached on the corners and the upper of the doors by using the representation method of the pattern called Mojobeop (cutting and engraving). The patterns of thunder, cloud and cintamani stones are represented by using Mojobeop and Juleumjil techniques inside the round frames and straight lines shape thunder.
The decorative pattern of bets was prevalent in china and introduced to Joseon. Since the pronunciation of the Chinese character meaning bets sounds the same with 蝠[fù] which means good fortune, it was often used to represent good fortune. Also, bets were regarded as spiritual animals which keep people safe during the night. The imaginary creature, dragon, is a symbol of authority and an auspicious sign which vanquishes evil spirits, so it was used for decoration in various fields. The image of dragon was generally placed with cloud and cintamani stones in mother-of-pearl crafts representing the characteristic of humorous beauty.
The fronts of each tier have the designs of dragons and Fenghuang (phoenix) in pairs and there is an image of dragon on both sides. The images are splendidly decorated with mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell. The phoenix is displayed on the left side of the upper part and the dragon is positioned on the right.
The characteristics of a mythical creature, dragon, is well-depicted on the lower part of the painting by displaying the images of water, reefs and sea plants together. The dragons ascending to the sky are dynamically portrayed with sharp and simple lines featuring Jeju’s traditional line-drawing with light colors. Only five colors, blue, yellow, red, white and black, are used and distinctive spatial impression is formed because of the effect caused by complementary color contrast. It has the same composition of a painting with the <painting of fuxi and nuwa>.
The fish has a short head with its pointy mouth open and the picture of fish holding the half of a small fish in its mouth with its sharp teeth is realistically portrayed. The fish on the designs are expressed in various ways such as a single fish, two fish crossing each other, fish seeing each other, fish swimming in a group and others with underwater views.
Seeing that there are patterns of twin dragons carved on the sword-guard, plum blossoms and other dragons on the sheath and the handle, it can be said the sword was specially designed by the government meeting high standards. The linchpin equipped on the sheath passes through the hole on the sword-guard fastening the sword.
The belching dragon is drawn in the style of Korean folk painting and it holds a cintamani stone using its whisker on the left. It seems it has the antlers of a deer, the eyes of a rabbit, the nose of a pig, the scales of a fish, the claws of a hawk and the like. There is a vibrant blue color around its antlers, mouth and eyes. Since the blue color comes out more strongly than the red in the scales, it looks like a blue dragon with its spirited body and tail.