The Janus of Tiger: Korean Decorative Painting, Magpie and Tiger

Korean painting of tiger and magpie
Tiger and Magpie; a Korean folk painting drawn during the Joseon Dynasty of Korea (1392-1910); Wikimedia, U.S. public domain

Event Information

Date & Time
February 6, 2014 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery (Room 100)
Location Information
Nam Center Colloquium Series
Event Type

Byung-Mo Chung, professor at Gyeongju University, is the first scholar to travel the world to propagate and research the value and meanings of Korean traditional decorative art culture.

In traditional Korean folk paintings, tigers appear as Janus-faced creatures, with one side a beast with a merciless savage nature and the other side a humane animal. The two contrasting images of the fierce animal have been a distinctive feature of Korean art which is rarely seen in other countries. Tiger and magpie folk paintings in Korea present tigers as silly, comic characters. What made the painters depict the fearful beast as a cute, ludicrous pet-like animal? The tiger and magpie provides a valuable clue for viewers to delve into the cultural identity of Korean people and their aesthetic sensibility.

Part of the Nam Center colloquium series; eminent scholars are invited to present various topics of Korean Studies.

Additional Infomation

Host Contact
Jamie Lausch Vander Broek
Page maintained by Mary C. Morris
Last modified: 01/28/2014