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Friday, 1 November 2013

Onggi Folk Museum: Home of Earthenware Collections in Korean Peninsula

Hangul on Tarmac - 학교앞 천천히: School Ahead, Slow Down.

The Onggi Folk Museum (Hanja: 甕器民俗博物館), located at 574-41 Samyang Avenue/Samyangno, Ssangmun 1-dong 497-15 beonji, Seoul Dobong-gu, South Korea is a private museum specializing in onggi, Korean earthenware which is used for storage and utilitarian purposes. It was established as the Goryeo Folk Museum (고려민속박물관) in 1991 and later was changed to the current name. The museum consists of three-story building and an outdoor exhibition hall where 3,300 items of onggi and other items such as dancheong patterns, Korean traditional decorative coloring used for building are exhibited. Although it is a private museum, the number of onggi stored in the museum is larger than in any other national or public museums. 

The museum does not only house onggi but also various folkcraft articles and precious cultural assets including Buddhist images and Buddhist monuments. Students from neighboring primary schools, kindergartens, middle schools, and high schools all make field trips to the museum, and many residents who are interested in onggi also visit the museum. The museum also promotes onggi of Korea to foreign visitors who want to experience the Korean culture, and provides an opportunity for senior citizens to enjoy retrospection.

The basement displays daily products such as dishes and brass items, musical instruments and religious implements. The ceiling of the first floor is exquisite in that it shows about 800 kinds of Dancheong traditional paintings which are based on the structural elements of palaces and temples. The second floor exhibits handicrafts of paper, wood, straw and metal for daily life and ceremonial occasions. The outdoor exhibition hall presents large Onggi items, farming tools and modern sculptures.

The Onggi Folk Museum has a collection of over 4,000 pieces of folkcraft articles including over 200 types of onggi from various regions and over 200 types of other articles. The museum also operates diverse cultural programs including the calligraphy class, folk painting class, and tea ceremony class for children. As it is located near Solbat Park, Mount Samgak, and Ui Valley, it provides the ideal environment for visitors.