Denver Art Museum debuts first in series of Korean art exhibits

The Denver Art Museum presents Perfectly Imperfect: Korean Buncheong Ceramics, co-organized with the National Museum of Korea (NMK), from December 3, 2023, to December 7, 2025. Perfectly Imperfect will be on view in the museum’s William Sharpless Jackson Jr. Gallery and the Korea Gallery on level 5 of the Martin Building and will be included in general admission.

Perfectly Imperfect is the first of a series of planned exhibitions and programs focused on Korean art, thanks to a grant of more than $900K from the National Museum of Korea under its Overseas Korean Galleries Support Program. Curated by Hyonjeong Kim Han, Joseph de Heer Curator of Arts of Asia, and Ji Young Park, National Museum of Korea Fellow of Korean Art at the Denver Art Museum, along with curators at NMK, Perfectly Imperfect inaugurates meaningful programs, exhibitions and collaborations between the NMK and the DAM over the next three years. 

“The DAM is fully committed to highlighting arts, exhibitions and programs that showcase Korea’s rich arts and culture,” Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM, said. “With the generous grant from the National Museum of Korea and our expert curatorial team, the museum is uniquely positioned to contribute to a new era of Korean art growth and appreciation.”

Buncheong Ceramics

Sophisticated, playful and engaging, buncheong ceramics became a quintessential Korean art form in the late 14th to 16th centuries. Elements of the buncheong style have remained relevant in modern and contemporary Korean art and have influenced other artistic expressions. Its refined and rustic aesthetic has been admired by generations of potters and artists in Korea and across the world.

Perfectly Imperfect will feature more than 40 exquisite works of Korean buncheong ceramics from the 15th century to today, renowned for their white slip and adorned with diverse surface decorative techniques. The exhibition will also include four 20th- and 21st-century paintings as well as 16 drawings by five painters. Created and organized by the DAM in partnership with the NMK, this innovative exhibition will illustrate why this historical art form continues to resonate with Korean ceramists, as well as with other contemporary artists and viewers worldwide.

“The establishment of a new Korean art fellowship is a demonstration of the Denver Art Museum’s commitment to training young professionals to become experienced curators of Asian art in the world,” Han said.

Ji Young Park, who joined the DAM in summer 2023, will oversee projects in collaboration with the NMK and conduct research on Korean art history during her three-year tenure.

Subsequent projects will be a reinterpretation and reinforcement of the meaning of Korean art in Denver with contemporary artists, including Korean American artists Sammy Seung-min Lee and Jaye Rhee in 2023-2024.

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