Museum shows Joseon scholar’s teachings on wife’s hanbok

By Chung Joo-won
  • Published : Apr 30, 2012 - 18:52
  • Updated : Apr 30, 2012 - 18:52
The Museum of Silhak, or study of “practical learning” of the late Joseon period, is hosting the special exhibition “Dasan, his life and ideal at the Han River” on late Joseon scholar Jeong Yak-yong from April 27 to Sept. 9.

“Hapicheob,” referring to Jeong’s writings on an old hanbok skirt sent by his wife while he was in exile in Gangjin, South Jeolla Province, is among the highlights of the 70 or so items exhibited. The scholar wrote words of virtue for his sons and daughters in 1810 and sent them home to instruct them while he was in exile for 18 years.
Hapicheob, Jeong’s message on virtue for his children (The Museum of Silhak)

The messages reveal Jeong’s practical philosophy and strong affection for his family. A revered scholar and father, Jeong urged his two sons through his teachings written on Hapicheob to abide by the code of conduct and mindset for yangban, or the literati.

As for his two daughters, Jeong sent two paintings of birds chirping on a blooming plum tree, wishing them happiness and harmony. The loving father wanted to give his daughters a reminder of their parents’ affection, the museum explained.

Jeong, born in 1762, devoted his life to enlightening Joseon society and teaching the future generation until he died in his hometown in today’s Namyangju in Gyeonggi Province in 1836.

The exhibition celebrates the 250th anniversary of Jeong’s birth, an anniversary which is included among the anniversaris with which UNESCO is associated in 2012.

“Dasan, his life and ideal at Han River” is a rare chance to see Jeong’s writings, letters and paintings in one exhibition, the museum said.

For more information call (031) 279-6000 or visit www.silhakmuseum.or.kr.

By Chung Joo-won (joowonc@heraldcorp.com)