The Korea Herald


National Hangeul Museum embarks on European tour

By Kim Hae-yeon

Published : April 4, 2023 - 14:26

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Jang Soo-young's furniture artwork, Jang Soo-young's furniture artwork, "Intonation: Light, Sound, Sculpture" inspired by intonation dots in the Hunminjeongeum, on display at the special exhibition in Warsaw, Poland. (National Hangeul Museum)

Amid enhanced global interest in the Korean language, along with the increasing number of avid Hangeul learners, the National Hangeul Museum is hosting a series of special exhibitions across Poland, Germany and Austria this year.

After an exhibition in Hungary last year, the museum announced Tuesday its Polish chapter of the tour, "Hangeul Design Project," working in collaboration with the Korean Cultural Center in Warsaw, Poland. The exhibition will open from Wednesday to May 31 at the Korean Cultural Center in Warsaw.

The project hopes to unravel Hangeul's design as a form of art, reinterpreting the characters as contemporary and experimental art to spread both the functional and artistic beauty of Hangeul worldwide.

A total of 30 works, including Hangeul presented in graphic form, furniture, replica artifacts, fashion and media art, will be presented.

Kim Ji-man's avant-garde fashion designs, Kim Ji-man's avant-garde fashion designs, "I'm Sorry, Thank You, I Love You," on display at the special exhibition in Warsaw, Poland. (National Hangeul Museum)

The first section highlights the prototype of Hangeul, which dates back to the 15th century, based on the "Hunminjeongeum," the writing system created in 1443 by King Sejong (1397-1450) and scholars of "Jiphyeonjeon," a royal research institute. The second focuses on the flexibility of Hangeul as a phonetic alphabet. The exhibition wraps up by exploring the aesthetics Hangeul's unique structure. During the exhibition period, a number of workshops and tours will also be held.

There are five universities that have Korean language departments in Poland, with an annual 25 to 40 students newly enrolling to study Korean language, history and culture, according to the museum.

The Hangeul exhibition in Poland gains meaning in that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Department of Korean Studies at The University of Warsaw and the 20th anniversary of Adam Mickiewicz University's Korean Philology Department.

The National Hangeul Museum's director Kim Young-soo will present a copy of the Hunminjeongeum Haerye, the printed edition of the commentary of Hunminjeongeum, to each department at the exhibition's opening ceremony on Tuesday, as an appreciation of exchanging and spreading Korean culture in Poland.

Meanwhile, the exhibition in Germany is scheduled to run from July 7 to Sept. 9, and in Austria from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, at the Korean Cultural Center of each country, according to the National Hangeul Museum.

Poster for the special exhibition Poster for the special exhibition "Hangeul Design Project," held at the Korean Cultural Center in Warsaw, Poland (National Hangeul Museum)