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Exhibition explores Korea's deep affection for seafood

By Kim Hae-yeon

Published : May 28, 2023 - 16:01

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The special exhibition titled The special exhibition titled "Korea's Top 3 Dried Seafood" at the National Folk Museum of Korea (NFMK)

The National Folk Museum of Korea, located within the grounds of Gyeongbokgung in Seoul, is hosting an exhibition that invites visitors to immerse themselves in the rich fishing and seafood dining culture of Korea.

Titled "Korea's Top 3 Dried Seafood," the special exhibition provides detailed insights into the process of catching, processing, distributing and consuming seafood in the country. It highlights how Koreans have cherished and enjoyed seafood in their meals over the years.

According to a global seafood consumption study conducted by the European Union Joint Research Center in 2018, South Korea ranks first in seafood consumption per capita, followed by Norway and Portugal.

With the intention of creating an immersive experience, the exhibition has been thoughtfully designed to engage visitors' senses, transporting them on a virtual fishing boat journey.

The exhibition features over 170 materials that involve visual, auditory and sensory elements.

Visitors can touch the lively textures of sample fish models on display, while sounds of croakers can also be heard. Midway through the exhibition, an enticing ocean scent captures visitors' senses.

Fishing nets are set up in a corner, allowing visitors to experience shaking anchovies off the net. Additionally, a captivating pop-art-style music video celebrating the love for seafood entices visitors to groove to its beat.

The exhibition also presents historical archives dating back to the Joseon era, featuring specific quotes from notable sources. For instance, "Jasaneobo," a marine biology book written by scholar Jeong Yak-jeon (1758-1816) during his exile, providing invaluable knowledge to peasants about 226 varieties of fish and marine life is on display.

"The purpose of our exhibitions at the NFMK is to let visitors learn something new from the ordinary, things we commonly encounter in our daily lives." Kim Chang-il, the NFMK researcher in charge of the exhibition said. The exhibition also aims to inspire contemplation about the sustainability of marine ecosystems, and express gratitude for the everyday food our tables, according to Kim.

The exhibition runs through Aug. 15.

A fish market installation with documented photos on display at the NFMK's special exhibition (NFMK) A fish market installation with documented photos on display at the NFMK's special exhibition (NFMK)