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Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to hold Hallyu exhibit

By Choi Si-young

Published : Feb. 18, 2024 - 15:24

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A “saekdong jeogori,” or multicolored striped jacket, designed by Lee Seung-ju in 2020. (Darcygom) A “saekdong jeogori,” or multicolored striped jacket, designed by Lee Seung-ju in 2020. (Darcygom)

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston will hold an exhibition on Hallyu from March 24 to July 28, showcasing around 250 objects connected to Korean popular culture, including outfits worn by K-pop stars.

Titled “Hallyu! The Korean Wave,” the exhibition will explore South Korea’s “meteoric rise to the world stage” in terms of its cultural reach and impact, according to the US museum.

The exhibit will cover contemporary works, including pieces by designer Park So-hee, head of the London-based womenswear label Miss Sohee, and embroidery by Ham Kyung-ah, a Seoul-based multimedia artist known for utilizing handmade North Korean textiles.

“Additionally, the exhibition showcases objects from the MFA’s own renowned collection of Korean art,” the museum said, pointing to moon jars, a type of Korean white porcelain; hanbok, a traditional Korean garment; and gilt bronze cases for storing sacred Buddhist texts.

As part of the exhibit, separate lectures will take place until early May to help visitors expand their understanding of Korea, whose “creative outputs are deeply rooted in its past,” according to the MFA.

The museum made headlines in early February when Korean authorities announced a deal with the institution to push for the temporary return of a 14th-century Buddhist reliquary, after 15 years of no progress on the matter.

The reliquary will be placed on loan, though how long the loan period will last or when exactly the transfer will take place is yet to be decided, according to the Cultural Heritage Administration.

The Museum of Fine Arts will donate the bead-shaped bodily relics of Buddhist masters, called “sarira,” found inside the reliquary, the CHA said, noting the donation will be complete by the Buddha’s Birthday holiday on May 15.