MON. Nov. 6, YI Song-Mi

Monday, November 6,  5:00 – 6:30 pm, CWAC 156

Symbolism and Functions of Korean Palace Screen Paintings

Yi Song-mi 李成美

Professor Emerita of Art History,

The Academy of Korean Studies 韓國學中央硏究院

Screen of Ten Symbols of Longevity, 1880, 10 panels, ink and colors on silk each panel: 201.9 x 52.1cm. Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon

Unlike the majority of landscape paintings of the Joseon dynasty that were done in ink or in ink and light colors, screen paintings produced and used in Korean palaces were mostly in brilliant colors. Due to the trends in Korean art history research during the twentieth-century that have been heavily concentrated on ink paintings of literati orientations, these colorful paintings had been relegated to the “lesser” category of art. However, recent studies on uigwe (儀軌) royal documents as well as other literary and historical sources shed much light in identifying the themes of the palace screen paintings and their specific functions within the state rites of various categories. This also led to the investigation into the symbolic meanings of the palace screens. This lecture will demonstrate how the securely dated documentary evidence such as uigwe can “re-position” the colorful screen paintings of the Joseon period which, at times, were labeled as “folk paintings.”


Monday, November 6,  5:00 – 6:30 pm, CWAC 156

Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact Nancy P. Lin (



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