15th century, Joseon Dynasty (1392 - 1897)
Stoneware with painted white slip decoration
This bowl is decorated in the Guiyal technique. Native to Korea, before its transportation to Japan in the 15th Century after the Imjin War (1592-1598), this technique is characterised by the application of a white slip using a thick brush. The expressive brush strokes on this style of 15th Century buncheong express immense character, and enable the viewer to trace the 700 year old brush strokes, performed through swift wrist movements of the 15th century artist.
This humble example of 15th century tableware seems in a different universe in comparison to the grandeur of the white porcelain produced at the court kilns during the Joseon Dynasty. This form of Buncheong ware has a coarse grey body, and either partially, or wholly covered in a thick white slip. This form of tableware served as an inexpensive alternative to the favourable white porcelain enjoyed by the Ruling and elite classes of Joseon society. This piece offers insight into the stratas of Korean culture which have been forgotten - the general populace whose lives do not make up history, unlike their elite counterparts. The modesty reflected in this bowl does not stem from the pressures of unattainable levels of moral and virtue, but instead stems from the genuine simplicity in its craft, design and usage.
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