Wednesday 1 November 2017


Translated literally as “books and things,” the tradition of painting depictions of one’s possessions—real and aspirational—is called chaekgeori (์ฑ…๊ฑฐ๋ฆฌ) in Korean and reaches back to the Joeson dynasty.
These panels reflect near a one-to-one scale of the bookshelves that they portray and the items—symbols of status and education—are meticulously arranged. Despite the relative unknown status of the art form in Western traditions, it has nonetheless been influential, I believe, and also shows—counter to the notion that Asia society was insular and closed—that souvenirs and keepsakes from abroad were among the most treasured artefacts. Be sure to visit Hyperallergic at the link above for a whole gallery of chaekgeori screens and to learn more.