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Immersive show of Korean cultural heritage opens at National Museum Bangkok

Dec. 2, 2022 - 17:11 By Kim Hae-yeon
Immersive digital content shown at the National Museum Bangkok's exhibition, "A New Encounter: Immersive Gallery of Korean Art" (NMK)

A Korea gallery utilizing immersive video content has opened at the National Museum Bangkok.

The exhibition, titled "A New Encounter: Immersive Gallery of Korean Art," presents Korean cultural heritage reinterpreted by the latest digital media technology. The exhibition is organized jointly by the National Museum of Korea and the National Museum Bangkok.

Also on display are two sculptures of Buddha from the two countries that, while hailing from different eras, share rich and long histories of Buddhist stories.

In organizing the first official public presentation of Korean cultural heritage in Thailand, the organizers aimed to blend cultural heritage and digital technology in introducing Korean art and history in an approachable way to the museumgoers.

Two large-scaled immersive digital content, "Journey of the Soul" and "Royal Procession with the People," produced by the NMK are on display.

The two newly created content are based on Joseon-era Buddhist paintings and "Uigwe," a collection of royal protocols of the Joseon era.

"Journey of the Soul," explores the Buddhist worldview and depicts Koreans' beliefs of afterlife at the time.

The work puts together several major Joseon-era Buddhist paintings, such as "The Ten Kings of Hell," "Underworld Messengers" and "The Assembly of Amitabha Buddha."

Meanwhile, "Royal Procession with the People” illustrates the rites of the Joseon royal court that embodied core Confucian values.

Visitors will be able to view the King Jeongjo's majestic processions to Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon Gyeonggi Province. The illustrations in "Uigwe," listed on the UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in 2007, served as the main source in creating the immersive content.

Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva from the Unified Silla period of Korea currently on exhibition at the National Museum Bangkok (NMK)
Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva from the Srivijaya period of Thailand currently on display at the National Museum Bangkok (NMK)

Buddha statues from Korea and Thailand -- an Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva statue from the Unified Silla period and an Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva statue from the Srivijaya period of Thailand -- are also on exhibition, facing each other.

"At the exhibition's opening ceremony, Korean delegates were surprised to learn that Thailand also shares a similar history of recordings of the king's rituals," said an NMK researcher who attended the gallery opening ceremony in Bangkok.

National Museum of Korea hopes the exhibition will play a pivotal role in opening a permanent Korean section within the Gallery of Asian Art at the National Museum Bangkok in the future.

The exhibition is scheduled to run through May 21, 2023.