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Ch'aekkori Screen
Ch'aekkori Screen, Mid- 19th century
Ink and color on silk; mounted as a ten-fold screen
Each panel: 47 x 12 inches (119.4 x 30.5 cm) Each mount: 68 x 17 inches (172.7 x 43.2 cm)
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Purchased with funds contributed by the Korean Heritage Group, the Hollis Family Foundation Fund, and the Henry B. Keep Fund, 2002
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Looking Questions

  • How many objects can you find on the screens?
  • Which ones do you recognize?
  • Can you find a watch? A teapot? A stack of books?
  • Who used such items? Why would they have them painted?
  • What might these paintings of objects say about the owner?

Art Activity: Your Things and You

Ch’aekkori screens display the most prized objects in a scholar’s home or study. Have your students photograph objects in their own rooms, or find images from magazines, that represent things important to them. Cut out and glue these pictures of “things” onto a piece of paper in an arrangement similar to the one on a ch’aekkori screen. Display students’ works next to each other. Looking at his or her objects, what can you say about what is important to each person? Discuss the differences and similarities. Students can even try to guess the artist based on what is included in his or her collage.

Group Activity: Collecting

Korean scholars were great admirers and collectors of Chinese ceramics, scrolls, brush pots, and inkstones. What do students collect? What makes them interested in these things? Devote several show-and-tell days to student collections. If there is room, set up a rotating display case in your classroom where collections can be shown. Any student who wishes to display his or her collection should write a one-paragraph descriptive label for the case.

Research Idea: Optical Illusion

The owner of this ch’aekkori screen wanted the objects shown to look real. To do this, the artist used linear perspective, a technique he must have learned by looking at European painting. Linear perspective is one of a number of optical “tricks” artists use to make a flat painting or drawing look like it has depth and dimension. Have your students research linear perspective on the Internet. Find examples of works of art that have great linear perspective. Look at the work of M. C. Escher, who created amazing optical illusions using this principle. Then try drawing an object or landscape using these principles.

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