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Year of Dragon exhibition opens

2012/01/14 | 334 views | Permalink | Source

By John Redmond

A Year of the Dragon exhibition is taking place at the National Folk Museum, Seoul until Feb. 27.

The National Folk Museum's "Special Exhibition: The Year of the Dragon" marks the launch of the new year with a display of 85 artifacts of the mythical creature, including drawings, ceramics, furniture, seals, flags and royal robes.

"The dragon is a legendary beast bearing all the strengths of several animals: the head of a camel, antlers of a deer, eyes of a rabbit, ears of a cow, neck of a snake, scales of a carp, talons of a hawk and the feet of a tiger. Those characteristics led people to believe the dragon to be the mightiest animal. The dragon, therefore, symbolized power, authority and sanctity, eventually coming to represent the position of the king in the Chinese and Korean royal courts. The exhibition displays a Korean king's dragon royal robe, dragon throne, and other furniture and fixtures decorated with the legendary beast to symbolize the king's courage and power".

In Korea, the dragon pattern once dominated by the royal court appeared later in the clothing and furniture of ordinary working-class people. Such working-class artifacts will also be on display for visitors of the exhibition. The exhibit also displays large farming tools related to such folk beliefs and pictures portraying the Dragon King.

The exhibition is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Tuesdays and admission is free.

The National Folk Museum of Korea is located within Gyeongbok Palace in central Seoul.

To get there take subway Line No. 3 to Anguk Station (stop 328) and leave exit number 1 or Gyeongbokgung Station (stop 327) via exit number 5. Map, bus, other subway options and driving information in English is available on the museum website at http://www.nfm.go.kr

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