Introduction to the Collection

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Mok Jo Gak(木彫刻)

Mok In(木人)

"Wooden Human figure"

Mok In are traditional wooden statues of humans or animals, and called as ‘Mok-woo’, ‘Mok-sang’, ‘Mook-woo-in’.

Extracted from the Korean Dictionary of National Institute of Korean Language

Mok In was used for religious ceremony, incantation and ritual, it has many kinds of functions and roles. There are lots of different types of Mok In such as Jang-Seung the guardian of a town, Mok-Yong The grave goods, Bul-Sang, Dong-ja-sang The wooden buddhism statues, Sin-Sang which was placed in a chapel for wishing luck and defeating ghosts, Sang-Yeo ornaments statues which lead the dead ones to the after life, Mok-An which was used for a wedding, Sot Dae was built at the entrance of a town and prevents bad ghosts. Turtle shaped Bit-jang was used for bolting doors. It shows us the Korean traditional beauty, and the Korean ancestors’ wisdom and idea of life and death.

Seok Jo Gak (Stone Sculpture)

Seok Mul(石物)

Various stone objects which were put in front of a grave.

Extracted from the Korean Dictionary of National Institute of Korean Language

There are lots of different types such as Seok In (Moon In Seok, Moo In Seok, Dong Ja Seok), Jang Myeong Deung, Mang Ju Seok, Sang Seok, Hon Yu Seok, Hyang ro Seok, Go Seok, Seok Su (Tiger, horse, sheep). Seok Mul plays the role of protecting the tomb, representing the authority and dignity of the deceased of the tomb, and preventing evil spirits (function of Beok sa).

Seok Jo Gak was made from prehistoric times, and has various usages and meanings. Ancestral Koreans built dolmen for the patriarch's tomb, which were engraved with images of their wishes. The dolmens were celebrated as a special place. They also set up menhir and stone wall for good luck. They built Dol Jang Seung as a town god and built Nam Geun Seok to pray for fertility and wealth. After Buddhism was introduced, great stone sculptures such as stone buddha and stone pagoda were made. In the Joseon dynasty, Confucian culture was prevalent and people built outstanding Seok mul at king's tomb or their ancestor's graves. Soek Mul is a very important heritage for understanding Korean traditional ideas, history and beauty.