History Meets Beauty at Gangjin Celadon Festival

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Korean Celadon, from Gangjin Celadon Festival website

Renowned throughout East Asia for its gorgeous color and free-flowing elegance, Korean celadon is a ceramic art form that reaches back over a thousand years.

Although the techniques for crafting celadon pottery were originally invented in China, the Korean artisans of the Goryeo dynasty refined and perfected these techniques, producing widely sought-after works of art from the 10th through 13th centuries. Tragically, many of these finer methods were lost to war and oppression, and so, Korean celadon nearly became a lost art.

However, in the 20th century, Korean artisans began working to revive this tradition of making Korean celadon, establishing themselves in the same Gangjin region where the ancient Goryeo potters once plied their craft.

Today, tourists traveling from far and wide can visit Gangjin and see the beauty of celadon artwork for themselves. Every year, the county government of Gangjin holds the Gangjin Celadon Festival, where visitors can mingle with local modern celadon artists and even take home some celadon pottery of their own. This year, the festival will be held from July 29th to August 4th.

Also in Gangjin is the Goryeo Celadon Museum, which is open year-round. The museum features an impressive collection of celadon pottery, and also has exhibits on the Gangjin kiln sites. These kilns, some of which are still functional, were used to make celadon in ancient times.

Gangjin Celadon Festival website:
http://eng.gangjinfes.or.kr/

Goryeo Celadon Museum website:
http://www.celadon.go.kr/

By T. Kim