Seoul Museum of History holds special exhibition introducing Czech puppetry
Updated: 2021-06-11 15:26:17 KST
It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly 'Life With Culture' segment to let us know what's going on this weekend.
Our culture correspondent Kim Bo-kyoung is here at the studio. Bo-kyoung I heard there is a special exhibition that gives people a taste of Czech puppetry?
Yes Conn-young listed as a UNESCO World Heritage in 2016 Czech puppetry is a popular leisure activity in the Czech Republic, with over two-hundred years of history. It originally served as a way of communicating between cities and it is still deeply engraved in the lives of Czechs. More than one-hundred puppets have been sent from a museum in the Czech Republic for the special exhibition that has been set up in the Seoul Museum of History, free of charge.
Let's take a peek at the Czechs' cultural asset.
Puppets are an essential part of Czech culture playing a role as guardians of the Czech language and national consciousness.
The Seoul Museum of History, in cooperation with the Chrudim Puppetry Museum, is holding a special exhibition titled "Secrets of Wooden Puppets Czech Marionettes."
"Czech puppetry's origin comes from nomadic puppeteers in the 18th century. Most of them travelled around with their whole family, carrying fully decorated stages in their caravans, and performing at pubs, fairs, and town squares."
With increasing popularity, more and more puppet theaters were formed over time and even now professional theaters in the Czech Republic maintain the tradition.
"We are very proud of it, because it is really part of rich cultural and historical life. The puppetry changed now it is mostly done now in the theaters and also the characters changed with the time but they always try to reflect the life and society and when you visit the theaters you really experience daily lives on the stage shown in very artistic way."
Bringing Czech culture to Seoul required careful planning due to the difficulties of international travel.
"We were finally able to do the exhibition thanks to Chrudim Puppetry Museum's decision to send exhibits without curators. This is the first time for Seoul City to receive the items like this. Due to the limited number of flights, we made sure the items arrived much earlier than usual three weeks before and our curators installed the exhibits, coordinating with local Czech curators remotely."
"I think that we are the first institution that received such export permission without the presence of a curator from the Ministry of Culture probably in last 50 years. The opportunity to hold an exhibition about Czech puppetry in such a distant country as South Korea actually means bringing a European or absolutely different phenomenon to another culture."
Last year marked the 30th year of diplomatic relations between two countries and though delayed, the exhibition gives visitors a unique taste of Czech culture.
What a great opportunity to feel as if we were on a trip to the Czech Republic. I also heard that people could have a rare chance to take a look at the inside of the Haeinsa Temple Janggyeong Panjeon, the Depositories for the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks?
That's right you see the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks or so-called 'Palman Daejanggyeong' is the most complete collection of Buddhist texts, engraved on 80-thousand woodblocks during the 13th century when the Goryeo Dynasty was suffering from wars against the Mongols.
Designated as a National Treasure of Korea and inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2007 this cultural asset is the world's most comprehensive and oldest intact version of the entire Buddhist scriptures.
Being the important asset visitors to the Haeinsa Temple haven't been allowed to go in and see the Tripitaka Koreana but the temple has now decided to let a limited number of visitors enjoy the asset every weekend.
"For those who are very tired of overcoming COVID-19 we have decided to open up the interior of the Janggyeong Panjeon starting June 19th through Internet reservations."
Just twenty people are allowed on the tours, which run at 10 AM and 2 PM every Saturday and Sunday
Reservations are on a first-come-first-served basis, and can be made through the Haeinsa Temple website.
Meanwhile the Cultural Heritage Administration is creating special events for those who've been vaccinated.
These include a Moonlight Tour at Changdeokgung Palace which starts on June 23rd.
To enjoy the nighttime tour and take a look at the beauty of the palace, those eligible just have to send a registration email by Saturday.
A music concert held at Seokjojeon Hall at Deoksugung Palace on June 30th is also only available for those fully vaccinated, who can apply for it through deoksugung.go.kr website.
Thank you Bo-kyoung as always for sharing this cultural information. I will see you next week.