“Silla display of NY newly showed the charm of the Korean culture”
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[global news CheonJi] “Silla display of NY newly showed the charm of the Korean culture”

▲ With curator Denise Leidy(Lt). Leidy coordinated the event at the NY Metropolitan Museum, and gives a narrative with details about the Silla Exhibition. (Photo: News CheonJi)

Korean ▶ [global news CheonJi] 뉴욕 메트로폴리탄 박물관 ‘황금의 나라, 신라’ 그 후

Eighty years ago, no one knew the wave of expression would begin.

Only 50 years after the “Miracle on the Han River,” the Republic of Korea is among the world's top 10 economies. It has never invaded other nations and the peace-loving imagery of the country is in flawless harmony with a new wave. This wave is now the agent which leads the interest in Korean culture. It is timely that New York Metropolitan Museum exhibited, “The Golden Country, Silla” from the start of November to February 23. The exhibit showcased Silla art and then gradually began illuminating western influence.

At the time of the exhibition, there were considerable amount of opposition in Korea in Korea to the Buddhist statue, the 83rd national treasure, leaving the country. The Buddhist statue returned safely back to Korea after the exhibition. Silla, the Korean peninsula of ancient times (57 BC to 935 AD) was a vibrant trading nations trading with China, India, Persia, and Rome. It was known for its prosperity of Buddhism in the “Golden Age”. We met with curator Denise Leidy, who is responsible for the coordination of the event at the NY Metropolitan Museum, and heard the details about the process of preparation and the final display of the Silla Exhibition.

-How long was this prepared, and the reaction of the visitors?

The Silla exhibit has gone through the progression of five years pre-preping. During the exhibition, about 200,000 people visited.

There were those who came 5-6 times after seeing the Silla exhibit, attracted to the korean culture, and there were many that left good comments on the webpage. There was a good reaction to “The Gilt Bronze Maitreya in Meditation”

-How did you feel exhibiting “The Gilt Bronze Maitreya in Meditation” which caused much commotion in korea?

The national treasure 83, was attained through the close coorperation of the KyungJu Museum, we reviewed very carefully. We were very happy when we were able to exhibit it after this hard process.

-Which artwork was displayed?

The 132 artifacts that were produced during the golden age of Silla in 400-800 AD were exhibited. The exhibition was composed of three main themes: first, golden jewelry excavated from the tombs of the royal family and the nobility of Silla ; second, unique artifacts left on the Korean Peninsula that were imported from China and the Mediterranean ; last, Buddhist remains of Pan-Asia that were aesthetically reinterpreted to the Silla character.

-The purpose of the Silla display

Through this display I wanted to widely make known the wonderful culture of Korea. It made known that the ancient nation Silla exceeded Asia and went to the Roman empire through sea trade routes and traded with Rome to obtain great wealth. I saw that the display newly showed the reality and charm of the Korean culture.

By New York=Erin Walker

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