New at the MET – Diamond Mountains: Travel and Nostaliga In Korean Art

New at the MET - Diamond Mountains: Travel and Nostaliga In Korean Art

Jeong Seon (artist name: Gyeomjae) (Korean, 1676–1759)

Any of you tomatoes who like Asian art, have I got an exhibit for you!  The Metropolitan just opened an exhibit called “Diamond Mountains:  Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art” and it is beautiful.  I am partial to their aesthetic and I loved it.  The Diamond Mountains is probably the most iconic and emotionally resonant site on the Korean peninsula.  It has inspired cultural pride since ancient times and its present location in North Korea has kept it largely inaccessible in modern times.  It features almost 30 landscape paintings from the 18th century to the present—from delicately painted scrolls and screens to monumental modern and contemporary artworks.  This is the first exhibition in the West on Diamond Mountain and most of the works have never been displayed in the US before.

Much of the work is by a contemporary Korean artist, Shin Jangsik, who has concentrated on the Diamond Mountains since the early 1990s.  He began painting the mountains in 1993 before  he even visited them.  Butwhen the Mountains reopened for tourism, he was on the first ship sailing there.  Since then he has visited there many times.  In 2014 he painted a series of  12 scenes depicting various sites within the mountains in the four seasons.

Have I told you enough to make you want to see it yourself?  I hope so.

Miriam Silverberg  is a freelance journalist and owner of Miriam Silverberg Associates, a boutique publicity agency in Manhattan. She may be reached at

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