O-Young Lee

Things Korean

Containing photographs of everyday, antique objects along with insightful commentary, Things Korean is a useful guide to traditional life in Korea.O-Young Lee, former Korean Minister of Culture gives us a survey of native objects from Korea, from totems(Changsung) to hair-pins(binyo), crock pots(Changdokdae) to temple bells(Jong), scissors(Kawi) to graves(mudon) explaining their significance and place in everyday Korean life.Each item in the book is listed under its English and Korean name; a glossary is provided to further assist the reader. Lavishly illustrated with more than 100 color illustrations, Things Korean is a magnificent celebration of Korean culture.
541 printed pages
Original publication



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    Polina Kazakovahas quoted3 years ago
    The chopsticks they used for eating, the sashes they used to fasten their clothes, the ceiling rafters they gazed at as they reclined on the cool floor in the summer—all of these creations together formed a constellation in their minds. The nature of this constellation, in turn, reflected their mind. The things they lived with, more than being objects of simple utility, were the expression of what they saw in life and what they felt about life.

    Is it just that the rays of stars come from so far away that the stars have now lost their luster? Is this why we in modern times are unable to hear what they are telling us? The things we use every day, too—even when we do regard one of them as more than a mere tool, it is because we see it not for what it is, but for what we can get from it. We regard it as a quaint or cute piece of handicraft, or we admire it for its value as an antique. We have lost the poetics of seeing the object as part of a constellation with many stories to tell, of seeing these objects together as a book with so much to tell us.

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    Tatiana Suslina
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