Did moon jars just represent simplicity and imperfection or were they used to store something?
Moon jars were traditionally used for storing rice, soy sauce, or alcohol. They could also be used to display flowers.
But despite their functional purpose, they were admired as aesthetic objects in the home. I love that you can see where the two halves were joined!
It's unique in its "imperfection." It immediately caught my eye because of the simple white.
Yes, I think in today's world of mass-production, such clearly handcrafted objects are very appealing!
I love the moon jar!
Do you notice the seam in the body of the moon jar? It was actually made from two bowls, one inverted and stacked on the other. The slight asymmetry wasn't considered a flaw. Jars like these were prized as signs of naturalness and spontaneity.
I'm a fan of the moon jar. They're so whimsical!
I'm a fan as well. You can see in the middle a seam where two inverted bowls were joined to make this vessel. The slight asymmetry wasn't considered a flaw. Jars like these were prized as signs of naturalness and spontaneity!
The garment is really sophisticated when compared to Joseon period porcelain and the men's items.
It is definitely more ornate, that's true! The men's items you see from the Joseon period are less decorative and more austere not because the individuals who made them were less skilled,
but because they were made with different aesthetic goals and social norms in mind.
Men of the Joseon period were influenced in their dress and in the things they surrounded themselves with by Confucianism. As a result, the clothes and items for men in the Joseon period were much simpler and more austere. Women, meanwhile, were still allowed to wear and own the bright, colorful objects that were associated with Buddhist aesthetics.
The moon jar is a great example of the simple and unadorned being desirable. Moon jars are made of two bowls joined together, and often have a visible seal where the two meet. The lopsided aspect of the jars is actually seen as more beautiful because it is subtle, simple, and natural, all desired attributes in a society a society with a Neo-Confucianist ideology.
Oh, I see.
Do you know how this was made? Was it coiled?
These works were thrown on wheels. The one you are looking at was made by making two bowl shapes and then joining them together.
Would love to know more about this moon jar. Because of the precarious firing process, did many moon jars not survive?
This is actually quite a popular and beloved ceramic form in the Korean tradition and quite a few examples survive!
This porcelain ceramic was made by joining two bowl-shaped halves. You can even see the seam around the jar's mid-section if you look closely. These jars were actually prized for their asymmetry and unevenness!
The official ideology of the Joseon dynasty, Neo-Confucianism, encouraged restraint, modesty, and naturalness in behavior and living and these ideals extended to the arts. The subtle color, minimal decoration and lopsided appearance of this jar is a great example of the way this philosophy manifested in production of ceramics!
By this time in Korea, porcelain was a favored material for household goods of the elite so Korean potters would have known how to handle this material pretty well when it came to firing.
Who made moon jars? Was pottery an accessible tool and skill?
Moon jars in the Joseon dynasty were produced at first by government run kilns, basically a porcelain production factory. That was in the 15th century and the moon jars produced would have been reserved for Korea's elite class only.
By the 18th century (when this jar was made), the rules reserving porcelain for the aristocracy loosened and kilns were producing porcelain in large quantities for wealthy households of various ranks.
Moon jars were made by Korean ceramicists. It was certainly a position that required training and skill. These were experts. In the late 16th century, the Japanese actually kidnapped Korean ceramicists to learn the secrets of porcelain manufacture.
Tell me more.
These two make a really interesting pair! The round jar dates to the 18th or 19th century and reflects a long standing tradition in Korea interested in subtle imperfection which reminds a viewer of the human hand that created the vessel.
The contemporary rectangular work by Kang Seok Young builds on this tradition adding a much more pronounced asymmetry in the form of a bend in the entire body of the vessel.