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Sunday, June 24, 2012

나전장 Najeonjang, Mother-of-Pearl Inlaying of Korea

Lacquerware was made early as the Bronze Age in Korea and inlaying shell pieces in lacquerware have begun in late Unified Silla period. Mother of Pearl inlaying is a technique of cutting off luminescent shells in different shapes and dimensions, then inlaid on wooden objects or furniture or another stuff and coating them with lacquer.
This traditional handycraft designated as number 10 of the Important Intangible Cultural Properties of the Republic of Korea Government.
The exquisite mother-of-pearl inlay works of art was developed in the Goryeo Dynasty period (the12th century) such as cosmetics container, bowl and Buddhist items such as rosary and sutra cases which are put chrysanthemum or peony designs. Colored tortoise shell pieces were also inlaid on Goryeo lacquerware.

The Mother of Pearl inlay art works applied on the cosmetic container

 It is can be applied on the USB and a name card case

Where to find this beautiful artcraft of Korea ?
Many stores in Insa-dong, Seoul are selling this or we can go to the main center of this handycraft at the southern part of the Korean peninsula.

Tongyeong city located in the southern coast of Korean peninsula has beautiful and good quality of shells and also is well-known as one of the main producers of fine mother of pearl inlay works in Korea for more than hundreds years.

Tongyeong city website :

Video credit : 
나전장이형만 Uploaded by Qubi99 on Youtube.
통영시 Uploaded by lbiz777 on Youtube.

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