Join our workshop for an exploration of Obangsaek (오방색, 五方色) and create your own collage postcards using these symbolic colors. This session offers a unique opportunity to engage with Korean heritage in a creative and meaningful manner.

Date and time: Saturday, March 23 · 2 - 3pm CDT

Obansaek (오방색, 五方色) is the Korean traditional color scheme of blue (green), red, yellow, black, and white. Obang 방 means five directions - center, north, south, east, and west; saek 색 indicates color; thus, it literally means “the five directions of color.”

These Korean traditional colors were inspired by the concept of the ancient Chinese philosophical theory of Yin and Yang (阴和阳) and the Five Elements (五行) – presenting a belief that there are two forces (energies) -yin and yang - creating the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. The theory describes that everything in life - the universe, nature, and humans - must be balanced.

Koreans, believing that Obangsaek conveys fortune, protection, prosperity, and harmony, have applied to their cultures: architecture, food, clothing, and art. The architect of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) adorned the places with dancheong (단청) in the symbolic Korean colors to protect the wooden structures and infuse the meaning of the nation's prosperity. Babies wear the rainbow-colored hanbok, the traditional Korean cloth, on their first birthdays and holidays, which wish them a long life and protect them from misfortune and evil spirits. In addition, Obangsaek and its meanings were employed to make bojagi, a wrapping cloth used to wrap, carry, and store objects - sometimes for marriages and religious ceremonies. The meaningful Korean colors are found in the food. For instance, bibimbap (비빔밥) is one of the well-known Korean foods, incorporating Obangsaek decorated with various colored vegetables, fried eggs, and meats on the rice. So do kimbab (김밥), gujeolan (구절판), japchae (잡채), and more.



Heritage Museum of Asian Art

3500 South Morgan Street 3rd Floor Chicago, IL 60609

More Info (External Link)
March 18, 2024

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