The history of the Korean folding screen is very rich. This decorative piece can be traced back to the Three Kingdoms period. Its original purpose was to separate rooms, but nowadays they are considered as space dividers. The Korean style of making these screens is extremely unique and distinctive. The folding screens were also widely copied by other artists. In the Joseon period, they were often made of wood and were usually crafted into different designs.
The screen was presented to Carl Andreas Wolter by Emperor Gojong, who was the head of Meyer Co.'s Korean branch. He was the first foreign company to establish a branch in the country. The Korean Traditional Folding Screen was used during the Japanese colonial period, and during the Korean War. In addition to its symbolic value, the Korean folding screen is a unique example of art. It was exhibited in a gallery at the Daegu National Museum in 2010, and was donated to the city after the show.
After the Korean War, the folding screen was returned to Han Myo-sook's family. He married into a family related to Queen Min. Queen Min, or Empress Myeongseong, was assassinated in 1895 by Japanese military officers and the Japanese minister to Korea. The family kept the folding screen at their home and had it commissioned by the museum. It is believed that Han Myo-sook gave the screen to her sister when she married a U.S. military officer in 1964. Her husband, Shin Gi-su, was stationed in South Korea at the time.
Han Myo-sook married into a family that was related to Queen Min. After the assassination, Queen Min became Empress Myeongseong. The Japanese military officers and the Japanese minister to Korea were responsible for the assassination. The family kept the screen in their house throughout the Korean War and Japanese colonial rule. She later interviewed her father and brother-in-law, Shin Gi-su, and they retraced Han's history to reconstruct how he came to own such a precious piece of art.
The history of the Korean/ Asian Folding Screen is fascinating. Although most screens depict scenes of nature or animals, they contain more symbolism than the average painting. The Chinese, for instance, used a lot of symbols on their screens, including the numbers of animals and plants. Their goal was to represent prosperity and longevity. The meaning of the folding screen can be seen in the paintings on the screen. Its rich symbolism was very important to the people of Korea.
The folding screen was also used during the Japanese colonial period. It was placed directly behind the throne, so its significance was only later realized during the Unified Silla period. During that time, the Koreans considered this piece to be of great importance. The inscriptions and paintings on the folding screens were very beautiful and often contained deep symbolism. In fact, the artworks on the screens tended to have a higher symbolic value than the paintings themselves.
The earliest known Korean folding screen was carved and painted by a Japanese officer in 1895. It was also known as Empress Myeongseong after the assassination of the queen in 1895. However, the screen was still kept in the house of its owner, Han Myo-sook. She was the second daughter of the deceased man who had inherited the folding screen from his grandfather.
After the emperor's assassination in 1895, his younger sister, Han Myo-sook, a London-based researcher, was able to trace the origin of the folding screen. The emperor had asked her to sell the folding screen so she could make it more valuable. She was also able to keep it in her family's house during the Japanese colonial period and the Korean War.
In 1905, the Emperor of Korea had his own museum in Seoul, but he had not yet been able to find out the exact history of the folding screen. After his death, the museum bought the screen, and it was reintroduced to the public. The exhibition has been a huge success, and is the first exhibition on traditional Korean art in the city. This piece was purchased by the Wolters and returned to Han's family.