by Misik Kim
Korean masks have a long tradition with use in a variety of contexts.
They were used in war, on both soldiers and their horses; ceremonially,
for burial rites in jade and bronze and for shamanistic ceremonies to
drive away evil spirits; to remember
the faces of great historical figures in death masks; and in the arts,
particularly in ritual dances, courtly, and theatrical plays. The present uses are as miniature masks for tourist souvenirs, or on cell-phones
where they hang as good-luck talismans.
There are various kinds of Korean masks and performances
talchum is just one of dozens of styles of Korean masks.
And It could be characterized as a Korean dance performed while wearing a mask,
Many different regions have their own unique forms of the art; in fact, some styles
belong to a single small village.
The masks range from fairly realistic to outlandish and monstrous. Some are large,
exaggerated circles. Others are oval, or even triangular, with long and pointed chins.
Many of the finest masks are carved from alder wood, The masks are attached to a hood of black cloth, which serves to hold the mask in place, and also resembles hair.
I am so interested in Korean traditional masks for a long time.
I am trying to express them in my work.