Rediscovering the beauty of Korean architecture

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Rediscovering the beauty of Korean architecture
The snowy scenery of Buyongji viewed from Yeonghwadang in Changdeokgung Palace by Bae Bein-u

A step inside Changdeokgung Palace at the heart of Seoul after sunset and the city of skyscrapers just seems to disappear.

Moonlight illuminates Joseon era royal buildings standing harmoniously with the surrounding green and natural formations of gardens that reflect its original terrain. Subtle rays from lamps inside the buildings reveal details in geometric window bar patterns and the balanced beauty of roofs and doors.

Such delights of Korean traditional architecture are captured in photographs at the ongoing exhibition “A Homage to Korean Architecture: Wisdom of the Earth” at the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art.

Korean photographers, including Joo Myung-duck, Bae Bein-u and Koo Bon-chang, were commissioned to visit 10 historic buildings and take pictures of them throughout the seasons. The buildings include Buddhist temples, both Haeinsa and Bulguksa; the royal Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung palaces; Jongmyo Shrine; the Confucian academy of Dosan Seowon; and the Korean garden of Soswaewon.

According to Lee Joon, deputy director of Leeum, the reason behind opening the exhibition was that Koreans tend to underestimate the value of their own traditional architecture embodying the wisdom of their ancestors. […]