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Types and Featuresof Korean Artificail Flowers

Hwang, Su Ro 1

1동국대학교 불교문화예술대학원

Candidate

ABSTRACT

In the history of mankind, there's no place where flowers didn't exist. Flowers have been a symbol of divinity, beauty, prosperity and desire. Natural flowers are a natural purification created in accordance with the laws of nature. But artificial flowers are a non-natural culmination made based on man's worship for nature. Natural flowers have limits in life and shape because they are govern by the laws of nature. In contrast, artificial flowers can be made by hand in any shape. They also never wither. Artificial flowers an art of expressing beauty, which may be imperfect only with natural means. They have human ideal and desire implied. Flowers made by hand with wholeheartedness are not only an expression of supreme respect for the beauty of nature, but also a visible embodiment of human ideal and desire. In Korea, artificial flowers were used as a crown's ornament or ceremonial article already in the period of the Three Kingdoms. They were made of silk or paper in the Goryeo and Joseon periods to be widely used for royal or private rites and rituals, apparently showing their elaborate, brilliant qualities. Making and using artificial flowers were based on an aesthetic will to perfectly show the very quality of flowers, that is, beauty. For example, Manbulsan, a model mountain whose shape is described in "Samgukyusa", is associated with a true aloeswood mountain because it was made of the same wood and has mounted accessories like a model royal palace and a model tower. Other accessories of the model mountain like model trees, birds and animals all of which are swayed by the wind remind us of Suparyeon, Junhwa as extra large-sized and Jamhwa, for example, Sagueonhwa. At royal banquets in the Goryeo and Joseon periods, Jidangpan, which was curtained with a floridly tasseled flag, and Junhwa as enormously sized were often used. They had their own device that makes model bees, butterflies or birds move. This suggests that Manbulsan of the Silla period is the origin of artificial flowers for ceremonies of the later ages. Like Manbulsan of the Silla period, various types of Jamhwa, for example, Sagueonhwa which was used for court ceremonies in the Goryeo and Joseon periods and various types of Sanghwa, for example, Suparyeon were not just imitating natural flowers, but representing the ideal of life. In making artificial flowers as foresaid, leaves, bees and butterflies and various kinds of auspicious birds were also artificially made, giving the feeling of liveliness depending on human motions or outside environments. As shown in Malbulsan, Jidangpan, Suparyeon and Byeolgahwa, Korean artificial flowers not only represented an ideal world as, but also had technical features that could excellently express the sense of activity. This suggests the necessity of restoring and developing such ideal and techniques related to artificial flowers which were used for Korean traditional ceremonies.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.