A cultural treat for fans of K-dramas

The queen's ceremonial robe (left), which can be found in the exhibition.
PHOTO: Seoul Broadcasting System

Fans of Korean palace dramas often see their favourite actors and actresses dressed in period costumes and get a glimpse of certain household props on the small screen.

Now, K-drama lovers will have the chance to get up close to the real thing at a new exhibition at the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM).

More than 150 artefacts and treasures from the National Museum of Korea and the National Palace Museum of Korea, most of which are from the Joseon era, will be on display.

Opening here tomorrow, this is the largest showcase at ACM to date, and took about three years to put together.

The queen's ceremonial robe, which can be found in the exhibition.Photo: Seoul Broadcasting System

Divided into six sections, the exhibition explores different parts of the Joseon dynasty, from court life to sacred art.

In hit Korean drama Love In The Moonlight, Korean actor Park Bo Gum, who plays a crown prince, dons a blue robe with gold designs. A similar style will be featured at the exhibition.

Known as the Gujangbok, it is the ceremonial robe Joseon kings wore for formal occasions.

In addition, the folding screen positioned at the front of the exhibition, called The Sun, Moon and Five Peaks, appeared in scenes from Korean drama Moon Embracing The Sun.

It is usually placed behind the throne or a royal portrait of a king as a symbol of royal authority.

The queen's ceremonial robe showcased at the exhibition can also be seen in the drama, Six Flying Dragons.

Other items on display include the horsehair hat, dining tables and the wrapping cloth.

The hat, also known as the gat which Park sported in Love In The Moonlight, is made from horsehair and is commonly worn by upper class Korean men.

Wrapping cloths were used to cover gifts and food as a sign of respect, but the one featured in the exhibition is more decorative because it was used by royalty.


Ms Kan Shuyi, curator of the exhibition, told The New Paper: "Most people know about the Joseon Dynasty from dramas, but not many people are familiar with it. What you see in dramas are often just props and not the authentic thing.

"K-drama fans will enjoy this because they actually get to see the real objects that real people used, up close and with greater detail. But I hope non-fans will be inspired by this exhibition (and cultivate an) interest in Korean culture."


  • WHAT: Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life
  • WHERE: Asian Civilisations Museum
  • WHEN: Tomorrow till July 23, 10am-7pm daily (9pm on Fridays)
  • ADMISSION: $10 (Singaporeans and Permanent Residents) and $15 (tourists)


This article was first published on April 21, 2017.
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