Artist: JEONG Suhwa
Materials: Natural lacquer, wood, inlays of shell
Size: H45mm x φ225mm
Mother-of-pearl (MOP), also known as nacre, is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by certain mollusks as an inner shell layer, and accumulated in other shells, such as freshwater pearl mussels, in the form of pearls. It is very strong, resilient, and iridescent.
Korea’s “Najun”, MOP inlay methods, are known to have been passed down from China’s Tang(618~907) Dynasty to Shilla(57BC~935AD; a country located in the south-eastern part of Korean peninsula) during the time of the Three Kingdoms. Following on from the Tang Dynasty, MOP craftsmanship deteriorated in China during the Song Dynasty. On the other hand, in Korea during the Goryeo(918~1392) period, MOP craftsmanship developed and spread extensively leading to MOP inlay crafts and ceramics becoming representative of the Goryeo( introduced and pronounced as “Korea” to Europe) period.