Looking back on the past not only leads to knowing about the past but learning information for the present. In addition, people can further develop the present using the past through the preservation of traditions. In other words, it is important to learn about traditions. Through this exhibition, SMT learned about the traditions of our ancestors and important national rites performed by people in the past. Let’s learn about Korean history through the exhibition <Music and Instrument of Seonjam>.
Into the Past
Seongbukdong, Seoul, where the site of Seonjamdan during the Joseon Dynasty was located, still host the place today as it was at that time period. Seonjamdan hosts the ritual for Seonneung, the god of Yangjam, and continues to be a sacred place for people to pray for the prosperity and stability throughout the year. During Seonjamje, a ceremony presenting the cultural heritage of Korea, there is music, singing, and dancing that aim at capturing the culture of Yeack. SMT reporter travelled to Seongbuk Seonjam Museum to learn more about Seonjamdan and Seonjamje and about the instruments and music used during important national ceremonies in the past.
The <Music and Instrument of Seonjam> exhibition is being held at Seonjam Museum, which is located in Seoul Seongbuk-Gu. To get to the exhibition from Sookmyung Women's University, take Bus 400 from the Main Gate of Sookmyung Women's University to Sookmyung Women's University Station, and from there take the Line 4 to Hansung University Station. Leave the station through Exit 6 and walk to Samseongyo Bridge to find Seongbuk Culture Center. Take Bus 1111, 2112, or Seongbuk Village Bus 03 and get off at Seongbuk elementary school and Seongbuk Seonjam Museum bus stop. The entire travel time will be about 37 minutes. Gallery tickets can be purchased at the exhibition ticket booth or online.
Learn about Seonjam
The <Music and Instrument of Seonjam> is a special exhibition held at Seonjam Museum. Through the exhibition, visitors learn more about traditional musical instruments, literature, and clothing used for Seonjamje. The exhibition is not only about musical instruments and clothing of the past, but is also about the Korean origin, description, and history, which is related together. At the exhibition entrance, there are various free language audio guides such as Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese, and they are available to anyone who presents their ID card.
The museum has a total of three floors, and the <Music and Instrument of Seonjam> exhibition is held on the third floor of the special exhibition room. The first floor offers visitors an overall of Seonjam, Seonjamje, and Sunjamdan. In particular, the exhibition gives visitors a taste of both the past and present. The most interesting part of the exhibit on the first floor is the restoration of the site. On the second floor of the museum, visitors are provided with more details about the royal family of Joseon and how it emphasized the importance of the sericultural industry and wished for stability and abundance throughout the year for the nation. It was a major driving force in the development of ancient Korean society along with agriculture. The exhibition on the third floor presents actual instruments used during those days, the composition and scale of bands, and the music for the ceremony. A guidebook for the exhibition detailing all the various types of instruments is needed to understand. It was interesting to see the instruments firsthand as they are difficult to see in everyday life. The music used in the festival can also be heard at the exhibition in a special area sectioned just for visitors to enjoy the sound of traditional instruments. Visitors can also take a look at the music and rituals of Seonjamje through the images of Seonjamje in the Joseon Dynasty. The wall displays people preparing for the event rites throughout the 5-day pre-ceremony preparations. Visitors will see what occurs on the first day of preparations up until what the actual ceremony ritual day. There is also information about the dance for victims of the anti-submarine disaster. The exhibition hall displays musical instruments, clothing, and past materials related to the Seonjamje. This allowed SMT reporter to fully understand the influence the anti-submarine regime had on Korean ancestors.
Ratings : ★★★☆☆
The exhibition serves as an opportunity for visitors to learn more about past rituals. This reporter did not know about the ritual, but learned a lot about it and experienced firsthand the music and clothing of the past. However, the special exhibition itself was rather small. It is confined to the third floor of the Seongbuk Seonjam Museum. The first and second floors of the museum are permanent exhibits. Nevertheless, the content and information presented on the first and second floors give visitors a better understanding of the content and information presented at the Music and Instrument of Seonjamje exhibition. Originally, SMT reporters thought the entire museum would be centered on the special exhibition, so that was a bit of a disappointment. Regardless, this SMT reporter highly recommends a visit to the exhibition as it is a great opportunity for Sookmyungians to learn about the past.