February 27, 2013

Getty Celebrates 2,000 Years of Korean Fashion and Culture in Hanbok: Mesmerizing Beauty

Presentation includes costumes by renowned Korean costume designer Hyun-Sook Lee

Friday, March 22, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
At the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center


MEDIA CONTACT:                 
Alexandria Sivak
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6473

Hanbok on the runway (Courtesy of Korean Cultural Center)

LOS ANGELES—On March 22, the Getty and the Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles, present the rich and colorful history of Hanbok, a form of traditional dress in Korea, in a fashion show featuring 200 costumes by renowned Korean designer Hyun-Sook Lee. Inspired by Lee’s extensive research and profound knowledge of historical royal garments, this journey through Korean culture also includes dynamic performances by professional dancers and the thrilling sounds of the traditional Korean percussion ensemble U-So. The program complements the exhibition Looking East: Rubens’s Encounter with Asia, on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center March 5–June 9, 2013.

"The Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles is thrilled to be working with the Getty on this fantastic display of Korean culture through the centuries," said Youngsan Kim, director of the Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

Percussion ensemble U-So (Courtesy of Korean Cultural Center)


Featured in the event will be replica costumes from the Three Kingdom period (57 BCE) to present day. The event also includes replica costumes that provide a sense of how Korean clothing from the Joseon dynasty was worn, with examples of a long-sleeved cheollik and a short-sleeved dapho, luxurious silk coats that are layered to stunning effect. These types of garments are thought to be worn by the figure in Peter Paul Rubens’s famous drawing Man in Korean Costume, which is the focus of the Getty’s exhibition. There will also be a small re-enactment of a traditional Korean wedding ceremony.

“This fashion show brings historical Korean clothing to life—the sumptuous silk garments are vibrantly colored and intricately layered,” explains Stephanie Schrader, curator of the exhibition. “We are grateful to Heeseon Choi of the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles for putting together such a spectacular program.” 

Hyun-Sook Lee, president of Hanboknara Namgaram, is one of the most sought-after costume designers in Korea.  Her film and television work includes modern and historical dramas: Heo Jun, Sang Do, Hong Googyung, Cheondungsori (A Sound of Thunder), Seodongyo (Song of the Prince), Seondukyeowang (Queen Seondeok), Jjakpae (The Duo), Gye Baek, Haerulpumundal (The Sun and the Moon), Sindeuluimanchan (Feast of the Gods), and Ma-eui (Horse Healer), on Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), Moonhwa Broadcasting Company (MBC), and Seoul Broadcasting Company (SBS). Lee’s academic credentials include advanced degrees from the Academy of Korean Studies, the National Folk Museum, and on-going research on costumes in portraits of kings at the Nansa Research Center. Her exhibitions and fashion shows have been presented in Paris, the United States and throughout Korea.

Hanbok: Mesmerizing Beauty
Date: Friday March 22, 2013
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center
Admission: Tickets $25, to purchase tickets, call (310) 440-7300 or visit




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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations:  the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

The J. Paul Getty Museum collects in seven distinct areas, including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts, and photographs gathered internationally. The Museum’s mission is to make the collection meaningful and attractive to a broad audience by presenting and interpreting the works of art through educational programs, special exhibitions, publications, conservation, and research.

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