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Korean Folk Art
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LOTUS AND CARP

by Stephanie Lee | | 0 Comments

# Contents
Title Lotus and Carp
Creator Unidentified Korean artist
Format Six-panel folding screen
Type Painting and Drawings
Medium Ink and color on paper
Description

This screen from a woman’s room demonstrates the owner’s aspirations for a happy marriage, many children, and her family’s success. The pair of carp represents the couple and symbolizes the unification of yin (the female principle) and yang (the male principle). The lotuses— plants that bear fruit and flowers at the same time—signify fecundity. The lotus also expresses the hope that male members of the family will pass the civil service examination required to become a government official on the first attempt. This is because in Korean the pronunciation of the characters for lotus fruit is yeon’gwa, which is the same as the pronunciation of the characters for success on the exam. In Korean folk art, a carp is also an emblem of successfully passing the civil service exam. This screen from a woman’s room demonstrates the owner’s aspirations for a happy marriage, many children, and her family’s success. The pair of carp represents the couple and symbolizes the unification of yin (the female principle) and yang (the male principle). The lotuses— plants that bear fruit and flowers at the same time—signify fecundity. The lotus also expresses the hope that male members of the family will pass the civil service examination required to become a government official on the first attempt. This is because in Korean the pronunciation of the characters for lotus fruit is yeon’gwa, which is the same as the pronunciation of the characters for success on the exam. In Korean folk art, a carp is also an emblem of successfully passing the civil service exam.

Rights University of Michigan Museum of Art
Accession Number 2014/2.202
Period Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910)
Culture Korean
Geographic Origin Korea
Dimensions 23 in x 85 1/2 in (58.42 cm x 217.17 cm)
Resource URL https://exchange.umma.umich.edu/resources/35115/view