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Geese and Autumn Reeds

Yang Gi-hun (1843-?)
18th-19th century, Joseon Dynasty, Korea

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This hanging scroll by Joseon court painter, Yang Gi-hun, depicts geese among Autumn reeds.

ink and light color on silk with dark brown silk brocade mounting
45.5 x 16.375 in. (115.6 x 41.6 cm)
73.5 x 24.5 (186.7 x 62.2 cm)

About Yang Gi-hun:
Yang Gi-hun, penname Seuk-eun (1843-1898), was a high-ranked official who served in both Pyongyang and the royal court in Seoul. He was the first Korean graduate of the Japanese Painting Academy and is also said to have been part of the first Korean plenipotentiary mission to the United States. Yang’s most characteristic subject is that of geese and reeds. The symbols for Noan have double meanings. Where no can stand for either “reed” or “old,” an can mean either “geese” or “comfort.” Therefore, the subject of geese and reeds can be interpreted as a wish for comfortable old age.

*adapted from "The Poetry of Ink: The Literati Tradition in Korea, 1392-1910," Muisee Guimet

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