National Palace Museum of Korea

National Palace Museum

EXHIBITIONS& COLLECTIONS

Special Exhibitions


The Glory of Gyeongbokgung Palace

- date : 2021-12-01 ~ 2022-02-27

- place : Special Exhibition Gallery on the 2nd Floor


The Glory of Gyeongbokgung Palace



The Glory of Gyeongbokgung Palace, the special exhibition held in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the excavation and restoration of Gyeongbokgung Palace, explores the process of the excavation and restoration of Gyeongbokgung Palace. It sheds light on the process of recovering the original form of this ancient palace by tracing its history and the stories of people who have contributed their efforts to the restoration of the palace.
Gyeongbokgung Palace that had lost its original form and had been left unattended returned to normal through the excavations and restoration works required many hands and considerable efforts. For the last thirty years, the excavation and restoration project of Gyeongbokgung Palace has constantly changed. The reasons for excavating and restoring the Gyeongbokgung Palace lie in turning the Gyeongbokgung Palace into a space harmonized with our lives rather than simply looking at it as the palace of the old dynasty. The restoration work on Gyeongbokgung Palace will continue to reconstruct Korean history and serve as a bridge linking the past and the present.
Traces of Joseon people who lived in the palace, modern Koreans who contributed their efforts to restoring the devastated palace, and contemporary Koreans who are enjoying their current lives in the palace are all indispensable pieces constituting Gyeongbokgung. By putting these pieces together, this exhibition encourages visitors to bathe in the reflected glory of Gyeongbokgung Palace.



Heungbokjeon Hall: Even if the Wind Blows the Door Shut

The wind comes in over the window. Heungbokjeon Hall in which the king envisioned the future of the country with officials was replaced by a garden of the Japanese Government-General of Korea with cold water running. The sound of water in the pond and footsteps of people strolling in the garden are no longer heard. Nonetheless, the memory of suffering the indignity of being demolished in cold winter is ingrained underneath the restored Heungbokjeon Hall. When walking along the corridor of the restored Heungbokjeon Hall, a fear that cold winter wind evoking the old memory may blow again grows. However, the Heungbokjeon Hall that regained its place will remain solid even if the wind blows.  


Heungbokjeon Hall: Even if the Wind Blows the Door Shut

Sojubang Kitchen Site: Memories Buried in the Mud

There are people who look for the memories buried underneath this site. As many people dig up the ground with their hands, boisterous sounds of cooking food at the royal kitchen seem to be heard. When the soil on the ground is cleared away, pieces of the past buried under the ground are exposed. Endeavors to put these pieces together lead to the revival of the royal kitchen. Like leaves change colors and grains are harvested in the autumn, these efforts made for a long time result in the restoration of Gyeongbokgung Palace.


Sojubang Kitchen Site: Memories Buried in the Mud



The Bedchamber Area: A Meritorious Deed Achieved after Five Hundred Years

In the middle of the spacious palace are bedchambers of the king and queen. These bedchambers that collapsed several times have been reborn based on their traces from five hundred years ago found imbedded in the earth. As we look at flowers while sitting on a wood-floored hall of the restored bedchamber, starlight is falling from the night sky in which the moon hung. After seeing the long dawn, now we wait for the morning. Memories from the past and present shape us today. The Gyeongbokgung restoration project is not a mere revival of the original form of the ancient palace, but a symbolic attempt to reconstruct the destroyed and distorted history of the past. This is the reason for our endeavor to recover the original form of ancient Korean heritage.


The Bedchamber Area: A Meritorious Deed Achieved after Five Hundred Years

Geunjeongjeon Hall: Spring after the Ice Melts

A young bud grows in the ground frozen all through the winter between the flat pavement stones of the Geunjeongjeon Hall. Along the waterway running across the palace, flower buds burst. Endless stories of the ancient palace intrigue us. Spring of Gyeongbokgung has finally come.

Having endured hard times and stood unmoved, Geunjeongjeon Hall greets us with a new frame and a beautiful traditional decorative coloring. The ancient palace that once served as a space of ruling the country is now situated in between high-rise buildings with its burden lifted, casually welcoming people moving about in a busy way.
Today Gyeongbokgung Palace is a space harmonizing with our lives thanks to the endeavors made by numerous people for its restoration. It is hoped that this exhibition will invite visitors to enjoy a resplendent spring of the Gyeongbokgung Palace.


Geunjeongjeon Hall: Spring after the Ice Melts





“600 Years of Gwanghwamun: Three Stories”


1st Story-Seoul Museum of History
Yukjo Street: The Symbolic Street of Hanyang
2021.11.16.~2022.3.27


2nd Story-National Palace Museum of Korea
Glory of the Royal Palace
2021.12.1.~ 2022.2.27.


3rd Story-National Museum of Korean Contemporary History
Gwanghwamun: Korean Contemporary History from the Perspective of Space
2021.12.17. ~ 2022.2.28.