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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Period: Joseon dynasty
Title: Orchids and poems
Date: 19th century
Medium: Album page mounted as a hanging scroll: ink on paper
Dimensions: 11 x 16 1/8 inches (28 x 41 cm)
Credit Line: Acquired through the generosity of the Cornell Asian Alumni Association
Object Number: 2001.004.002
Label Text: Jo Hui-ryong originated from the chungin, the middle class between the yangban (scholar officials) and commoners that emerged during the Joseon period. Like other chungin artists who sought to establish themselves as a new urban elite, Jo managed to distinguish himself in poetry, calligraphy, and painting. His early career writings and paintings were greatly influenced by his teacher Kim Chong-hui (1786–1856) but developed into a more personal style in his later years. Compared to Kim Chong-hui’s orchid paintings, which shied away from expressing strong emotions, Jo’s orchid paintings tend to resist the traditional literati approach in favor of more individualistic and worldly values. According to the inscription, the orchids in Jo’s painting are not so much scholarly symbols of humility and nobility, as they are flowers that express a simple feeling of mundane joy. ("Tradition, Transmission, and Transformation in East Asian Art," curated by Cornell PhD student Yuhua Ding under the supervision of Ellen Avril and presented at the Johnson Museum January 23-June 12, 2016)

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.