Mungyeong and International Ceramic Artists

Posted in Artists, Ceramics, Korea, Mungyeong, Tea Bowl on July 6, 2008 by morningearth

Photo with thanks to KNTO

Mungyeong, South Korea: The Mungyeong Chassabal Festival

Mungyeong, South Korea is a 1000-year-old potter’s city known for its tea ware. It is the home of many tea ware artists. Among them is the National Human Cultural Treasure Kim Jeong-ok (seen above right center) and the Human Cultural Treasure Chan Han-bong. You will learn more about these and other artists on our Mungyeong blog still in development.
In 1592 the Great Japanese Regent Toyotomi Hideyoshi invaded Korea with the lofty goal of conquering Korea, the Jurchens, Ming Dynasty China, and even India. Ultimately Hideyoshi’s forces were defeated but they devastated much of Korea. During that war, the Japanese forces camped in Mungyeong and took hundreds of ceramic artists from this area back to Japan. The war is formally called the Imjin War but it is often referred to as the Pottery War since nearly two-thousand ceramic artists, among thousands of others, were captured and taken to Japan. That war changed the face of ceramics both in Korea and in Japan. The amazing story of Korea’s ultimate victory and the influence of Korean ceramics on Japan will be found in The Pottery War blog still in development.
Today, Mungyeong is a thriving city known by many tourists for its beautiful Provincial Park and by pottery enthusiasts for its wonderful tea ware.
This may be the first time that you have learned that Korea practices “tea”. Korea introduced “tea” to Japan in the 1300’s and today has many different kinds of tea ceremonies utilizing both infused tea and powdered tea. Infused tea uses teacups and selects the tea depending on the type of ceremony and the spirit of the occasion, powdered tea uses tea bowls and uses malcha or powdered green tea. The Korean and Japanese word for tea is “cha”. Japan’s word for tea bowl is “chawan”. The Korean word for tea bowl is “chassabal”.
In 2006, Mungyeong invited ceramic artists from four countries to participate in the Chassabal Festival. In 2007 artists from nine countries were invited. In 2008, Mungyeong’s tenth anniversary, they invited artists from sixteen countries including Australia, Canada, China, The Czech Republic Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Latvia, The Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Taiwan and the United States. In 2009 artists from 26 countries attended.
This blog features those artists whose information we have. It will eventually include photographs and comments about some of the other international artists.
For more information on these artists and to contact them e-mail Morning Earth at You can learn more about Morning Earth at MorningEarthPottery.Com or by viewing our blog at An English language blog or web site on Mungyeong will eventually be developed.  A link to Mungyeong can be found on our Morning Earth Pottery web site.


Because of a special invitation from Korea to do so, Morning Earth is developing several a series of tours to Korea. One or more of these tours will visit Mungyeong during their Chassabal Festival.  For more information on our tours visit MorningEarthKorea.Com or contact us at