Seoul Craft Museum Hosts Major Korea-Austria Contemporary Jewelry Exchange | Be Korea-savvy

Seoul Craft Museum Hosts Major Korea-Austria Contemporary Jewelry Exchange


SEOUL, May 28 (Korea Bizwire) – From May 28 to July 28, the Seoul Craft Museum will present “Beyond Ornament: Utterance,” a landmark contemporary jewelry exchange exhibition between South Korea and Austria, the museum announced on May 27.

This exhibition marks the first major artistic jewelry exchange since the two nations established diplomatic ties in 1892, showcasing 675 representative works by a total of 111 Korean and Austrian artists and teams. 


The exhibition aims to transcend the traditional perception of jewelry as a symbol of power and an object of desire.

Instead, it focuses on contemporary jewelry that emerges as a new visual language through experimentation with materials and forms.


According to the museum, the exhibition explores the potential of modern jewelry as a means of artistic expression and an alternative medium for communication.

In preparation for “Beyond Ornament: Utterance,” curators from both countries engaged in continuous research on works and exhibitions, fostering close collaboration.


The exhibition’s costs were jointly funded through sponsorship from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sports, and the Austrian Cultural Forum.

The first part, “Jewelry Avant-Garde,” spotlights the history of contemporary jewelry that began in the 1970s in Korea and Austria.

This section features 143 works (80 from Austria and 63 from Korea) by 31 artists (23 Austrian and 10 Korean), allowing visitors to compare and appreciate the pioneering generations of artists from both nations.


The second part, “Contemporary Jewelry Today,” presents contemporary jewelry works from Korea and Austria produced since the 2000s.

The common themes of “body,” “nature,” and “narrative” detected in the works are introduced through a structure that preserves the languages of both countries in parallel juxtapositions. 

“Contemporary Jewelry Tomorrow,” the third part, examines the new production methods and attitudes of contemporary jewelry artists considering future production environments, spanning traditional manufacturing techniques and emerging technologies.


This section also explores the characteristics and future development directions of contemporary jewelry in both countries.

Additionally, the exhibition includes a Matching Jewelry Corner, featuring 111 representative works by the 111 participating artists and teams.

This interactive program scans visitors’ clothing, analyzes the colors, and matches them with jewelry pieces that complement their outfits, allowing attendees to experience the crafts in a multidimensional way. 


On May 30, an artist talk program will be held with Korean and Austrian contemporary jewelry artists participating in the exhibition. On the first Friday of each month, during Seoul Culture Night, the curators responsible for planning the exhibition will provide guided tours.

Kim Soo-jung, director of the Seoul Craft Museum, expressed her hope that “through this craft exchange exhibition, domestic and international visitors will gain a new perspective on contemporary jewelry as an art form beyond mere ornament.”

She added, “We also expect this exhibition to expand the scope of activities for contemporary jewelry artists from both countries and contribute to the revitalization of cultural and artistic exchanges between Korea and Austria.”

Image credit: the Seoul Craft Museum /

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