Korean Ceramics Gallery

(Joseon Dynasty: Buncheon)

Buncheong ware represents the ceramic ware produced in the first half of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), roughly applying to the fifteenth-sixteenth centuries. The name is used in Korea, a contraction of bunjang hoecheong sagi (powdered gray-green ceramic ware). In Japan it is commomly called mishima, occasionally separating hakeme from mishima according to the type of decoration. Buncheong ware inherits the production techniques of Goryeo celadon in terms of having a grayish-blue clay body containing iron and being covered with a glaze similar to celadon glaze. In fact, it is difficult to make a clear distinction between Goryeo inlaid celadon and buncheong ware with inlaid decoration, which necessitates careful examination in dating these objects. The application of underglaze white-slip coating, onto which a number of different techniques were used to decorate the surface, distinguishes most buncheong ware from Goryeo celadon. The forms and designs themselves also accomplished transformation, producing a completely fresh, lively ceramic ware unique to Joseon dynasty.
Buncheong ware can be classified into the following categories according to the types of design applied:

1.Inlay decoration (linear inlay, planar inlay)
2.Stamped design
3.Design applied on a white-slip background (sgraffito, incised designs, iron-brown painting), hakeme or brush marks made in white slip
4.Kohiki (overall slip coating)

A record mentions that by the first half of the fifteenth century, there were a total of 324 ceramic factories, 139 of them for porcelain and 185 for stonewares. There are different views on the question of whether buncheong ware was produced in the stoneware factory. In any case, it is generally considered that after the development until mid-sixteenth century, buncheong ware was gradually absorbed into white porcelain.

  • Korean Ceramics Gallery (Joseon Dynasty: Buncheon)