Korean Ceramics Gallery(Joseon Dynasty: Buncheon

The leading ceramic ware produced in the first half of the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), roughly between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, is buncheong ware. Buncheong is an abbreviation for bunjang hoecheong sagi (powdered gray-green ceramic ware). In Japan it is commonly 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 its iron-rich clay body and its glaze similar to celadon glaze. Most of the buncheong ware can be distinguished from Goryeo celadon, however, by the application of underglaze white-slip coating onto which decorations were made using various decorative techniques. The forms and motifs also accomplished a remarkable transformation into a completely fresh, vigorous style, adding a special charm to the ceramics of the Joseon dynasty. Examples of decorative techniques include: impressed decoration with white slip filling the recessed areas, incised decoration, sgraffito in which the space between the motifs was carved away, hakeme or rough brush marks that were left deliberately to make a decoration, kohiki or slip-coated decoration by dipping the ware into the white slip solution and underglaze iron-brown decoration. Some of these buncheong wares were imported to Japan and called korai-jawan (literally meaning “Goryeo tea bowl”) and treasured by Japanese collectors.
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 stoneware. There are several 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 the mid-sixteenth century, production of buncheong ware gradually diminished and was absorbed into white porcelain.