Art/Style/Travel DiariesStyle

Catch famous hats from K-dramas and 19th century artifacts at The M

The PH-Korea cultural collaboration includes exhibit of Filipino hats

Different Gat shown at the Korea, A Land of Hats Exhibition

Travel through the history of Korea with the ongoing exhibit Korea, A Land of Hats in the newly relocated Metropolitan Museum of Manila (The M) in BGC, Taguig.

The Korea, A Land of Hats exhibit will run until Nov. 30, 2022, presented by The M, with support from the “Traveling Arts” project of the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange (KOFICE), in collaboration with the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines (KCC) and Coreana Cosmetics Museum.

The specially curated exhibit features around 150 pieces, including heritage Korean traditional hats and modern art works. As creations of the Korean National Intangible Cultural Heritage as well as artisans, the hats exhibit both the beauty and the complexity of Korean craftsmanship. These masterpieces provide their viewers with unique stories.

For Koreans, the moja (hat) is more than a mere accessory. It is believed to be directly linked to one’s attitude, spirit, and life beyond serving practical and decorative functions. It was a unique form of clothing culture that reflects the rich Korean history, the occasion, social values, status, and the wearer’s rank. But this exhibit is not just for the eyes, it is also immersive.  The exhibit visitor can try on the hats and take pictures set in a  traditional Korean street for the full Korean culture experience.

Walking around the exhibit, the visitor sees the Gat up close, famous for its appearance in the Korean zombie series Kingdom. These works of art are created by Korean National Intangible Cultural Heritage Gannil (Hat Making) artisan Park Chang Young and its certified trainee Park Hyung Park. This simple yet complex work reflects the mindset of Korean nobles who valued discipline and humility.

Different heritage artifacts dating from 19th century

The artifacts section in the center of the exhibition hall boasts accessories and headdresses for women, men, and children from the 19th century to the 20th century— valuable heritage treasures from the late Joseon Dynasty.

Baehwa Woman’s University Korean traditional bride doll—the first time the collection is exhibited outside South Korea.

Other artworks are Korean traditional costume dolls of Baehwa Women’s University—the first time for these dolls to be exhibited internationally, their first visit abroad being the Philippines. The dolls recreate Korean clothing for different seasons, from childhood to adulthood. The bride doll displays the traditional headdress for weddings in the North Korean region, which shows the elegance of a traditional Korean wedding in that era.

The exhibit also presents specially curated contemporary artworks inspired by the Korean traditional hats. In the form of paintings, photography, books, and installation work, the artworks add a modern twist.

This exhibit is a cultural collaboration between Korea and the Philippines. Adjacent to the Korean exhibit is The Hat of the Matter, an exhibit of Filipino hats up close, presenting Filipino history through the Filipino hats.

The exhibition is free admission until Nov. 30, 2022, Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the newly located Metropolitan Museum of Manila, BGC. Guests are advised to wait for the confirmation letter from The M. The visit will be by appointment for maximum of 20 people, and can be reserved through:

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