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서울 – 서울역사박물관에서 110년전의 한국모습을 촬영한 체코 사진전 개최

<1901년 체코인 브라즈의 서울 방문>전시는 19세기 말과 20세기 초의 한국 사진뿐만 아니라 여행가들의 시선을 통해 본 체코와 한국 교류사까지도 볼수 있는 기회가 되고 있습니다. 이번 전시는 2011년 4월14일부터 2011년 6월12일까지 서울역사박물관에서 만나보실 수 있습니다.

Dozens of photographs made in Seoul and its surroundings in 1901 are on display in Seoul Museum of History (www.museum.seoul.kr) until June 12, 2011. These photographs which were never shown in Korea until today were made by Enrique Stanko Vráz, photographer, writer and a man of letters. He was one of the three most influential Czech travellers in the decades before the establishment of the independent Czechoslovakia in 1918. Vráz – jointly with Emil Holub (explorer of Southern Africa) and Alberto Vojtěch Frič (expert on botany of Central and Southern America) – were the single most important travellers and/or writers opening the world to the Czech public at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Vráz´s books, as well as thousands of lectures of this charismatic speaker had a lasting and important impact on Czech society. Thanks to Vráz and his colleague travellers the Czech society became well aware of the world not only in European neighbourhood, but in many far away corners of the world. An integral part of all Vraz´s lectures were photographs the collection of which consisted of tens of thousands pieces covering all continents – from Latin American to the Pacific Islands, from American Indians to remote Indian tribes…

 

Enrique Stanko Vráz at Gyeongbok Palace

(from the collection of Národní muzeum – Náprstkovo muzeum asijských, afrických a amerických kultur)

Vráz was an accomplished photographer, who started his photographying carreer in the mid 1880s in the Gold Coast (today´s Ghana) and he has never stopped making photos for decades on, regardless if he found himself in remote corners of the world as North West New Guinea or on the boulevards of newly industrialized cities of Latin America. His photos were descriptive and thus easily used as a part of his lectures and books. We can only be happy, that his vast collection was not destroyed, but donated after his death to the leading Czech museum, Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures in Prague. There, the Vráz photographic collection was meticulously catalogued and saved for the future generations. Thanks to this, the visitors of Seoul Museum of History can see the selection of his images of Seoul, which - except of a few - were never published and shown to the wide public since Vráz´s death in 1930. It is a rich source of information on Korea from the times, when the photos of Seoul were still a rarity (a glimpse of this collection could be seen at Czech National Museum´s web pages 

 

             This exhibition, jointly prepared by Seoul Museum of History, Czech National Museum – Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures and – last but not least – by Embassy of the Czech Republic to the Republic of Korea, will show more new views of the time past in Korea. It also covers the early Czech-Korean contacts since the late 1880s up to the 1930s. Diverse set of Czech-language books and materials dealing with Korea is also on display.

 

             The exhibition was officially opened on April 13, 2011 jointly by Mr. Kang Hong-bin, former deputy mayor of Seoul and the Director of Seoul Museum of History, Jaroslav Olša, jr., Ambassador of the Czech Republic. The congratulatory remarks were delivered by H. E. Mr. Martin Uden, author on Korean history and Ambassador of the United Kingdom. Around 100 guests attended the exhibition to see the photos, among them Ambassadors of Portugal, Peru, Hungary, Finland, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Slovakia, Russia, Ghana, Algeria, the Sudan, Argentina, Italy and the European Union and chargé d´affaires of Venezuela and Kyrgyzstan, president of the Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch and famous translator of Korean literature Brother Anthony of Taizé, historians, museum directors, journalists as well as professors. They also enjoyed the taste of famous Czech biers, such as Pilsner Urquell or Velkopopovický Kozel (courtesy of SAB Miler Korea – www.miler.co.kr), which entered the Korean market only a few months ago, as well as different Czech wines and spirits jointly with excellent Korean cuisine provided by museum´s excellent restaurant.

 

On this occasion, 240-page long book titled „1901 photographs of Seoul by Enrique Stanko Vráz and other early Czech travellers´ views of Korea - 1901년 체코인 브라즈의 서울 방문. 체코 여행기들의 서울 이야기“ was published jointly by Seoul Museum of History and Embassy of the Czech Republic. The book could be obtainted at Seoul Museum of History or via the Embassy of the Czech Republic.

The exhibition has a wide coverage in Korean press, with no less then dozen articles being published in virtually all leading Korean as well as English-language local dailies.