Sunday, January 3, 2010

INCA and other Peruvian civilizations (National Museum of Korea)

Now here is an exhibition you shouldn't miss : a unique display of often striking artifacts from twenty ancient Andean civilizations and nine Peruvian museums. Incas only form the tip of the iceberg because they were the last one, uniting for a rather short period a very large territory before being exterminated by Pizarro & co.

What always puzzles me with pre-columbian art is the paradox between the relative lack of social evolution over centuries, and the apparent absence of norms in arts and crafts, a source for incredible diversity and creativity. I guess it reflects a vision of the World where the laws of nature - even as gods - put politics backstage compared to say in Egypt.

And here, from the most exquisite stone pectoral to the most libertine earthenware, from the most colorful 3,000 year-old fabrics to the most surprising shamanist nurse Barbies, from the cutest llama to the creepiest mask, curators made sure you never have the impression to see twice the same thing. Not all boards are fully translated, but mummies or skulls with multiple trepanations don't require tons of explanations.

Literally a golden opportunity.

INCA - The Great Myth and Mystery of Peruvian Civilization
National Museum of Korea 20091211-20100328
Tel 1588.7862
website :

Seoul Village 2010

PS: maybe this impressive display has something to do with the recent visit of the Peruvian president in Korea. He was so enthusiastic he prolonged his stay. This exhibition won't so go visit it before the end of March !

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