Chaekgeori explores the genre of Korean still-life painting known as chaekgeori (loosely translated as 'books and things'). Encouraged and popularized by King Jeongjo (1752-1800, r. 1776-1800) as a political tool to promote societal conservatism against an influx of ideas from abroad, chaekgeori was one of the most enduring and prolific art forms of Korea's Joseon dynasty (1392-1910). It depicts books and other material commodities as symbolic embodiments of knowledge, power, and social reform. Chaekgeori has maintained its popularity in Korea for more than two centuries, and remains a force in Korean art to this day. No other genre or medium in the entirety of Korean art, including both court and folk paintings, has so engaged and documented the image of books and collectible commodities and their place in an ever-evolving Korean society. When it transitioned into folk-style painting, unexpected and creative visual elements emerged. Folk versions of chaekgeori from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries often show an exquisite fusion of Korean and Western composition that feels modern to our contemporary eyes. Not only books but many other commodities are depicted to represent the commoner?s desire for higher social status, wealth, and knowledge. Exhibition: Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University, USA (29.09. - 23.12.2016) / Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, USA (15.04. - 11.06.2017) / Cleveland Museum of Art, USA (05.08. - 05.11.2017).