It was around Christmas time last year when we first stepped foot on the famed Korea Plaza Kuala Lumpur located at Menara Hap Seng Mall. I first learned about this cultural center from surfing a number of Malaysian blogs, a month before our KL trip.
On the other side of the display window was a gorgeous woman’s hanbok or chima jeogori which looked like it was made for royalty. The ensemble featured a jeogori, a blouse shirt or a jacket and a chima, a
wrap-around skirt, which was usually worn full.
Korea Plaza Kuala Lumpur
It has been said that during the Three Kingdoms (57 AD-668 AD) and Goryeo (935 AD) periods, you will know a person’s social status by the dress and jewelry she or he wore. The royal family for instance alongside other aristocrats and court officials wore clothes made of expensive materials such as satin and silk in vibrant hues.
Commoners however wore un-dyed clothes made of cheap materials such as hemp, ramie or cotton. It was only during the Joseon period (1392-1897) that the public was allowed to wear more color in their everyday dresses to the delight of the masses.
Evolution of Hanbok through Time @ Korea Plaza Kuala Lumpur
Headdresses too were symbols of social class and marital status. The hat on the left is called ikseongwan worn as crown by the king during the Joseon period.
The hat on the right however was a familiar head gear for Joseon court officials as seen here in the “Portrait of Chae Jegong in
black danryeongpo” painted by Yi Myeong-gi in 1792. Chae Jegong was actually a former minister and magistrate who oversaw the completion of Hwaseong Fortress.
Korea Plaza KL also had a pair of Taesahye or men’s shoes made from animal skin with scroll decoration.
A plethora of Korean porcelain also made the display window look more chic and elegant.
And what is Korean culture without a glimpse of its national treasures?
Cheomseongdae Observatory, the 31st national treasure of Korea is seen here on the left while Namdaemun (Sungnyemun), the
1st national treasure of Korea is on the right side. Wouldn’t it be great though if we can see these structures up close?
It was a pity though that Korea Plaza KL was already closed when we arrived there. You can just imagine how disappointed I was when all I could do was to take a peek through the glass windows!
Maybe next time, it would be me wearing one of these hanboks which can be worn by any visitor for free. How cool would that be?
Can you picture me doing a similar pose in front of these make-believe Korean dishes?
I remember seeing some of these stuffs from the Korean drama Sweet 18 when Han ji-hye’s character cleaned a bunch of these for Chusok, the biggest holiday in Korea where families spend time to honor their ancestors.
Korean instruments, like the gayageum, a traditional Korean
zither-like string instrument adorned with 12 strings, are also available at the Korea Plaza KL. Can you still remember that gayageum was even featured in the K-Dramas Heartstrings and Queen In Hyun’s Man?
It would have been great though if I too was able to do this pose!
Are you pumped up to make a visit soon?
Don’t forget to check out their Facebook page to find out more about their schedule.