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What is Korean Colour?


Korean culture is rich and diverse, and one of its defining characteristics is its unique use of color. Korean color is a term used to describe the traditional colors that have long been associated with various aspects of Korean culture, from clothing to art, food, and even architecture. These colors are deeply rooted in the country’s history, religion, and mythology, and they play an important role in telling the story of Korea’s past and present.

The History of Korean Color

The use of color in Korea can be traced back to ancient times when people used natural pigments to dye fabrics and decorate pottery. Over time, as Korea became more influenced by Chinese culture, new colors were introduced, and the symbolism of each color became more defined. During the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), a set of standard colors was established, which is still used today in traditional Korean clothing and art.

The Symbolism of Korean Color

Each Korean color has its own unique symbolism and meaning. For example, red represents passion and vitality, while yellow symbolizes royalty and prosperity. Blue is associated with peace and spirituality, while green represents nature and growth. Black is often used for mourning or solemn occasions, while white is seen as a symbol of purity.

Korean Color in Clothing

One of the most prominent uses of Korean color is in traditional clothing such as hanbok. Each part of the hanbok has its own designated color, which reflects the wearer’s social status, age, and gender. For example, married women wear a skirt with a red lining to represent fertility and happiness.

Korean Color in Art

Korean color is also an important element in traditional Korean art forms such as painting, calligraphy, and ceramics. Many paintings feature vibrant colors that represent different seasons or moods, while calligraphy often uses black ink on white paper to create a contrast that highlights the beauty of the written characters.

Korean Color in Food

Korean cuisine is also known for its colorful dishes. Many ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, and seafood are used in their natural form to add color and flavor to dishes. For example, kimchi, Korea’s most famous food, is made with red chili peppers that give it a bright red hue.

Korean Color in Architecture

Korean color is also an important element in traditional Korean architecture. Buildings such as palaces and temples often feature vibrant colors and intricate designs that reflect the country’s rich history and cultural heritage. The use of color in architecture is also influenced by feng shui, which is an ancient Chinese practice of creating harmony and balance in physical spaces.

The Role of Korean Color Today

Although many traditional Korean practices have faded away with time, the use of Korean color remains a prominent part of the country’s culture. Today, Korean color can be seen in everything from modern fashion to contemporary art, and it continues to play an important role in shaping Korea’s identity both at home and abroad.

How Korean Color Differs from Other Cultures

While other cultures also use color symbolically, Korean color has its own unique characteristics and meanings that set it apart from other cultures. For example, while red is often associated with love or passion in Western cultures, it represents happiness and good fortune in Korea.

How to Incorporate Korean Color into Your Life

If you’re interested in incorporating Korean color into your own life, there are many ways to do so. You could start by exploring traditional Korean clothing or trying out some Korean recipes that feature colorful ingredients. You could also experiment with incorporating Korean color into your home decor or art projects.

The Future of Korean Color

As Korea continues to evolve and modernize, the role of Korean color is likely to change as well. However, it’s clear that these unique colors will continue to play an important role in shaping Korea’s cultural identity and telling the story of its rich history and traditions.


Korean color is a fascinating aspect of Korean culture that reflects the country’s rich history and traditions. By understanding the symbolism and meaning behind each color, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the role that color plays in shaping our own lives and cultures. Whether you’re a fan of Korean fashion, food, or art, there are endless opportunities to explore this vibrant and unique aspect of Korean culture.













In recent years, Korean popular culture, also known as the “Korean Wave” or “Hallyu,” has gained significant popularity worldwide. This has led to an increased interest in Korean color and its use in various forms of media, such as K-dramas and K-pop music videos. Many artists and designers have incorporated Korean color into their work, creating unique and eye-catching visuals.

Furthermore, Korean color is not just limited to traditional forms of art and culture. It can be seen in modern Korean street fashion, where vibrant colors and bold patterns are popular. Even in everyday items such as stationery, phone cases, and home decor, Korean color can be found.

The use of Korean color has also become a way for Koreans to express their national identity and pride. It serves as a reminder of their rich cultural heritage and unique traditions. In recent years, there has been a movement to promote the use of traditional Korean colors in modern design and branding, showcasing the beauty and relevance of these colors even in contemporary contexts.

In conclusion, Korean color is a fascinating aspect of Korean culture that has evolved over time but remains an important part of the country’s identity. Its unique symbolism and meaning continue to inspire artists, designers, and creators around the world. As Korea continues to make its mark on the global stage, we can expect to see even more innovative uses of Korean color in various forms of media and design.

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