History hovers over the 350 objects in the Freer Gallery of Art's new exhibit, "Chinese, Japanese and Korean Ceramics," which opens tomorrow. Gleaned from among 12,000 items in the Freer collection, many never before displayed, the show is composed of sueful objects of Far Eastern art, dating from 3000 B.C. to the mid-nineteenth century, and including ancient Japanese tea ceremonial ware, Buddhist ritual items, a twelfth century Shang Dynasty white earthenware jar, and a Japanese Satsuma water pot. "More pottery than we've ever put up before," says Martin Amt, special assistant to the director. But even this may not satisfy true orientalia buffs, so the Freer will conduct, for groups of six to eight, a behind-the-scences look at some of the ninety percent of the collection not on display. This reserve-in-advance tour of downstairs storage rooms is worth it, if only to glimpse the Whistlers kept on special revolving stands. And Tuesday is "Show and Tell." Then, the public is invited to bring their own oriental art works to the gallery where curators will appraise their historical value.

Chinese, Japanese and Korean Ceramics. Freer Gallery of Art, 12th Street and Jefferson Drive SW. April 10-17, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 628-4422.