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Korean Beauty
Korean Beauty
Contents Korean Beauty
Korea Contemporary
Around the turn of the twentieth century, Westerners ocked
to Korea on hearing rumors that there was gold in the ground.
Although many failed to nd it and went home, they did not
regret the experience, because they knew, in the words of one
missionary, that the gold lay not in the ground of Korea, but in
the hearts of the Korean people.
In the secret of the gold that lies hidden in the heart, one of the
cryptic symbols on the treasure map is meot. And this book has
been made to help decode that symbol. The word meot may
sound strange if you are not Korean, but once you learn its
meaning, you will be able, like those Westerners of a century
ago, to dig out the precious gold that lies deep in the hearts of
the Korean people.
Actually, even native-born Koreans can rarely give a clear
answer if you ask them what meot is. They know that meot is
Korean Beauty
Lee O-Young
similar to mat (taste), and they know what has no mat and what
has no meot. But all you can do is to taste the meot for yourself
in the uniquely Korean objects, customs, and behaviors that
appear in this book.
The beauty of Chinese ceramics lies in their substantial size
and mass, while Japanese ceramics are distinguished by colors
as brilliant as a red stingray. But with Korean celadon vases or
Joseon Dynasty porcelain moon jars, the beauty lies in the
gentle curves. Is it the beauty of the curve, then, that denes
Korean meot? And even then, what is the beauty of the curve?
When driven by function or efciency, human beings make a
straight line. Thats why most man-made objects are formed of
straight lines, in contrast to the curved lines of nature. Whether
you see it with your eyes or feel it with your heart, a straight
thing is not natural.
In straight things there is no change or movement. Like direct
sunlight, a bald straight line has no shade. In a word, Koreans
would say that anything functional, efcient, unnatural, and
bald has no meot. A footpath has meot, but an expressway has no
In todays parlance, meot is analog rather than digital. It has
something ambiguous and irregular about it. It cannot be
quantied in numbers or weighed in a scale. Thats why one
Japanese ceramics expert who loved Korean pottery said
that the beauty of Korean ceramics lay in the presence of
regularity within irregularity and the ow of perfection within
imperfection, for regularity without irregularity is merely
mechanical, while irregularity without regularity is nothing
but chaos. Thus, meot is born when regularity and irregularity
are in harmonious balance. The Japanese expert admitted that
Japanese ceramics sometimes lose vitality through the habit of
seeking only perfection.
Here we can nd another denition of meot. Japanese ceramics
have no meot. The reason why Korean ceramics have meot is that
they dont lose their vitality.
Nowadays, the business people and tourists who come to Korea
are interested in the Miracle on the Han River that produced
the countrys successful industrialization. But if they spend a lot
of time with Koreans and encounter traditional Korean culture,
they may nd, like their forefathers a century ago, that the real
gold of Korea lies not in the ground but in the hearts of the
A tourist map is not enough. Let someone arriving in Korea
for the rst time, or someone who has lived here for years,
or indeed someone who was born Korean, hold this book in
their hands; for when they do, I believe they may nd that
mysterious and fantastic Treasure Island, the land of meot.
Lee Joon
One of the things that highlight the special character of Korean
artistic culture and the aesthetic values of East Asia, setting them
apart from the artistic culture of the West, is the aesthetic of
yeobaek, the void. Chiey used in discussing the mode of expression
in traditional East Asian pictures and landscape paintings, the term
void refers literally to the empty space or unpainted portion as
opposed to the objects depicted in the painting. By the standards
of Western art, which portrays everything as far as possible by
its shape, the void in an East Asian painting might seem a space
that is unnished or lacking in form. Indeed, it is not easy to nd
a corresponding term in the vocabulary of Western art. The only
equivalent is blank space, which suggests the negative element of
empty space and a deciency in physical reproduction.
But in East Asian art theory, the void exists as a completed part
of the work, and might be termed in a more positive sense the
unpainted painting. In that sense, the void is not just unused
space, but an entity that exists even in its non-existence, and that
sublimates space to a higher plane. Of course, the beauty of the
void is not unique to Korean art, but is shared by Chinese and
Japanese art as well. But while Chinese art shows a continental
forcefulness and an aesthetic of solid forms, and Japanese art tends
to be decorative, delicate, and consummately articial, Korean art
is characterized by eliminating the articial as far as possible and
producing the work in a natural manner as if it were simply there
from the beginning.
Especially in Korean traditional paintings, the void is frequently
used not only to evoke the profound spaces of natural objects
such as clouds, air, and sea, but also to show the allusive spirit
of the Joseon Dynasty literati artists. In Bitter Cold by the leading d
late Joseon literati artist Kim Jeong-hui, the aesthetic of the void
appears with great elegance. Outside of the simple house standing
in the middle of the picture with pine and r trees on either side,
the work omits virtually all background. Through the image of
the trees standing rm in the cold winter, and the completely
empty void, it admirably expresses the artists desolate mood
in his banishment to Jeju island, as well as the warm heart and
unswerving delity of the pupil who has not forgotten him.
Viewing the Geumgang Mountains from Danbalryeong Pass by Jeong
Seon, who developed his own distinctive style of true view
landscape painting, depicts the wild scenery of the Geumgang
Mountains 12,000 peaks, which the artist had seen and felt for
himself, but also reects the legend that anyone who comes to
the Danbalryeong Pass will lose all attachment to worldly things.
Divided along the diagonal, the picture dramatically contrasts the
Geumgang Mountains, drawn like white crystals in the upper lef
part of the frame, with the worldly people who have come here,
shown in dark ink to the lower right along with the Danbalryeong
Pass itself, and thus it hints at the separate worlds of reality and
nirvana. The use of the void throughout the frame creates an aura
that gives the work a special power.
One of the articles in which the taste and sentiment of the Joseon
Dynasty appears to the fullest is the white porcelain jar. Known as
the moon jar from its full shape that resembles a full moon, this
vessel has no decoration at all, yet it conveys a strong impression
to many people through its indiferent and expressionless look.
With its sof full moon shape, its pliant lines, and its warm milky
coloring, it gives a natural and generous feeling. Generous here
is meant to imply various nuances of tolerant, accepting, ample,
leisurely, easy-going, and gentlequalities that help explain why
the white porcelain moon jar has remained a favorite for so long.
Smooth and round and accepting all things naturally, the beauty
of the moons shape has nothing vulgar about it, but is full of
elegance and dignity. In particular, the Joseon Dynasty moon jar
is epitomized by the limitless depth that comes from the tranquil
silence of a broad void.
The use of the void and a contemplative attitude toward nature,
which we nd so ofen in Korean aesthetics of the past, is also
interestingly realized in the works of leading gures in twentieth-
century modern art such as Chang Uc-chin and Park Soo-keun.
In Chang Uc-chins A Riverside Scene, which makes maximum use
of the aesthetic of the void although produced by the techniques
of Western painting, we can read the feeling for elegant pursuits
and the comical free spirit of an artist who lived without interest
in worldly success, while in Park Soo-keuns Homecoming, the hard
life of the common people is poetically sublimated through the
aesthetic of the void.
Since the 1970s, there have been many contemporary artistssuch
as Lee Ufan, Park Seo-bo, Suh Se-ok, and Lee Jong-sangwho
actively practiced the art of the void through minimal artistic acts.
One of Lee Ufans most important works, From Line, shows the
simple act of drawing a line until the blue pigment in the end of
the brush is used up, and then continuously repeating that act. The
theory of Lees method is highly implicit and poetic: existing objects
are suggested by dots, living things by lines, and the appearance
and disappearance of these dots and lines implies birth and death,
while the repetition of this process evokes the innite circulation of
the universe, which has no beginning or end.
Actually, this aesthetic of emptiness using the void was applied
in various ways by Western abstract artists of the mid-twentieth
century. Yves Klein, Mark Tobey, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, Ad
Reinhardt, Agnes Martin, and many other Western artists reected
Oriental philosophy and ideas such as meditation and Zen in
their works. But what is important to note is that long before
Western abstract art, the concept of emptiness and the void was
very naturally ingrained in Korean tradition, culture, and rened
pursuits. Especially characteristic of Korean culture is its close
relationship with the East Asian concept of unity with nature or not
two but one, which seeks balance and harmony.
Kim Hong-joos Untitled, which depicts the crater lake on Mt.
Baekdusan, leaves a large part of the painting as a void, implying
that it is equal in importance to the painted portion. The sharp
contrast between the precisely painted mountain peaks and the
completely unpainted lake calls forth a new feeling quite diferent
from that of the landscape paintings or images of Mt. Baekdusan
that we have been accustomed to seeing. Suh Do-hos work that
reproduces part of the front gate of his own traditional Korean
house in the form of installation art, or Kim Soojas video work
that observes nature by watching the slow movement of a river in
contrast to the fast ow of change in contemporary society, is also
diferentiated from the work of Western artists by an observant way
of using the void.
This aesthetic of the void also appears clearly in the photography
of Bae Bien-U and Boomoon, both receiving much attention
internationally. Bae Bien-U mostly captures natural landscapes in
the dense mist of dawn against a background of pine trees, creating
a scene of lingering monotones like the void in a traditional ink
painting. The photographs of Boomoon show natural landscapes
centered on the horizon where the sky meets the land or sea,
reproducing real spaceswhite snowy eldsas the white void
in which nothing is painted, and thus hinting that there is no real
separation between the visible and the invisible.
Thus, the character of the void is that it has no shape or boundaries,
and is not something that can be touched, seen, or easily dened
in words. Yet through the relationship between seen and unseen,
material and spiritual, self and other, interior and exterior, or center
and periphery, it is continually expanding, forming new meanings,
and producing diverse efects. A space in which a kind of energy
resides, it is something invisible yet apparent to the eye, something
that can be analyzed but that must be grasped through bodily
feeling. Clearly showing the aesthetic character and spiritual values
of Korean art, the aesthetic of the void retains its place in many
forms of Korean artistic culture to this day.
Kim Jeong-hui, Bitter Cold
Chang Uc-chin, A Riverside Scene
Park Soo-keun, Homecoming
Bottle, White Porcelain with Rope Design in Underglaze Iron-Brown
Kim Chong-yung, Work 58-3
Bae Bien-U, Pine Tree Series
Suh Do-ho, Gate
Jeong Seon, Viewing the Geumgang Mountains from Danbalryeong Pass
Kim Hong-joo, Untitled
Lee Ufan, Correspondance
Boomoon, Naksan No. 8167, No. 8168
Kim Sooja, A Laundry Woman Yamuna River, India
Lee Ufan, From Line
Suh Se-ok, Dancers
Moon Jar
Koo Bohnchang, Vessel (HA 05-1)
Cheong Kwang-ho, The Pot 79
Kim Bong-ryol
The monotonous scenery of the coast, or familiar everyday city
scenes, can take on a new beauty when we look at them through
the viewnder of a camera. The scene in the viewnder is one
that already existed, but through subjective human choice it is
cropped into a picture, and in this picture there is already aesthetic
value. The landscape painters of eighteenth-century Europe used
this principle to develop the genre of the picturesque painting,
while Asian architects and artisans have realized the same principle
in gardens and buildings.
Traditional Asian architecture and landscape gardening was
a process of nding and showing the forms that lay hidden in
nature. In creating a garden, two important principles were, rst,
an exquisite correspondence (ingyeong) with the shapes and
topography of nature, and second, the bringing out (chagyeong)
of the intrinsic forms in the natural interior and exterior views.
So the rst thing to do was to read the lie of the land around
the garden, and to choose among the views that spread out
before you.
Koreas topography has been described as wrinkly. Between lines
of mountains not particularly tall, rivers and streams ow through
valleys large and small. The mountains are gently sloped and
thickly wooded, with small hills close to the villages and larger
mountains further away, forming a landscape of overlapping
layers. As a result, when you open a window in a house, in any
direction you can see a scene of mountains, elds, and rivers. So
even without making a garden, the window acts like the viewnder
of a camera, forming a beautiful natural landscape from the
surroundings. The topography of the Korean peninsula was a
great gif to Korean architecture. It presented the simplest way of
applying the principle of chagyeong.
In the gazebos and pavilions deliberately constructed for the
enjoyment of natural scenery, the chagyeong method is extended
even further. The Mandaeru Pavilion of the Byeongsan Seowon
Confucian Academy in Andong is a completely empty two-storey
building comprising seven bays (kan, the area enclosed by four
structural columns). When you climb to the pavilion and look out,
the Nakdong River ows peacefully below, with Mt. Byeongsan
stretching out above. The name Byeongsan suggests a mountain
that resembles a folding screen (byeongpung) painted with pictures
divided into multiple panels. Mandaeru is a building formed of
nothing but a frame, its columns standing bare without any walls.
The space from lef to right between the columns, and from top to
bottom between the eaves and the oor, forms an enormous empty
picture frame. This architectural frame is lled with the scenery of
mountains and rivers, and the frames of the seven bays extend to
present the views of the long river and mountain as both divided
and continuous. Thus the pavilion becomes a folding screen
adorned with seven landscape paintings.
The method of using the building as a visual frame for the
landscape outside has ofen been used in contemporary
architecture too. When architect Bae Byung-kil designed Gallery
Hyundai, he deliberately pierced the faade of the building
with windows. In general, art gallery buildings avoid windows
because the direct rays of the sun can hinder the preservation and
appreciation of the art works. Nevertheless, this building was
given windows to provide views of the old palace across the road.
Seen through the frame-like windows of the gallery, the palace is
no longer a relic but a series of works of art.
Welcomm City, Seoul, designed by leading Korean architect Seung
H-Sang, is an example of a structure that uses whole buildings as
a visual frame. The headquarters of an advertising company, it is
formed of four separate buildings. The complex is not very large,
but the reason for dividing the buildings was to leave an empty
space between them so that the views of the neighborhood in
front and behind would be visible from each building. What this
architect calls the urban void is rearranging the landscape of
the city.
Gardens around the world are designed to present an idealized
image of nature. The English picturesque garden re-created
pastoral scenes of the countryside, while the arabesque garden of
the Islamic world evoked a lush oasis amid the desert. A Korean
garden, on the other hand, had no need to reproduce the forms of
nature by articial means. As you only had to raise your eyes to
see rich and beautiful nature all around you, nature itself became
a garden simply by the choice of a view. The goal of the Korean
garden was to maximize the intrinsic beauty of nature with the
minimum of articial interference. Even if it was created articially,
the principle of landscaping was not to let the artice appear but to
make the garden look as if it had been created by nature in the rst
place. This might be called the epitome of the static view of nature,
which respects nature just as it is.
Accordingly, articial behavior that goes against the principles of
nature was frowned on. As it was in the nature of water to ow
from high to low, they did not make fountains that shoot water
upward. Nor did they articially change the topography. Where
there was a slope, they built embankments to suit the slope and
form step-like terraces, and where the land was level, they built
walls to form a space suited to level land.
Some buildings became completely part of nature. Gaeamsa
Temple in Buan is a very small temple. When it was rebuilt in
the seventeenth century, the whole country was in ruins afer
the Japanese invasions, and there were no economic resources
for rebuilding a temple on a large scale. There was only enough
money to build a very small Buddha Hall of only three bays. A site
for the building was chosen below a mountain with two imposing
boulders on its summit. The little building looked like another
boulder that had rolled down from the hill behind, completely
becoming a part of the natural scene. When you stand in front of
this Buddha Hall, you cant help exclaiming in admiration at the
magnicent scenery, but it is hard to tell whether the object of that
admiration is nature or the man-made building.
Similarly, the Education Center for Unication in Seoul, designed
by contemporary architect Kim Won, stands within the Bukhansan
National Park. This architect made the shape of the buildings
resemble the surrounding jagged mountain peaks. The buildings
themselves became articial mountains, forming a new part
of nature.
Nature is also a temporal being that changes with night and day
and the changing seasons. Therefore, the principle of chagyeong
must also accept the changes of time. For garden trees, broad-leafed
trees that reected the four seasons were preferred to evergreens
and conifers, and they were not planted in straight lines. Koreans
would enjoy the new green shoots in spring, rest under the thick
shade of the leaves in summer, admire the beautiful changing
colors in autumn, and contemplate the snow resting on the bare
branches in winter.
Natural landscapes are not only to be seen with the eye, but also
heard with the ear. Sounds of water, sounds of the wind, sounds
of rain drops, sounds of birds... all these are sounds that make one
feel the presence of nature. The Soswaewon Garden in Damyang
is a sonic garden where you can hear all these sounds. When you
enter through a dense bamboo grove, you hear the wind rustling
in the bamboo leaves, and throughout the garden, which centers
on a stream, you hear diverse sounds of water: the calm sound of
owing water, the powerful sound of falling water...
If you look carefully, you can see that the bamboo stems have been
planted close together to amplify the sound of the wind by rubbing
against each other. You can also read that the rocky oor of the
stream was deliberately made uneven to maximize the sound of
owing water. The sounds in this garden have all been articially
selected and adjusted, but it is difcult to detect any articiality.
Instead, you have the illusion that the garden has been created
amid natural sounds that were already there.
Nature is both a visual and an aural being, a being that embodies
the changes of time. Consequently, chagyeong is not just a way
of perpetuating the scenes that appear to the eye, but also of
capturing the sounds perceived by the ear. One must also be
able to feel in ones whole body the changes of time and the
seasons, and the accumulation of ages. Korean architecture and
landscape gardening has developed on a principle of chagyeong that
comprehensively shows landscape, sound, and time. As a result, it
has put architecture and humanity at one with nature.
Kim Su-cheol, Summer Landscape
Mandaeru Pavilion of Byeongsan Seowon Confucian Academy (Previous pages)
Seung H-Sang, Welcomm City, Seoul
Jeong Seon, The Inner Geumgang Mountains (fan)
Kim Won, Education Center for Unication (Lef)
Gaeamsa Temple (Right)
Ahn Jong-yuen, Gwang Pung Je Wol (Previous pages)
Choi Tae-hoon, Skin of Time
Jung Yeon-doo, Location No. 8
Soswaewon Garden in Damyang
Won Seong-won, Dreamroom Michalis
Buyongji Pond at Changdeokgung Palace
Buyongji Pond at Changdeokgung Palace
Kim Chang-kyum, Watershadow Four Seasons
Lee Hun-chung, See Nature in the Space
Kim Hee-soo, Rear Window No. 3
Yoo Seung-ho, Rear Window
Lee Myong-ho, Tree No. 2
Ahn Sang-soo
It is hard to express meot in a single word. t
Because it is a word that exists only in Korean,
it cannot be fully translated into another language.
The sensitive instinct to feel meot is
engraved as a beautiful design in our genes.
The realm that embraces meot is extremely broad. t
If there is lavish meot, there is also plain and tidy t meot.
If there is stylish and sophisticated meot, there is also humble t meot.
There is smart meot, and there is quiet, unafected t meot.
There is elegant and luxurious meot, t
and there is childlike or countried meot.
There is rened meot and youthful meot, t
masculine meot and feminine t meot.
Meot shines out when the uniqueness of one thing resonates with many. t
When this resonance is missing, we sense a certain awkwardness.
Awkwardness is precisely the absence of meot.
Meot is resonance. t
Following someone else cannot be called meot.
Meot resides in uniqueness. t
It is the thrilling, breath-taking moment in the Monks Dance
when the robes rise into the air and time seems briey to stand still.
It is also the moment when the dancers art,
engrained into her body by an accumulation of time and sweat,
shows its own meot in the toe of the white sock
that hides barely visible at the hem of her skirt.
This might be called meot on a high level. t
Meot has two faces. t
The beauty of contradiction lies in meot.
Enlivening yet tranquil, lean yet rich,
funny yet sad, loose yet sharp,
empty yet full,
meot includes both extremes. t
Thats why
meot transcends diferent levels. t
It goes into a level, and then comes out again.
It reaches a stage with meot on a high level. t
Meot exists alongside t mat.
Mat and t meot form a pair. t
Meot is deep and not easily seen, t
while mat is so direct that you can feel it in your skin. t
If meot is the moon, t mat is the sun. t
Meot is a rened pursuit. t
The beauty of meot lies in a ow, in riding on a ow. t
When there is meot, you seem to feel an energy, t
something living, with blood circulating.
Long ago,
One spring, beside the Seomjin River, a green old man spoke:
This is the Toad Ferry.
If the beautiful daughter of Hanga oats by,
a moonlight bridge will be placed across this river, and a moonlight ferry will appear.
How can you soothe the spring fever of apricot blossoms?
Behind that old man, I felt the meot of his poetic inspiration. t
When he dies, that meot will die with him. t
Like the grain of wood, of esh, of breath, of water, or of the wind,
meot also seems to have a grain. t
The grain of meot is the trace lef by the ow of
the heart and spirit in many layers.
Oh, my.
There is meot, t
it has meot, t
I feel meot.
Meot is fully absorbed in our lives. t
Meot is the essence of Korean beauty. t
The nest of the good and beautiful emotions that we feel:
that is meot.
Digilog Samulnori: The Dead Tree Blooms
Jo Hui-ryong, Plum Blossoms
Ahn Sang-soo, Hangeul Ivy
Han Sung-pil, How to Lie with SPACE The Ivy Space
Hwang Doo-jin, Chuijukdang (Lef)
Kim Kai-chun, Damdamwon (Right)
Yi Hyeong-nok, Bookshelf and Various Utensils
Document Chest
Bae Se-hwa, Steam_11 (Lef)
Kwon Jae-min, Grow Up the Light-table (Right)
Choi Byung-hoon, Aferimage 07-244
Kang Ik-joong, World Expo Shanghai 2010, Korea Pavilion (Previous pages)
Min Byung-geol, 3x3cm Movable Wooden Type Exhibition
Shin Yun-bok, Beautiful Woman
Yugi (Forged Brass Tableware)
Baekjegeumdong Daehyangno
Pensive Bodhisattva (Lef)
Seosan Maae Samjon Bulsang (Right)
Yim Seock-jae
Gyeopchim, jungcheop, overlappingthese words express the same
meaning in Korean, Chinese, and English. But lets consider their
frequency of use. Gyeopchimand jungcheop are common words in
Korean. In English, overlapping is not considered a difcult word,
but it is not used very frequently. This is because of diferences in
national character, culture, values, and lifestyle.
Korean culture is certainly fond of overlapping and uses it a lot. To
begin with, this happens in speech. Korean ofen has ten or more
adjectives to refer to the same quality. While sharing the same basic
meaning, they express the subtle distinctions that Koreans like to
nd in the specic ways that this basic quality appears in diferent
situations. This is the aesthetic of overlapping.
In this, writing is no diferent from speech. Take a look at the
Korean alphabet, hangeul. In all the worlds languages, there are not
many that form syllables by combining the alphabetic elements in
both vertical and horizontal directions, as hangeul does. Compare l
this to the way English or Japanese lines up the letters in a single
direction, and you can easily see how a spatial concept has been
added to language in an aesthetic of overlapping. Its the same
when the syllable ends with two nal consonants rather than one.
To pronounce these, the position of the tongue inside the mouth
must overlap.
Finally, lets consider styles of speech. In Korean, if you say plainly,
I cant, it sounds not just rude but aggressive. The most common
way of refusing a request is to say, I guess it will be difcult. This is
because of the national dislike of cutting anything of denitively,
and in a broad sense this too belongs to the concept of overlapping.
Why is this? Lets take a look at the natural environment. Koreas
topography is mountainous, but except in certain areas, the
mountains are not very rugged. The easiest kind of natural
landscape to nd in Korea is one of mountain ridges, neither high
nor steep, spreading out in overlapping layers. The close mountains
look darker and the distant mountains lighter, as if they were
formed from overlapping layers of cellophane. When people saw
this, they must have wanted to be like that too.
This was true not only of the natural environment, but also
ideologically. The Buddhist concept of not two but one is a typical
example. It teaches that the concept of binary distinctions or pairs,
which we understand as an important attribute of things and of
life, is actually no more than a useless diferentiation produced by
human greedan apparition created by the mind itself in order to
have only good things, and on that basis to have more possessions.
This is a warning against the spirit of diferentiation; but in the
everyday world, it must have been hard to follow the teachings of
Buddhism like a virtuous priest and understand the attributes of all
things as one, and the solution that was found was overlapping.
Because they wanted to be like the natural environment, and had
a religious teaching that supported this aim, Koreans were able to
reect the aesthetic of overlapping in many aspects of their culture
and lifestyle. This was equally true in clothing, food, and shelter.
First lets look at architecture. In traditional Korean architecture
there are no megalithic structures. Rather than constructing a single
large building, the main method was to divide the whole into many
parts and combine them by lining them up from front to back or
from lef to right. In a mountain temple, a succession of gates are
placed along the line of the ridge to form a continuous space. The
areas before and behind each gate take on a diferent meaning, and
the gate performs the role of overlapping between the two realms.
It teaches us that, just as the Buddha Hall seems to spread out a
transparent membrane when we stand before the main temple,
there is no need to make a rigid distinction between the mundane
world outside and the world of nirvana within. From this alone, we
may feel that enlightenment is not the end of self-cultivation, but
that further training is needed to remain enlightened.
Its the same with palace buildings. Although described as
nine-layered palaces, they still must communicate with the
outside world through a series of domains that overlap correctly
through the medium of gates. Outside the Geunjeongjeon Hall
at Gyeongbokgung Palace, the space is overlapped by as many
as three gates (named, in order, Gwanghwamun, Heungnyemun,
and Geunjeongmun), creating a suitably dignied space for the
audience hall of the royal palace. Rather than simply making the
building itself very large, the architect calculated on giving the
space an atmosphere through an aesthetic of overlapping that was
felt in the process of entering.
But the epitome of overlapping in a palace is the roof. The reason
why the roof is made so visible to the outside is to show distinctions
of rank according to the principle that customs diferentiate classes
in an era of despotic rule, but the result is that it creates a scene
of innumerable overlapping roofs. From the roofs alone, it would
appear that even in the palace they were less concerned with rank
than with living intimately together, and this means that ultimately,
in their lives together, people were never free from Korean-style
subjectivismthat is, from the philosophy of overlapping.
This is even more true of Korean tiled houses. In placing their
bets on space, one of the things that Korean builders considered
the ultimate betting place was the aesthetic of overlapping, and
without question this reached its highest level in the Korean-
style tiled house. Specialists in these houses commonly say that a
house is a large one, meaning that the actual oor space is
not as large as it appears from the outside. Why is this? To overlap
the space. A space is cleared to form a yard as empty as a hollow
rice puf in which the actual house is a single-layer space just one
room deep, dividing and crossing between the two sides of the
yard. The room has a yard at both front and back, and from the
perspective of the yard, the house and the room overlap.
Why was this done? It was a clever way of distinguishing
separate domains while allowing for a variety of indirect means
of communication in the extended family system. It was a clever
way of using sunlight and wind to make the house warm in winter
and cool in summer. It was a clever way of using the windows as
picture frames to create an efect of varied landscapes, so that the
occupants could always enjoy the pleasure of living with dozens of
pictures around them. The decision whether to divide spaces into
separate parts or overlap them is a very important fork in the road,
and in their sense of form Koreans chose the path of overlapping.
They chose it because, when they compared the strengths and
weaknesses of the two methods, they judged that overlapping
created spaces that were much more healthy for people in body
and mind.
In the whole sphere of clothing, food, and shelter, the aesthetic of
overlapping is epitomized by the Korean dish bibimbap (boiled rice
mixed with vegetables and other ingredients). Using an aesthetic
of mixtures created unexpectedly from diverse ingredients, this
is a case where overlapping has matured so thoroughly that it
has developed into mixing. When a wide range of ingredients
are mixed together, the taste, smell, color, nutritional content,
and other properties of each one create a chemical reaction that
produces an unpredictable result. The intention is not to make
something appear entirely as planned, decided, and expected by
human beings. In making bibimbap, no one worries about their
culinary skills. There may be master chefs of spaghetti, but I have
never heard of a master chef of bibimbap f . Thats because just by
putting in this and that and mixing them, the avor emerges by
itself as the elements produced by each ingredient overlap. There
is no way to measure whether one cooks bibimbap is better than
anothers. Bibimbap is a dish without a special cooking method, and
this is possible because of a delicate sense of taste that knows how
to accept and enjoy the subtle diferences that appear each time it
is made. The Korean mind itself, accepting that each version is tasty
in its own way, is surely the highest level of overlapping.
By the standards of Western or Japanese rationalism, absolutism,
or individualism, the aesthetic of overlapping may seem vague
or irrational. But the greatest strong point in the aesthetic of
overlapping is its economy. To maintain an exclusive dichotomy
takes tremendous energy. How can you divide things in two and
then keep on living with just one side? Thousands of times you
would be bound to wonder if you had made the right choice,
and you would have to be as stubborn as an ox to stick to the
distinction you had established. Truly you would need great energy
to keep this up. One way to ease this efort is the aesthetic of
overlapping. Life may be meaningless and the circumstances that
surround us are constantly changing, but living in accordance with
those circumstances is a way to get hurt less in mind and body.
Back Garden of Nakseonjae viewed from Chwiunjeong Pavilion
Choi Jeong-hwa, Guns, Germs, and Steel (Previous pages)
Lee Sea-hyun, Between Red 99
Irodang House at Unhyeongung Palace
Ahn Kyu-chul, Other Peoples Rooms (Previous pages)
Koh Myung-keun, Building 28
Jogakbo (Patchwork Wrapping-cloth) (Lef)
Chae Eun-mi, Gold Light Silhouette Crystal 2 (Right)
Shin Sang-ho, Language
Lacquered Box Inlaid with Mother-of-Pearl
Han Ki-chang, The Garden of Roentgen
Han Ki-chang, The Garden of Roentgen
Choi Joon-sik
The aesthetic sense embodied in Korean traditional arts is as
diverse as Koreas history is long, and is very difcult to summarize
briey. But if there is something that stands out particularly
in contrast to the artistic aesthetics of other countries, it might
be called an aesthetic of pagyeokiconoclasmor an aesthetic
of haehakhumorthat manifests itself in such concepts as
asymmetry, spontaneity, and free spirit. Koreans seem to be born
with an instinctive resistance to any strictly imposed system of
order. This is even more apparent in comparison with the art of
China and Japan, which otherwise belong to the same cultural
The most familiar example is palace architecture. The palaces of
Korea, or more precisely of its last dynasty the Joseon (13921910),
were modeled on those of China. But of the ve palaces that
currently survive in Seoul, only the rst, Gyeongbokgung, follows
the Chinese pattern, while the other four were freely designed.
Chinese palaces, as can be seen from the example of the Forbidden
City, were built strictly along a single axis from the rst gate
through the main audience hall to the nal gate, and even the
associated buildings were arranged symmetrically around this axis.
The only palace of Joseon built on this plan is Gyeongbokgung.
Starting from the second palace, Changdeokgung (listed by
UNESCO as a World Heritage Site), the other palaces ignore this
principle completely. To be precise, Changdeokgung is built along
three distinct axes, while its ancillary buildings are far from
symmetrically arranged. In this way, Koreans followed Chinese
models in external appearance, but remained faithful to Korean
spontaneity in the actual content.
There are so many examples like this that a whole book would
not be enough to describe them, but here we will just mention
some important examples from each genre. In music and dance,
the iconoclastic or spontaneous spirit of Koreans appears in
improvisation. The improvisatory element in Korean traditional
music is so strong that at times it can seem like caprice. One of the
important forms of Korean folk music is sinawi, an ensemble in i
which only the rhythmic framework is xed and the whole piece
unfolds through improvisation. Right from the beginning, it simply
starts without any pre-arranged plan. So there is no correct way to
play. If the musicians are well attuned to each other while playing,
a harmonious sound will emerge. But even then, it is not likely to
last long, because each musician plays according to his or her own
taste. Thats why sinawi is known as music that only the greatest i
masters can play.
This spontaneity tends to shade into caprice, the most dramatic
example being one relating to Sim Sang-geon, whose name was
widely known until the 1960s as a great gayageumzither player. A
student who took lessons from him stayed up all night memorizing
the music Sim played, and the next day performed it identically.
But Sim denied that he had ever played that music. The next day,
the same thing happened again. In readiness, the student recorded
Sims playing, then played it back to him the next day, insisting that
the student was playing just as Sim had done. But Sims answer was
enough to end the argument. Thats yesterdays music, not what
Im playing today. To him, music was something that should be
diferent every time you play it.
Korean traditional dance makes a sharp contrast with Western
dance forms such as ballet. Ballet is an art of beautifully realizing
a xed set of pre-determined movements. As a result, it bears
little relation to the mental state of the dancer. Korean dancers,
on the other hand, are less concerned with how their dancing will
look on the outside, than with how best to express their feelings
through dance. As a result, Korean dance has no xed movements.
The dancers perform their dance spontaneously, according to
the feeling of the moment, and the better they do this, the better
they are said to dance. Thus Korean dance, too, is always diferent
according to the circumstances.
Art is no exception, either. The art form in which the Korean sense
of humor is most fully developed is folk painting. Within this genre,
best known are the paintings of tigers. The tigers in these pictures
look so cute that they seem closer to cats. Yet obviously a tiger is
a tiger. I wonder how many of the worlds peoples portray tigers
in such a comical way. But the Korean folk artists way of painting
tigers was not just comical: it was also iconoclastic. Lets take an
example. Tiger and Pine Tree by the leading Joseon artist Kim Hong-
do is perhaps the most perfect portrait of a tiger in all Korean art
history. Every hair of the tigers fur seems alive. The folk paintings
that imitate this picture are very crude in execution, but they are
also very comical and iconoclastic. The humor is in the tigers face
or the overall composition, while the iconoclasm is in a painting
technique reminiscent of European cubism. What makes the tigers
body look strange is that one part is painted as it would look from
the front, and another part as it would look from the side. These
paintings are realizations of the highly iconoclastic idea that a
picture need not be painted strictly from a single viewpoint.
Its the same way with ceramics. Among these, the porcelain vessels
known as moon jars embody this concept best. Moon jars were
much prized by the Joseon aristocracy for their asymmetrical
and iconoclastic appearance. But not content with that, they
also painted highly comical tigers on the surface of the jars. Thus
comedy and iconoclasm were combined in a single object. This
tendency can also be found in another type of ceramic vessel, the
buncheong bottle. Buncheong ceramics look even more spontaneous
and appealing than Joseon Dynasty porcelain. Not only is their
shape unconventional, but the pictures painted on their surfaces
are unbelievably comical. The most characteristic example has
a painting of a sh oating upside down as if dead on the top of
the vessel, but far from being grim, the sh looks comical, with its
mouth open in a smile.
Finally lets turn to iconoclasm in architecture. In the Manseru
Pavilion at Seonunsa Temple, all the crossbeams are bent. Scholars
of architecture say that these bent beams were used because they
were structurally superior, but if so, there is no way to explain why
beams like these are not found in Chinese and Japanese buildings.
Instead, we must see this as a reection of the Korean peoples
distinctive aesthetic sense, an aesthetic sense that disliked anything
symmetrical, perfect, or smooth. The walls of the Daeungjeon Hall
at Cheongnyongsa Temple are even more dramatic. Not a single
column is straight; indeed the columns are so bent that they look
as if they have been distorted by a computer graphics program. The
builders surely could have used straight timbers or applied some
process to straighten the warped ones, but they chose to use the
original wood virtually untouched.
Thats how coarse and crude Koreans are. Wood was not the only
thing they used in this way. Even the foundation stones beneath
the columns were brought and used in their natural state, without
shaping. The lower part of the column was carved to t the rough
stone and then simply erected on top of it. This is iconoclasm on
iconoclasm. Thats why Korean art has not been very popular with
Western people, who are so thoroughly accustomed to articial
things. Instead, Westerners applaud the art of Japan. But it should
not be forgotten that among Japanese intellectuals there are many
who admire this Korean aesthetic.
Bongsan Talchum (Lef)
Noridan (Right)
Gwon Osang, Red Sun
Kim Deuk-sin, Cat Snatching a Chick
Lee Joong-keun, Catch Me If You Can (Lef)
Kwon Ki-soo, Life (Right)
Kim Hong-do, Kang Se-hwang , Tiger and Pine Tree (Lef)
White Porcelain Jar with Magpie and Tiger Design in Cobalt Blue Underglaze (Right)
Buncheong Bottle with Incised Fish Design
Jang Seung-hyo, Laputa (Previous pages)
Yoo Seung-ho, Pu-ha
Sung Dong-hoon, Singing Tree
Cheongnyongsa Temple Daeungjeon Hall (Lef)
Crossbeams of Manseru Hall, Seonunsa Temple (Right)
Lee Ji-yen, Stars Twinkle in the Sky
Yi Hwan-kwon, Jangdokdae
Lee Dae-hyung
At last the bell is made. Its appearance is as lofy as a mountain,
and its sound is like a dragons call that resounds to the ends of the
earth and even penetrates into the ground. May the beholder feel
a sense of wonder, and the hearer receive good fortune. (From the
inscription on the Sacred Bell of the Great King Seongdeok,
r. 702737.)
Born of the desire to overcome a time of chaos and open a new
and united age, Seongdeokdaewang-sinjong (the Sacred Bell of
the Great King Seongdeok) is a symbol of communication and
unity. The clear and uniform resonance of a temple bell was the
nest sound in the East, resounding far and wide in all directions.
To recreate that pure, deep sound, 3088 speakers were brought
together. Hyeongyeon by Han Won-suk was an ambitious attempt
to revive the dormant resonance of King Seongdeoks bell through
modern technology and artistic imagination, using the combined
forces of sound amplication, electrical engineering, architectural
engineering, and artistic direction to reproduce the shape of
the bell full-size. But despite employing all the most advanced
science and technology, that historic resonance could not be
recreated accurately.
King Seongdeoks bell is a good example to show the value of
yunghap or fusion that lies hidden in Korean culture. This goes
beyond a physical or chemical mixing of related elds, and is a
kind of cultural and imaginative sympathy or communication that
promotes harmony and reconciliation. To create a positive energy
out of the conict between dissimilar things and heterogeneous
values, it does not make them become a single body by force.
Instead, the important point is that it provides a space where
diferent kinds can meet and communicate freely. Within
that space, Korean artists have been able to create a variety of
experiments that reect the uniqueness of the individual rather
than mass production methods, and a comical and iconoclastic
visual language that transcends the canons of the time.
When they see this Korean visual art, which is so good at fusion,
people call it dynamic and diverseso much so that it is difcult
to include all of it within a single critical frame. But rather than
study the aesthetics of that dynamism and diversity itself, it is
important to consider the political, economic, and social conditions
that inevitably produced such a result. In particular, since
modernization, speed has been an important element in forming
the cultural identity of Korea. From the New Village movement
that overcame the ravages of the Korean War of 195053 to the
Seoul Olympics of 1988, the soccer World Cup of 2002, and now
the G20 Summit of 2010, an extremely rapid growth has been
compressed into the short span of 60 years. To maintain this high-
speed drive, Korea has had to swallow everything whole. In the
process, artists were bound to absorb and consume creations from
a variety of elds including Eastern and Western literature, art,
technology, science, games, comic books, lms and songs, without
having time to compare them. It became common to say that
success would go to whoever could be rst to receive advanced
culture and adapt it to Korea. Popular culture from America,
Europe, Japan, and Hong Kong was swallowed as if by a black hole
and digested raw. But barely ten years afer the country began to
take its place as a major cultural consumer in Asia, Koreas cultural
identity entered a new phase.
In 1999 a Beijing youth magazine used the term Korean Wave,
and an article about young Asians who loved Korean popular
culture was transmitted back to Korea through the Internet. The
brand name Korea began to be spoken of widely as a producer
rather than just a consumer of media, technology, and global
trends. This created a sense of pride that enabled Koreans to
compare Korean things and Western things on equal terms, to
ridicule the excessive unkeyism that had taken deep root in the
wake of modernization, and to reect on themselves. This sense
of pride also provided the strength to experiment with hybrid
cultural codes through diverse visual languages. With user-created
contents, it became easy to exchange images and videos. Cyworld,
blogs, Facebook, and Twitter expanded the collective intelligence
available to support changeability and plurality of values instead
of submitting to the rules, frameworks, and distortions imposed
by the media giants. But they still could not overcome the time lag
between the cyberspace that advocated disparate combinations and
voices from the margins and the reality that could not keep up with
that pace. More precisely, the popular voice that recognized this
time lag and limitation became louder, and expectations became
correspondingly higher. It was like a kind of labor pain as Koreans
within Korea were reborn as Koreans within the world or the
Global I. At last they had attained the cultural condence to bring
out a new fusion without losing their identity.
A creative fusion is premised on an open platform that embraces
diversity, freedom of expression, the breaking down of boundaries,
and global networks. To young Koreans, who are accustomed
to such terms as nomadism, diaspora, hybrid, and media
convergence, a xed view through a static window has become
unfamiliar. Instead, they are used to seeing the view through a
car window, passing rapidly by them. They like to look through
about ten windows at the same time for news, email, Cyworld,
music channels, and YouTube. This phenomenon creates an ideal
environment for artists. As a representative example, multi-media
artists such as Choe U-Ram, Debbie Han, Jeon Joon-ho, and Lee
Yong-baek have developed an iconoclastic visual language to
address issues of technology fetishism, distorted cultural identity,
and the corrupted ideology of capitalist society.
Choe U-Ram fuses art and science to produce mechanical creatures
whose harsh and shocking forms express a message of criticism and
warning about contemporary societys increasing subordination to
machines. Inspired by natural phenomena such as sh, moonlight,
or wind, the narrative of how these mechanical creatures breathe,
photosynthesize, and breed, foretells a none-too-distant future
when human beings will worship technology instead of God.
Debbie Han poses the rather preposterous question Where is your
Venus? by making a Venus with thick lips, a slant-eyed Venus, or a
Venus with a hooked nose, all out of green celadon pottery. That is
how Korea looks to Han, an artist who has returned to Korea from
America. Highlighting the contradiction between having a Korean
body and aspiring to Western beauty, Han breaks down boundaries
between ideal and reality, West and East, beauty and ugliness. She
questions an abstract and relativistic denition of the beauty that
lies hidden in the ambiguity and uncertain identity produced by a
hybrid of dissimilar components.
Jeon Joon-ho satirizes the current situation in which the ow of
money creates class distinctions and divisions, just as ideology
divided people and made them suspicious of each other in
the Cold War era. Walking around among animated banknotes
of 1000, 5000, or 10000 Korean Won, we pass historic sites like
Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, Ojukheon House, and Dosanseowon
Confucian Academy, but no one pays attention to their cultural
value. All that matters is monetary value as indicated by the
number of 0s. This is a work that gives an insight into the
illusoriness of the virtual world created by human desire, ideology,
and capital.
Alluding to a sculpture of the Virgin Mary lamenting with Jesus in
her arms, Lee Yong-baek's plastic sculpture Pieta is a good example
of a work that conveys a symbolic message of harmony. Only on
close examination does it become apparent that the two gures,
reminiscent of a futuristic cyborg, are actually one. The Virgin Mary
takes the role of a mold, and Jesus a gure cast in the mold: one
is the seed and the other is the skin that gave birth to the seed. As
the concept of two ultimately originated in the concept of one,
distinctions between mother and son, God and man, life and death,
or original and replica become meaningless.
All these artists stress that art and politics, economy, science,
and cultural issues can only attain their true value through
communication and empathy rather than isolation. They are well
aware that iconoclasm without a fusion of dissimilar elements
can easily make itself an isolated island. Only when it has room
to accept the exotic, look to the margins, and communicate with
the world, can it become the foundation for creating cultural and
spiritual heritage that will spread far and widejust as the Sacred
Bell of the Great King Seongdeok united peoples hearts with its
gentle resonance.
Transcending physical fusion, chemical fusion, and economic
fusion, a spiritual fusion can be observed in many places. I hope
the various fusions created by Korean artists, who know how to be
honest with themselves and to listen to the world, will both amaze
the world with their iconoclastic originality, and become part of a
history shared with the world.
Han Won-suk, Hyeongyeon
Ceiling Structure of Soyojeong Pavilion
Nam June Paik, The More the Better (Previous pages)
Choe U-Ram, Una Lumino (Anmopispl Avearium Cirripedia URAM) (Lef)
Yee Soo-kyung, Translated Vase (Right)
Hong Ji-yoon, Minstrel, Romance, and Fantasy at Wonhyoro and Cheongpadong
Kim Joon, Bird Land Chrysler (Previous pages)
Jeong Seon, The Geumgang Mountains
Kim Yoon-jae, Missing Geumgang Mountains Series 2
Lee Lee-nam, New Geumgang Jendo
Jeon Joon-ho, BooYooHaDa 4
Kim Hong-do, The Washing Place, from 25-leaf Album of Genre Paintings by Kim Hong-do
Debbie Han, Seated Three Graces
Lee Young-mi, Between Dream and Memory: Floating Island
Bae Joon-sung, The Costume of Painter Museum R, Legs Lef 2 (Previous pages)
Lee Yong-baek, Pieta
Can art theorythe very creation of art-theoryitself be
globalized? What new roles might Korean visual arts and
visual arts institutions play in this process, given the
unprecedented global scale of the production and reception of
contemporary art throughout the world today? For it seems as
if, in this new expansion, we are moving towards a situation in
art as in art theory that, while global, is no longer simply
Western or European. What new roles might East Asian
countries, and in particular, Korea, play in this peculiar moment
of transition and transformationthis contemporary moment
and sense of the moment? Such are the questions of Korea
Contemporary, as distinct from Korea Modern, when there
seemed to exist a critical or theoretical center in Europe or
America and where the question was how then to be modern
without yet being Western.
The vitality of the debates and themes in this volume of
Korea Contemporary
John Rajchman
contemporary Korean thought and criticism testies to this
new situation, this sense of a new moment. But what then is
contemporary, and what then is Korean? How are these two
questions inseparable from one another? In what ways do they
translate as a desire or an urgency, felt elsewhere in other ways,
in Beijing or Berlin or Sao Paolo or New York? For the idea
of contemporaneity in Korea Contemporary comes at a time
of a larger shif in geographies and artistic itineraries, which
is recasting the markers or parameters of inherited histories
and landscapes. We can see this new geo-aesthetic situation in
contrast to two earlier more centered voyages, to Paris and to
New York.
Two centuries ago, one would travel to Paris, capital of the
nineteenth century, in the words of Walter Benjamin, himself
writing at a time of his own voyage to Moscow in the 1930s.
Even if one didnt actually go there, one could travel in ones
mind or ones work or ones own locale, adapting it accordingly.
Paris was then the place one went to for the ferment of writers,
movements, avant-gardes. It was a time, enshrined in the
grand stories of European art and aesthetics told by Hegel
when Europe believed that it could monopolize world history.
For Hegel thought that in European and particularly German
philosophy, the idea of art, born in Greek antiquity, would
itself come to an end as it became absorbed into philosophical
thought. Haunted by Revolution and then the specter of
communism, there arose a great new problem in painting and in
poetry: How could the arts free themselves from the enclosure
of classical Renaissance Representation, and become abstract,
and so collide with modern life and assume new forms? This
problem of abstraction would then be taken up elsewhere, in
many other voyagesfor example in relation to notions of
void or absence in traditional non-Western art practices which
themselves had never passed through the European moment of
perspective and science, and its sense of truth or realism.
But afer the Second World War, these problems would be
taken up anew and transformed, giving rise to new ideas of
art, new ways of being an artist. We then nd a second voyage,
the voyage to New York. For afer the Second World War, the
European colonial empires would be dissolved and replaced
by a cold-war situation that would not itself be undone until
1989, when the Berlin Wall came down and the Tiananmen
student movement was crushed. For afer the Second World
War, New York, lled with European artistic and intellectual
immigrs, was a city that, assisted by its great modern
museums, became a kind of crucible of artistic transformation.
Art history and art criticism would be completely transformed
and would assume a new vital role in this situation. By the 60s
and 70s there would arise a new idea of art itself, emancipating
itself from the story and preoccupations of European
Modernism, a contemporary art dening itself in sometimes
deant distinction from a modern one. No longer necessarily
produced in studio or exhibited in a white cube space, no
longer relying on the traditional skills of painting and sculpture,
which were themselves in the process of expanding their elds
sculpture freeing itself from the gure on the pedestal, or
painting from the picture on the wallthe visual arts moved
into a new uncharted realm. At the same time, the traditional
distinctions between ne or high art and popular or mass
culture, everyday life and the role of bodies in it, and the circuits
of new media and information were eroded or undone. One
became an artist rst (a conceptual, earth, pop or process artist);
and the question of medium, so important in Modernism
or Formalism, became secondary. The role of criticism itself
changed as the old boundaries between art and criticism were
transformed: criticism as a kind of writing, art; art as a kind of
criticism, even of institutions. In this heady moment, visual arts
and arts institutions would play a role without parallel for the
modernisms in other artswriting, architecture, or musicand
ofered a new space of intersection and experimentation among
themsound-art rather than music, language-art rather
than poetry, an-architecture rather than a building. Because
of its key role in this process, there thus arose the new voyage
to New York, real or imaginary, and with it, new historical
narratives of neo- and post- European art.
Perhaps then it is characteristic of our contemporary moment
today that these two grand voyages, to nineteenth century Paris,
and to post-war New York, are no longer possible, no longer
sufcient to capture the parameters in which art is being made,
its criticism carried on, or the geographies in which it moves or
travels. For young artists and critics throughout the world, the
great problems of abstraction, and then its transformation or
challenge in the post-modern contemporary art-forms, have
become simply given, part of an inheritance to be questioned
and transformed in turn. But what new voyages or itineraries
will take, or are taking, their place? And to what new questions
and ideas are they giving rise? In what ways will they help
recast our sense of the force of these two earlier moments
and related voyages? How, in particular, will they rethink the
historical frames of the great Euro-American story that these
earlier moments refracted? Perhaps the scale and ambition of
contemporary art in Mainland China today, with its feverish
plans for new exhibition spaces and museum activity, suggest
one new force, as no doubt the preoccupations and institutions
of post-war Japan was an earlier one. But what role might Korea
play in this new eld, drawing not simply from earlier European
or American ideas, but from its own peculiar situation and
background? Such are the questions of Korea Contemporary.
In this light, it is perhaps useful to look back at two great post-
war Korean artists, each being looked at anew in New York
in this conjecture: Nam June Paik, whose video work was the
object of a recent show at the Museum of Modern Art and
Lee Ufan, now slated for a retrospective at the Guggenheim
Museum. In the case of Nam June Paik, we now see a
multilinear work, cutting across divisions not simply between
sound or performance and the visual arts, but also between
Europe, New York and Asia. With the porta-pack, in 1961, Nam
June Paik invented what would be called video art, even if
at that time it was rather diferent from much that goes on by
that name today. For in inventing video art Nam June Paik
created what in French theory is called a dispositif: a new
arrangement of space, time and movement in a gallery, in a
great struggle with broadcast television, the new global village
it had created, the information super-highway to which it
would lead. If this struggle now seems displaced or almost
obsolete in a world in which Google battles with the Chinese
State, it nevertheless forms part of a larger current theoretical
question: what are dispositifs, what is their history, and how do
contemporary moments arise in them? Within this history yet
to be written we can see Nam June Paiks invention not simply
in an Asian context, in relation to Fluxus, but also, looking back,
to Berlin Dada for example, and, looking forward, to new sorts
of dispositifs in the visual arts and their role in the new history
of exhibitions now being explored. For the history of art is not
simply the history of objects, but also the history of the spaces
in which they are arranged and connected to one another.
With Lee Ufan, as with Nam June Paik, we nd a passage
through post-war Japan, but one that tended to move more
towards Paris and the problem of theory or philosophy than
New York and its transformations of the idea of art. For Mono-
Ha, perhaps more than Gutai or Fluxus, had strong relations
with the whole question and questioning of representation
in post-war French thought, and the attempt, in Asia, to
nd something like an other space to it. In this way, Lee
Ufan helped dene a new role for philosophy or theory, a
new problematic of thinking in art as distinct from theory
about art, which still remains contemporary. How do artists,
with their peculiar means and preoccupations, think, ofen
in afective and sensory ways, in such a way as to give us a
new brain, a new body, and how does this thinking arise in a
peculiar artistic zone to which theory is addressed and of which
it has need? We thus nd two contemporary questions: What is
a dispositif? And what is thinking in art?
Perhaps these questions are ones through which the inventions
of these two great Korean artists will today be mobilized across
new lines and borders, or as part of other voyages. For it now
seems the future belongs to those who are able to articulate the
new global forces knocking at the door, along new paths and
itineraries, and involving new kinds of research and exchange.
That is why Korea Contemporary is more than a state of art or
criticism; it is a time and a space for new invention.
14 Kim Jeong-hui, 17861856
Billct ColJ
Joseon Dynasty (c. 1844), ink on paper, 23.3x146.4cm
National Treasure No. 180, private collection
Image courtesy of the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea
Kim Jeong-hui, who used the pen name Chusa, was a government ofcial and scholar
of the late Joseon Dynasty. He is also considered one of the greatest calligraphers of the
Joseon Dynasty, having founded the Chusa-che style that takes its name from his pen
name. As a scholar, he turned away from the dominant ideology of the ruling class and
from abstruse metaphysical discussions to advocate the theory and practice of an objective,
positivistic scholarship that sought truth on the basis of facts. One of Kims representative
works, Bitter Cold is a literati painting done in gratitude to a pupil who had not forgotten
Kim during his exile on Jeju Island and had twice sent him precious books from Beijing.
Literati paintings are pictures painted as a leisure pursuit by members of the aristocracy to
express their feelings, rather than works by professional artists. They place less emphasis
on technique than on showing the noble sentiments of the literati. Painted rapidly with
a dry brush technique in which the ink on the brush seems to be drawn lightly across
the paper, Bitter Cold is a work that conveys a lofy combination of poetry, calligraphy, and
painting, with Kims own painting and writing skills complemented by poems and words of
appreciation from several famous gures. It also shows Kims struggles to maintain nobility
and dignity even in lonely banishment.
16 Chang Uc-chin, 19171990
A RivctsiJc Sccuc
1987, oil on canvas, 23.1x45.7cm
Private collection
Image courtesy of Chang Ucchin Foundation
Chang Uc-chin was born in Yeongi-gun, Chuncheongnam-do and graduated with a degree
in painting from the Imperial University of Arts in Tokyo before working as a professor at
Seoul National University. He died in 1990 at the age of 73. His life and his unique sense of
form made him a major inuence on a whole era of modern Korean art. When we examine
his oeuvre, which combines a strong Korean identity with a personal artistic language,
we can see that he was an artist who lived at both extremes of individual and universal,
and for whom life and art coincided. In this painting, a humble Korean-style house stands
against a misty riverside background, and the colors of the water and the sky merge in a
blue dreamworld. A peaceful scene unfolds, with a crane and a dog loitering around the
house while people enjoy a boat ride on the river. Through this painting, viewers can see
how Chang lived like a literati painter of old, painting in pursuit of self-cultivation and
18 Park Soo-keun, 19141965
1962, oil on hardboard, 41.2x79.2cm
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Image courtesy of Doart Publishing
Born in Yanggu, Gangwon-do, painter Park Soo-keun was prevented by poverty from
seeking formal training in art, but he began to work regularly as an artist afer winning a
national contest. His works capture the hard life of the common people afer the Korean
War, using simple compositions on a surface like rough granite, built up from multiple thick
layers of paint. In Homecoming, one of Park Soo-keuns masterpieces, we see the subjects
that he liked to paint most: trees and women carrying things on their heads, expressing
the hard life of the common people. The tree in the picture has bare branches, like a scene
of cold winter or early spring before the new shoots begin to appear, representing the
harsh conditions in which people lived at the time. However, we dont see a cold and harsh
depiction of reality so much as the artists distinctive warm nostalgia for his hometown.
20 Bolllc. Whilc Potccluiu wilh Roc Dcsiuu iu UuJctuluzc Itou-Btowu
Joseon Dynasty (16th century), H. 31.4cm D. 7.0cm (mouth) 10.6cm (base)
Treasure No. 1060, National Museum of Korea
Image courtesy of National Museum of Korea
Porcelain, a kind of pottery made by coating a pure white base clay with a transparent glaze
and ring it in a kiln, is the most common form of ceramics produced during the Joseon
Dynasty. This piece has a very characteristic shape for vessels from the early Joseon era with
a ared mouth, slender neck, round body, and broad base. The void space at the top of the
jar is set of by a whimsical design of a rope hanging down from the neck. The rope design
was created using a pigment rarely used at the time, iron-brown. The rope was rst drawn
in blue pigment, then gone over in iron oxide with a ne, pliant writing brush to bring out
the design. In the ring process, the high temperature causes a chemical change in the iron
pigment to produce a strong reddish coloring. This rope design was not a common theme
in ceramics of the time, but seems to have been suggested by the appearance of a liquor
bottle with a rope attached, and the vessel is outstanding for its simple yet free depiction, its
restrained brushwork, and its rened composition admirably balancing void and design.
22 Kim Chong-yung, 19151982
Wotk 5S-3
1958, iron plate, 57.5x14x23cm
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Image courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Kim Chong-yung was born into an aristocratic family in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-
do, and graduated from Tokyo Art School. He lived in seclusion until Korea was liberated
from Japanese colonial rule in 1945. Kim founded the sculpture department at the newly
opened College of Art at Seoul National University. He is frequently cited by artists who are
considered the pioneers of Korean contemporary abstract sculpture and was known as the
possessor of a noble literati spirit and an outstanding expert in calligraphy. Work 58-3 is a
masterpiece of metal sculpture, a medium that was rare at the time, and it stands out for its
geometric yet organic curves. In this work we can glimpse Kims forward-looking aesthetics
that sought to realize the essence of pure forms on the basis of creative insights into nature
and humanity. Through the simple shape produced by working only a little on the thick
metal plates before welding them together, we can see the spirituality that the artist was
24 Bae Bien-U, 1950
Piuc 1tcc Sctics
2006, color print, 160x310cm
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Bae Bien-U hails from Yeosu, Jeollanam-do, where the shores are dotted with beautiful
islands. Afer graduating with a degree in design from Hongik University, he taught
himself photography. One of Koreas leading contemporary landscape photographers, he
concentrates on natural sights indigenous to Korea such as pine trees, mountains, and the
sea, turning them into abstract lines and surfaces. He likes to capture the delicacy of light
and mist around dawn in monotone photographs reminiscent of Oriental ink paintings.
In this work, one of the Pine Tree Series for which Bae Bien-U is best known, a pine tree
stands in the center of a panorama, the hills and elds on either side of it illuminated by
the rising sun. To Koreans, the pine tree is a symbol of noble character and the emotional
root of the nation. In Baes work this natural element is captured in a simple and restrained
composition that shows a modernist ethos with a lyrical and meditative attitude toward
26 Suh Do-ho, 1962
2005, silk, stainless steel tube, 326.2x211.5x100cm
Private collection
Image courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Suh Do-ho was educated at Seoul National University and the Rhode Island School of
Design, nally earning a Master of Fine Art degree at Yale. Based in New York since then,
Suh is now an internationally exhibited artist. He began to receive critical attention with
a re-creation of his traditional-style family house in Seoul using a jade-green diaphanous
fabric. Suhs work begins with memories of places he has inhabited and extends to
introduce processes of the constant transformation of identity via experiences of diverse
cultures. It expresses the contradictory condition of endless collisions and combinations
between human identities and the socio-cultural spaces that control them. Gate reproduces
at full size a portion of the traditional Korean house where the artist long resided, which his
parents continue to occupy. It evokes anguish toward cultural identity and nostalgia and
longing for home felt by an artist who travels the world like a nomad.
28 Jeong Seon, 16761759
Vicwiuu lhc Gcumuuuu Mouuluius [tom Duubultvcouu Puss
Joseon Dynasty (1711), ink on silk, 36.0x37.4cm
National Museum of Korea
Image courtesy of National Museum of Korea
Jeong Seon liked to travel, and while roaming around the celebrated beauty spots all over
Korea he developed a new kind of painting called true view landscapes, realistic pictures
based on actual scenes. The name Danbalryeong Pass (hair-cutting pass) is thought to
derive from the idea that when people get their rst view of the Geumgang Mountains,
they become so enchanted that it makes them want to cut of their hair and become monks,
shedding all attachment to worldly things. This painting shows visitors admiring the view
of the Geumgang Mountains from Danbalryeong Pass. Compared to other true view
landscape paintings, it has economical brushwork and omits some of the details of the
scene, leaving space for the viewer to see the Geumgang Mountains through the void.
30 Kim Hong-joo, 1945
1993, oil on canvas, 210x320cm
Sungkang Foundation of Culture
Image courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Born in Hoein, Chungcheongbuk-do, Kim Hong-joo obtained a BA and MA in painting at
Hongik University. His paintings show gures, maps, writing, or owers with delicate brush
strokes reminiscent of embroidery, subtly combining symbolic imagery with rich artistic
nuances. Painting with the grain of the canvas as if embroidering stitch by stitch with a ne
brush, he has continually tackled the problem of reproduction and illusionism through
his unconventional composition, his bold omission of background, and his critical
dismantling and reconstruction of the subject. Overturning the relationship between gure
and ground by lling the canvas with a single leaf or a landscape scene, he persistently
interrogates the essence of painting itself. In Untitled, the subject is the crater lake on Mt.
Baekdusan, and the contrast between the carefully reproduced mountain peak and the
white void of the lake invites unlimited interpretations.
32 Lee Ufan, 1936
2002, oil on canvas, 112.5x194.2cm
Lee Ufan has been producing his Correspondance series since the 1990s. The distinguishing
feature of this series is that it presents spaces bearing only a very small number of brush
strokes. Since the 1990s Lee Ufan has been gradually moving towards large canvases with
most of the wide space lef as void and only one or a few dots painted with vigorous strokes
of the brush. However, the size, position, spacing, and brush stroke direction of each dot
creates correspondances with other dots that give the whole work a powerful presence
and tension. Using minimal units of expressiondots and linesand leaving unpainted
expanses of void, Lee is creating a new compositional principle that connects the inside of
the painting with the outside.
34 Boomoon, 1955
Nuksuu No. S167. No. S16S
2010, laserchrome print, each 210x140cm
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Since holding his rst solo exhibition at the Seoul Press Center in 1975, Daegu-born
Boomoon has been pursuing the concept of photograph as attitude, going beyond the
expressive or documentary functions of photography to focus on the thoughts and ideas
that come into our minds when we look at certain objects. His large-format landscape
photographs provide a special visual and cognitive experience by making us feel the
absolute power of nature. As a representative example, his Naksan series consists of black-
and-white landscape photographs taken on wintry sea shores, with half the frame taken up
by snow. The still land contrasts with the violent movement of the wind, snow, and waves
to reveal a momentary landscape that cannot be seen with the eye alone. Although this
is a natural scene that leaves no room for human intervention, through its photographic
realization anyone can stand where the artist stood with his camera.
36 Kim Sooja, 1957
A LuuuJtv Womuu Yumuuu Rivct. IuJiu
2000, Single channel video projection, 10:30 loop, silent
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the Kimsooja Studio
A widely exhibited artist who has participated in many international exhibitions such as
the Venice Biennale, Kim Sooja graduated from Hongik University and has been based in
New York since the 1990s. In the 1980s, Kim introduced sewing into her work, which later
gradually evolved into installations that utilize used clothes and everyday fabrics. She has
deepened the meaning of the act of sewing by developing it conceptually as a combination
of separate elements while expanding her work into the realm of performance and video
art. In her video, A Laundry Woman, the artist reects on life and death. Gazing at the
Yamuna River in India, she seems to hope for purication of all things; not only the owing
water but also remnants from a nearby cremation site. The image of the artist is turned
away from us, but viewers sense her afectionate gaze toward the departed and humanity in
38 Lee Ufan, 1936
Ftom Liuc
1979, oil on canvas, 184x260cm
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Image courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Born into a distinguished Confucian household, as a child Lee Ufan studied poetry and
painting with a literati scholar. In 1956, Lee interrupted his studies of traditional painting
at Seoul National University and moved to Japan, earning a degree in philosophy at Nihon
University. There, he came under the inuence of the Kyoto school of philosophy, which
pursued deconstruction of the Western anthropocentric subjectivity. He introduced this
way of thinking into the concept of his own artmaking to argue that proposition rather
than creation best approaches truth. As an artist equally versed in theory and practice,
Lee created an aesthetic of encounter and emptiness in his work. Distinct from Western
minimalism or conceptual art, Lees work has realized Asian thought and also became
the theoretical foundation for Mono-ha, the rst truly Asian modernist movement. A
representative example of Lees work, From Line suggests the circulation and innity of the
universe where there is neither beginning nor end through the repetitive appearance and
disappearance of lines.
40 Suh Se-ok, 1929
1989, ink on paper, 162x262cm
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Image courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Suh Se-ok won the Prime Ministers Prize in the rst national contest in 1949, when he
was studying Oriental painting in the College of Art at Seoul National University. Seeking
to give Oriental painting a new contemporary form while maintaining its pure traditional
spirit, he became the leader of a group called Mungnimhoe that was established in 1960,
and spearheaded a renewal of Oriental painting. He led the way in an abstract trend within
Oriental painting, and worked for many years training artists at his alma mater. Dancers
is an important work in the People series that Suh has been working on for many years.
Simplied human forms expressed in lines full of tension stretch across the frame with their
arms on each others shoulders. From bottom up, the ink changes from thick to medium
thickness, then again from thick to light, creating a strong natural rhythm. The strong, rm
brushwork and the tension between ink and void arises from re-interpreting the traditional
literati painting, tempering its cold spirit with a new warmth and dynamism.
42 Moou 1ut
Joseon Dynasty (18th century), H. 44.5cm D. 21.5cm (mouth) 16.5cm (base)
Treasure No. 1424, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Image courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
This kind of vessel is called a moon jar because of its nearly round shape and transparent
milky glaze. This unique and characteristic form of Korean porcelain ware was in common
use in the homes of the aristocracy during the Joseon Dynasty, and by the nineteenth
century most reasonably well-to-do households had one or two. The surface is pure white
without any kind of design or carving. The black stains on the middle part of this example
appeared naturally when a liquid such as soy sauce soaked into the clay, for this was a
vessel in practical use. The moon jar is considered the most Korean form, and with its
round body and subtle white coloring, it has a natural air of friendliness. Because these
vessels were very large, they could not be made in one piece on the potters wheel. They
were made by a painstaking process of spinning the upper and lower halves separately and
then joining them together. This example has very little distortion in the middle part where
the two halves are joined, and its side curves form almost a perfect circle, giving the whole
piece a sense of balance that makes it a denitive example of the mid-Joseon Dynasty
moon jar.
44 Koo Bohnchang, 1953
Vcsscl (HA 05-1)
2005, color print, 154x123cm
Original Vessel from Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Image courtesy of the artist
Born in Seoul, Koo Bohnchang studied business administration and worked in a large
company before formally studying photography at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg,
Germany in the mid-1980s. Afer returning to Korea, Koo studied the diverse expressive
possibilities of photography as a medium through a variety of formal experiments such
as pasting up photographs or stitching them with thread. These iconoclastic experiments
caused a stir in the Korean photography world, which was dominated by more
straightforward photography at the time. Koo opened up a new path for contemporary
Korean photography by eradicating the boundary between photography and art. His Vessel
series, which depicts Joseon Dynasty porcelain vessels scattered among sixteen museums in
four countries, is a work that re-interprets the hidden beauty of Joseon porcelain through
a delicate sensibility. By recapturing his impressions of seeing Korean porcelain kept in
overseas museums, Koo not only caught the elegant external beauty of the porcelain, but
probed into the deep and graceful feelings that owed within it. In doing so, he gently
overturned the socially accepted meanings of lost, vanished, and small things.
46 Cheong Kwang-ho, 1959
1hc Pol 79
2007, copper wire, H. 240cm D. 225cm
Artists collection
Image courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Afer graduating with a degree in sculpture from Seoul National University, Cheong Kwang-
ho began to produce his works with an interest in the development of modernism in
Korea. Previously having concentrated on object installations and their expansion in the
exhibition context, he now focuses on the mutual awareness of object and cognitive subject
and its surface expression. His method is not to strengthen the individual characteristics
of painting or of sculpture, but rather to weaken them in pursuit of his own artistry and
stance. Thus, while Cheong Kwang-hos works are both sculptural and painterly, they are
neither sculptures nor paintings. The moon jar expanded into metal netting is a kind
of phantom that exists only on the surface, standing at the boundary between object and
54 Kim Su-cheol, dates unknown
Summct LuuJscuc
Joseon Dynasty (19th century), ink on paper, 114x46.5cm
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Image courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Kim Su-cheol was a literati painter of non-aristocratic status in the late Joseon Dynasty, and
although his birth and death dates are not known, he is thought to have been active in the
mid-nineteenth century. He was taught to paint by Kim Jeong-hui and excelled at painting
both landscapes and owering plants. In his early days, under the inuence of his teacher,
he painted many pictures embodying meanings in the literati style, but later he achieved
an individual style with a new feeling characterized by radical simplication of forms, fresh
thin colors, and unusual brushwork. His later works not only represent a new trend in the
Joseon Dynasty art world, but are considered to give a contemporary feeling even today.
In Summer Landscape, we can see Kim Su-cheols original style with its bold omission and
distortion of objects and its use of emotive colors. The mountains and plains are portrayed
with thin color and dots, showing an uncrowded composition appropriate to a summer
scene, while the at depiction of the scene, with no diferentiation of near and far, gives a
contemporary feel.
56 MuuJuctu Puviliou o[ Bvcouusuu Scowou Cou[uciuu AcuJcmv
Joseon Dynasty (rebuilt 1572)
Location: 30 Byeongsan-ri, Pungcheon-myeon, Andong-si,
Image courtesy of BBU Studio
A Confucian academy (seowon) is a type of private institution that was set up all over Korea
from the mid-Joseon period on to honor the memory of noted sages and educate people
of ability. The Byeongsan Seowon is one such academy preserving the ancestral tablets of
Yu Seong-yong, Chief State Councillor during the reign of King Seonjo (r. 15671608). It
originated in the late Goryeo Dynasty as a private school for the Yu family of the Pungsan-
hyeon district, but Yu Seong-yong moved it to its present location in 1572. Later, it produced
many scholars while commemorating Yus learning and virtues. Its pavilion building,
constructed without walls or doors so that one could look out in all directions, served as a
place within the academy for cultivating the mind through nature. Unlike most pavilions,
which are built on a spot that commands a full open view, Mandaeru, the pavilion of the
Byeongsan Seowon, has a large mountain right in front of it, but its long horizontal design
enables the occupant to view the whole of that mountain as an unlimited space.
58 Seung H-Sang, 1952
Wclcomm Cilv. Scoul
Completed 2000, reinforced concrete structure
Location: 190-10 Jangchungdong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul
Image courtesy of Irojae
Seung H-Sang is noted for his architectural philosophy of the beauty of poverty, which
arises from a critical reaction to the domination of the twentieth century by Western
civilization. Afer studying architecture at Seoul National University and the Vienna
University of Technology, Seung studied with the giant of modern Korean architecture Kim
Swoo-geun, then opened his own studio named Irojae and brought a breath of fresh air to
the Korean architectural scene. One of his representative works, Welcomm City, consists
of four box-like work spaces made from the weather-resistant steel plate material Corten
on exposed concrete foundations. Between these four boxes are three independent empty
spaces that Seung calls urban voids. These empty spaces are the most important element
in this architecture, designed so that the changing sunlight, wind, and views of the city
outside can be brought in through the gaps to the interior of the building.
60 Jeong Seon, 16761759
1hc Iuuct Gcumuuuu Mouuluius ([uu)
Joseon Dynasty (18th century), ink on paper, fan 28.2x80.5cm
Gansong Museum of Art
Image courtesy of Gansong Museum of Art
Jeong Seon (pen name Gyeomjae) was famous for his true view landscapes, including
many paintings of Geumgang Mountains. One of Koreas most celebrated mountain ranges,
the Geumgang Mountains are divided into four areasNaegeumgang, Oegeumgang,
Singeumgang, and Haegeumgangall of which have long been a source of inspiration
to many artists for their outstanding natural beauty. The present work is a view of
Naegeumgang or the Inner Geumgang Mountains. Unlike an ordinary landscape painting,
this one had to be skillfully arranged to t the shape of a fan, with the painting centered in
the middle part of the fan and a broad void lef around the outside.
62 Kim Won, 1943
EJuculiou Cculct [ot Uuiculiou
Completed 1987, granite exterior
Location: 73-13 Suyu-dong, Gangbuk-gu, Seoul
Image courtesy of Kimwon Architect & Group Forum
Kim Won majored in architectural engineering at Seoul National University before
studying architecture in the International Postgraduate Course in Housing and Planning
at Bouwcentrum, the Netherlands. He is an environmental activist who has always
insisted that the rst concern of architecture and urban planning for a new era should be
environmental issues, and his own work puts that into practice. The Education Center for
Unication, which aims to stimulate national pride and prepare for the reunication of
the Korean peninsula, was built on a generous plot of land on Mt. Dobongsan donated by
a private businessman. As an environmentalist, Kim did not want to cut into the sloping
mountain site, so he planned the Center in six separate buildings divided according to
functionTraining Hall, Exhibition Hall, Welfare Hall, Living Hall, etc.and connected
them with exterior stairways that followed the natural slope of the land. Each building
has skylights in the roof to make the whole building bright and airy, and the complex
was designed to provide varied views of the beautiful surrounding scenery from diferent
63 Gucumsu 1cmlc
Founded 634 (rebuilt 1783), Treasure No. 292
Location: Gamgyo-ri, Sangseo-myeon, Buan-gun, Jeollabuk-do
Image courtesy of Park Jeong-hoon
Gaeamsa Temple was rst built in 634 in the Baekje Kingdom but moved to its current
location during the Goryeo Dynasty in 1314. During the Joseon Dynasty, Gaeamsa was
burned down in the Japanese invasions of the 1590s and rebuilt in 1783. As the whole
country had been laid waste by war, the temple could not be restored to its earlier more
extensive state, and only a single Buddha Hall was built, with each side just three bays long.
Buddhist temples generally aim to reproduce the Buddhist paradise in their arrangement
of buildings, each with a diferent function, and in their harmony with the surrounding
mountain scenery. The rebuilt Gaeamsa consisted only of a single modest building, but its
interior created a kind of Buddhist paradise with its lavish decoration.
64 Ahn Jong-yuen, 1952
Gwuuu Puuu 1c Wol (Clcut Moou uuJ WiuJ Act Ruiu)
2008, stainless steel, D. 700cm
Phoenix Island Agora, Jeju Island
Image courtesy of the artist
Born in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do, Ahn Jong-yuen graduated with a degree in art from
Dong-A University, Busan, and went on to major in ne art at New Yorks School of Visual
Arts. Through experimental works in a variety of media including two-dimensional, three-
dimensional, and installation works, Ahn has developed an avant-garde oeuvre that crosses
the boundaries between old and new media, and between public and private realms.
Located where the land meets the sea at Seopjikkoji near Seongsan Ilchulbong (sunrise
peak) on Jeju Island, Ahn Jong-yuens public art work Gwang Pung Je Wol adds a ritual,
epic note to a building designed by Mario Botta in the shape of a pyramid. Measuring some
7 meters in diameter, it is a moon of the earth that stands at a point of contact between
the natural and the articial, a fantasy that sublimates the character of the location into an
artistic language.
66 Choi Tae-hoon, 1965
Skiu o[ 1imc
2009, stainless steel (plasma technique), 350x350x300cm
Banyan Tree Hotel
Image courtesy of the artist
Choi Tae-hoon majored in sculpture at Kyung Hee University and its graduate school. Using
the plasma technique, he examines the roots of life through such subjects as humanity,
nature, and the universe, and in Skin of Time he structuralizes the meaning of time and life.
To Choi, the great river of time is both a mother that conceives life and at the same time
a poison that corrodes life. He gives life to dead forms like derelict pyramids and burnt-
out old trees by casting light on them, and uses the plasma technique to dissect the traces
of time. Through an upside-down pyramid that dees the laws of gravity and a tree that
lls up its interior, he represents the overturning of time. Through the tree bark built up in
multiple layers and light emanating from inside, he represents the outer crust of time.
68 Jung Yeon-doo, 1969
Loculiou No. S
2007, color print, 122x159cm
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Born in Jinju, Gyeongsangnam-do, Jung Yeon-doo graduated with degrees in sculpture
from Seoul National University and Britains Central Saint Martins College of Art and
Design, then completed a masters degree at Goldsmiths, University of London. He was the
rst Korean artist since Nam June Paik to exhibit at New Yorks Museum of Modern Art, and
the rst Korean artist to hold a solo exhibition at a major gallery in France. By showing the
whole process of manufacturing a fake, Jung Yeon-doos works declare that everything is
fake, giving food for thought to the xed ideas of audiences accustomed to the visual media.
They make one question the truth of everything that we see, hear, or feel. In his Location
series, Jung examines the boundary between reality and unreality. The gap between the
background of the work, which is obviously faked, and the gures nonchalantly acting as if
the background were real, becomes a metaphor for our age.
70 Soswucwou GutJcu iu Dumvuuu
Constructed 1530
Location: 123 Jigok-ri, Nam-myeon, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do
Image courtesy of BBU Studio
The mid-Joseon scholar-ofcial Yang San-bo (15031557) lost all interest in worldly success
when his teacher Jo Gwang-jo was banished due to factional strife. He went home to build
a garden which he named Soswaewon, meaning clean and cool. A ne example of a
Korean garden, Soswaewon centers on a little valley with a owing stream. In constructing
each of the buildings, the space was carefully planned to harmonize the natural with the
articial, creating a neo-Confucian paradise that resembled the original beauty of nature.
The garden has about ten buildings which can be grouped according to functional and
spatial characteristics in four areas: Aeyangdan, Ogokmun, Jewoldang, and Gwangpunggak.
Within the garden are groves of bamboo, pine, zelkova, and maple trees, and around it
are natural-looking walls of earth and stone, bearing stone plates and wooden plaques
inscribed with the names Aeyangdan, Ogokmun, and Soswaecheosayanggongjiryeo. In one
of the buildings, a wood engraving of Soswaewon made in the 31st year of King Yeongjos
reign (1755) has been preserved, and from this we know the original appearance of the
garden. In this beautiful garden we can sense the noble character and loyalty of Korean
72 Won Seong-won, 1972
Dtcumtoom Michulis
2002, color print, 70x100cm
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Won Seong-won, who hails from Goyang, Gyeonggi-do, graduated from the sculpture
department at Chung-Ang University, the Kunstakademie Dsseldorf, and the Academy
of Media Arts Cologne. She began to produce photographic collages with her Dreamroom
series, which realizes the dreams of her friends who live in small rooms. Dreamroom
Michalis is one such work, created for her friend Michalis from Cyprus. It brings the
columns of a Greek temple and the stream water from Michaliss home into his room.
Having ascertained her subjects wishes, Won sets of to take photographs as if collecting
the world, then cuts out hundreds of photographs for a single work and carefully assembles
a photo-montage with a computer mouse. The attraction of Wons work is the pleasure of
nding a variety of stories hidden within the work: not only a plausible image created by
digital editing but the artist and her friends, the conversations they had about their dream
spaces, and the feelings of friendship that emerge from these fantasy spaces spliced together
by time.
74 Buvouuji PouJ ul ChuuuJcokuuuu Pulucc
Location: Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Image courtesy of BBU Studio
Changdeokgung is a Joseon Dynasty palace built in the fh year of King Taejongs
reign (1405). At that time there was already a main palace in Seoul, Gyeongbokgung,
as well as the Royal Ancestral Shrines (Jongmyo), so Changdeokgung was created as a
royal villa. Located to the east of Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung and the adjoining
Changgyeonggung were together known as the eastern palaces. Unlike other palaces
which had orderly spatial arrangements, Changdeokgung was built on the southern slopes
of Maebong Peak, and its main buildings were laid out according to the natural shape of
the land. Buyongji is an articial lotus pond in the back garden with a pavilion. Reecting
the idea that heaven was round and the earth square, a round island symbolizing heaven
was made in a square pond that symbolized the earth. To the south of the pond is a pavilion
that forms the shape of a cross when seen from above. This place was used by the king to
hold congratulatory banquets for those who had passed the civil service examinations.
The surrounding scenery of the Changdeokgung back garden, changing with every season,
is much admired. Showing clearly how Korean culture values harmony with nature and
respect for its principles, Changdeokgung and its back garden have been recognized as an
important piece of landscaping, and designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.
78 Kim Chang-kyum, 1961
WulctshuJow Fout Scusous
20062007, video installation, 14 min.
Savina Museum of Contemporary Art
Image courtesy of the artist
Afer graduating with a degree in painting from Sejong University, Kim Chang-kyum went
rst to Italy to study sculpture at the Academia Carrara, and then to Germany to study with
Jannis Kounellis at the Kunstakademie Dsseldorf. The technical process of synthesis in
video installations and photography and the resulting synthesized image are important
themes that run through Kim Chang-kyums work. In Watershadow Four Seasons, images
are projected onto a white tub to create the illusion that there is water in it. In addition to
ripples and water sounds, the image of a person is visible in the water, along with scenes
that change from spring to summer, autumn, and winter. At times, a persons shadow seems
to pass over the tub, making the water become agitated or disappear, and showing the
viewer how surprising time can be.
80 Lee Hun-chung, 1967
Scc Nulutc iu lhc Succ
2006, installation, 500x300x50cm
Gangha Museum of Art
Image courtesy of the artist
Lcc Hun-chung. u nulivc ol ScouI. mujorcd in ccrumics ul Hongik Univcrsily bclorc sludying
scuIplurc in lhc US. und is nov sludying lor u FhD in urchilcclurc. Hc hus cugcrIy pursucd
vuricly und sludicd mulcriuIs. Scc Aalutc ln l/c Spacc. onc ol his Iurgc insluIIulion vorks. vus
scl in lhc conlcxl ol lhc unnishcd Gunghu Muscum ol Arl in 2006. using u Iurgc vindov
us lhc lrumc lor u vicv ol u nuluruI sccnc oulsidc lo crculc un cccl lhul rcminds lhc vicvcr
ol u giunl phologruph. Thc lrumc cncIoscs u nuluruI voodIund. bul il borrovs lrom nulurc
lo producc un cccl lhul Iooks morc Iikc u puinling lhun un ucluuI lorcsl unliI you upprouch
il cIoscIy. Thc rcuI und dcpiclcd sccnc mukcs lhc vicvcr lccI lhc rcuIily ol simuIulion.
82 Kim Hee-soo, 1977
Rcut WiuJow No. 3
2007, photo collage and resin coating on wood panel, 25x20cm
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Born in Gimhuc. Gycongsungnum-do. Kim Hcc-soo gruduulcd lrom lhc scuIplurc
dcpurlmcnl ul Hongik Univcrsily und lhc Gruduulc SchooI ol Finc Arl ul lhc SchooI ol
VisuuI Arls. Hc hus conccnlrulcd on cxpIoring und rccrculing u vuricly ol spuccs lhrough
lhc mcdium ol phologruphy. incIuding insluIIulion. scuIplurc. und coIIugc. Mosl rcccnlIy.
in lhc proccss ol crculing vorks in bolh ScouI und Ncv York. hc hus bccomc inlcrcslcd in
cilics. lhc Iurgcsl objccls cvcr crculcd by humunily. His rcslrucluring ol mclropoIilun spucc
lhrough u vcrsuliIc visuuI imuginulion mukcs possibIc lhc crculion ol ncv spuccs in vhich
muny dicrcnl slorics und vicvpoinls cocxisl vilhoul spuliuI or lcmporuI boundurics. Thc
imugc lhul vc scc in lhis vork is u clionuI sccnc ncvIy composcd by hund on lhc busis ol
rcuI vicvs. Thc phologruphs lunclion ol rccording u spccic momcnl is rcborn in lhc vork
us u ncv combinulion ol momcnls by lhc hund ol lhc urlisl. und Iivcs on us u momcnl in u
lubriculcd. imuginury hislory.
84 Yoo Seung-ho, 1974
Rcut WiuJow
2009, binoculars, tripod, shing line, plastic, spray, acrylic,
dimensions variable
Image courtesy of the artist
Yoo Scung-ho vus born in Scochcon. Chungchcongnum-do. und gruduulcd vilh u dcgrcc
in puinling lrom Hunsung Univcrsily. Huving mudc his dcbul in 199S vilh u vork lormcd
ol dols lhul von rsl prizc in lhc Gongsun FcslivuI ol Arl. hc bcgun lo bc vidcIy knovn us u
conlcmporury urlisl ucr vinning lhc Scongnum Arl Frizc in 2003 vilh u Iundscupc lormcd
lrom vriling. Sincc lhcn. hc hus slcudiIy produccd simiIur vorks lhul mukc pIuyluI usc ol
Iunguugc. Bcsidcs bcing buiIl lrom minimuI unils such us vrillcn churuclcrs or dols. Yoos
vorks urc dccpIy pcnclrulcd by u pIuyluI usc ol vriling. churuclcrs. und Iunguugc ilscIl.
vhich is vhy his vorks cun bc inlcrprclcd on so muny IcvcIs. InsluIIcd in lhc cxhibilion
Bcginning ol u Ncv Eru hcId in lhc lormcr Dclcnsc Sccurily Commund CompIcx. lhis
vork pIuccs u puir ol binocuIurs in lronl ol u vindov ncxl lo prcvious vorks by lhc sumc
urlisl. uIIoving lhc vicvcr lo pcck ul lhc vriling hiddcn in lhc sccnc. Yoos pIuyluI usc ol
Iunguugc is lhus cxlcndcd lrom lhc cunvus inlo nulurc ilscIl.
86 Lee Myong-ho, 1975
1tcc No. 2
2006, color print, 160x310cm
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Born in 1975. Lcc Myong-ho gruduulcd vilh u dcgrcc in phologruphy lrom Chung-Ang
Univcrsily und is currcnlIy cnroIIcd in lhc docloruI progrum ul lhc sumc inslilulion.
Lccs ongoing Fhologruphic Acl Frojccl locuscs on issucs conccrning phologruphy us u
mcdium und lhc ucl ol rcproduclion. Through lhis projccl. Lcc hus soughl lo shov lrccs
lo lhcir bcsl udvunlugc. By hoIding u vhilc cIolh bchind il. u lrcc lhul hud bccn hiddcn in
lhc nuluruI cnvironmcnl rcvcuIs ils lruc shupc. AIlhough lhc urlisls vork consisls onIy
ol sclling up lhc cunvus bchind lhc lrcc rulhcr lhun puinling u lrcc on lhc cunvus. lhis is
uIso lhc originuI imporl ol lhc phologruphic ucl. In chiIdhood. Lcc drcumcd ol bccoming u
poslmun und dcIivcring Icllcrs lrom onc pcrson lo unolhcr. Hc considcrcd il lhc simpIcsl
und mosl insignicunl vork. bul ul lhc sumc limc highIy bcncciuI und lhc mosl suilubIc
job lor him. Fhologruphy is unolhcr lorm ol lhis chiIdhood drcum. For Lcc. lhc mcuning ol
phologruphy Iics in cxposing und commcmoruling u corncr ol lhc vorId und objcclilying
idcus und lccIings lo convcy lhcm lo lhc vicvcr.
92 Diuilou Sumuluoti: 1hc DcuJ 1tcc Blooms
4D Art Performance by Dstrict
Image courtesy of Dstrict
Sanu/notl (pIuying lour lhings) is u slugc vcrsion ol lhc Iurgc-scuIc lurmcrs bunds lhul
usc lour pcrcussion inslrumcnls: //vacnuuvatl (smuII gong). ilnu (Iurgc gong). /u/ (burrcI
drum). und ianuuu (hourgIuss drum). Thc muslcr ol lhis sanu/notl. Kim Dcok-soo. hus
coIIuborulcd vilh lvo olhcr giunls ol lrudilionuI Korcun cuIlurc: pansotl singcr Ahn Sook-
sun und lhculcr dircclor Kook Soo-ho. Hc uIso uscd lhc hi-lcch digiluI lcchnoIogy ol lhc
Korcun IT compuny Dslricl lo crculc u ncv conccpl in lour-dimcnsionuI pcrlormuncc. Thc
sanu/notl pcrlormuncc. vhich rcquircs lour pcopIc. is givcn by lhc rcuI Kim Dcok-soo
uccompunicd by hoIogruphic projcclions ol himscIl pIuying lhc olhcr inslrumcnls in un
inlcruclivc Iivc pcrlormuncc. Thc loundulion lor lhis pcrlormuncc is lhc DigiIog conccpl
udvoculcd by lormcr Minislcr ol CuIlurc Lcc O-Young. This lcrm rclcrs lo lhc lrunsilionuI
phusc vhcn un unuIog socicly movcs lovurd lhc digiluI. lusing u digiluI busis vilh unuIog
scnsibiIilics. Thc Iivc pcrlormuncc ol Dlul/ou Sanu/notl opcns u ncv chuplcr lhul combincs
digiluI lcchnoIogy vilh unuIog lrudilionuI pcrlorming urls.
96 Jo Hui-ryong, 17891866
Plum Blossoms
Joseon Dynasty (19th century), colored ink on paper, 124.8x371.2cm
National Museum of Korea
Image courtesy of National Museum of Korea
Inucnccd by Kim 1cong-hui (pcn numc Chusu). 1o Hui-ryong vus u vcrsuliIc mun ol
Icllcrs so luIcnlcd in poclry. cuIIigruphy. und puinling lhul hc vus commissioncd by lhc
king lo puinl lhc lumous sighls ol lhc Gcumgung Mounluins. His cuIIigruphy vus modcIcd
on lhc Chusu-chc slyIc ol his lcuchcr. und his puinlings incIudc muny piclurcs ol orchids
und pIum bIossoms. Thc orchid puinlings urc uIso considcrcd lo bc much inucnccd by
Kim 1cong-hui. bul in puinling pIum bIossoms hc dcvcIopcd his ovn pcrsonuI slyIc. Hc
is suid lo huvc Iikcd pIum bIossoms so much lhul hc uscd lhc phrusc FIum BIossom in
lhc numc ol lhc buiIding vhcrc hc Iivcd. scl up u loIding scrccn in his room dccorulcd
vilh his ovn puinling ol pIum bIossoms. uscd un ink slonc und ink slick inscribcd vilh
poclry uboul pIum bIossoms. und Iikcd lo drink pIum bIossom lcu. This vork is puinlcd on
lhc cighl puncIs ol u loIding scrccn. und shovs vhilc und pink pIum bIossoms ovcring
hurmoniousIy logclhcr on u singIc lrcc. Thc lhick lrunk ol lhc gnurIcd oId lrcc bcnds
shurpIy. IIing lhc vhoIc hcighl ol lhc lrumc. vhiIc lhc brunchcs luII ol bIossoms rcuching
oul in uII dircclions givc u scnsc ol lhc viluIily ol curIy spring.
98 Ahn Sang-soo, 1952
Huuucul Ivv
2007, steel, typographic installation at Lock Museum
Image courtesy of the artist, Photographed by Park Gi-su
Ahn Sung-soo. u prolcssor ul Hongik Univcrsily. is onc ol Korcus Icuding lypogruphcrs und
gruphic dcsigncrs. In 19S5 hc crculcd u lonl bcuring his ovn numc. Ahn Sung-soo-chc.
Gclling uvuy lrom lhc Chincsc-churuclcr-Iikc squurc shupc ol cxisling Korcun lonls. Ahns
lonl slyIc is loundcd on lhc uniquc lormulion principIc ol lhc Korcun uIphubcl /anucu/. in
vhich lhc vovcIs und consonunls urc combincd inlo syIIubIcs comprising lhrcc cIcmcnls:
iniliuI consonunl. middIc vovcI. und nuI consonunl. Thc mosl dislinclivc cIcmcnl ol lhc
Korcun uIphubcl is lhc nuI consonunl. in vhich consonunls lhul huvc uIrcudy bccn uscd
us iniliuI consonunls muy bc vrillcn uguin. so lhul u singIc syIIubIc is rcprcscnlcd by u
singIc shupc. In cxisling Korcun lonls. vhich urrungc cuch syIIubIc in u squurc lormul. lhc
sumc consonunl muy lukc on u murkcdIy dicrcnl shupc dcpcnding vhclhcr il is uscd us
un iniliuI or u nuI consonunl. bul Ahn Sung-soo crculcd u lonl lhul givcs cuch consonunl
u unilorm shupc und ils ovn spucc rcgurdIcss ol vhclhcr il uppcurs in lhc iniliuI or lhc
nuI posilion. Wilh ucclion lor lhc busic conslilulivc cIcmcnls ol lhc Korcun uIphubcl.
Ahn produccd Hanucu/ Iy us purl ol lhc 2007 Hanucu/ Exhibilion. On slccI cubIcs lhul
covcrcd lhc vuIIs ol lhc cxhibilion huII Iikc ivy. Ahn hung /anucu/ consonunls. cxpIoring
lhc possibiIilics ol /anucu/ us u lorm ol scuIpluruI url rulhcr lhun simpIy u mcuns ol
100 Han Sung-pil, 1972
How lo Lic wilh SPACE
2009, installation project at the SPACE Group,
solvent print on canvas, 720x1680m
1hc Ivv Succ (uul tcsull)
chromogenic print, 152x122cm, private collection
Image courtesy of SPACE Group
Hun Sung-piI is u young visuuI urlisl vho gruduulcd vilh u BFA in phologruphic mcdiu
lrom lhc CoIIcgc ol Arl ul Chung-Ang Univcrsily und lhcn compIclcd un MA in Curuling
Conlcmporury Dcsign ul Londons Kingslon Univcrsily und lhc Dcsign Muscum. London. In
lhis vork. crculcd lo murk lhc 500lh issuc ol lhc urchilccluruI muguzinc SPACE. phologruphic
imugcs ol lhc inlcrior ol lhc SPACE muguzinc hcudquurlcrs urc dispIuycd on Iurgc pIucurds
insluIIcd on lhc cxlcrior ol lhc sumc buiIding. By insluIIing imugcs ol lhc ucluuI inlcrior
on bIocking curluins ulluchcd lo lhc cxlcrior. lhc inncr spucc ol lhc buiIding is rcvcuIcd
lo lhc oulsidc us il lhc vuIIs hud coIIupscd. Thc urlisl cxpIuins lhul hc crculcd un iIIusory
lhrcc-dimcnsionuI spucc vilhin u lvo-dimcnsionuI lormul by mupping phologruphs ol
lhc rcuI inlcrior onlo u scclionuI vicv lrom lhc limc ol conslruclion. Acr onc monlh. lhc
insluIIulion vus phologruphcd by lhc urlisl lo crculc u pcrmuncnl url vork lilIcd 1/c Iy
Spacc. vhiIc lhc cIolh uscd in lhc insluIIulion vus rccycIcd us u Iimilcd cdilion cco-bug.
102 Hwang Doo-jin, 1963
Korean-style house in Gahoe-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Image courtesy of Park Young-chae
Hvung Doo-jin sludicd urchilcclurc ul ScouI NulionuI Univcrsily und YuIc Univcrsily. und
cngugcs in u vuricly ol conlcmporury urchilccluruI dcsign projccls. Sincc 2004 hc hus bccn
conccnlruling on udupling lhc urrungcmcnl ol lhc lrudilionuI Korcun housc lo mukc il
morc suilubIc lor conlcmporury IilcslyIcs. Wilh ils undcroor hculing syslcm und voodcn-
oorcd ccnlruI room lhul providcs rclrcshing shudc und brcczcs. lhc lrudilionuI Korcun
housc vus buiIl lo suil lhc lour dislincl scusons ol lhc Korcun cIimulc. Hovcvcr. ils vood-
burning slovc. vhich rcquircs lhc uscr lo squul dovn vhiIc cooking. und ils bulhroom
Ioculcd oulsidc lhc buiIding. mukc il unsuilubIc lor lhc Wcslcrnizcd IilcslyIcs ol lhc modcrn
cru. und il hus Iong luIIcn oul ol luvor. Hvung Doo-jin hus slrivcn lo mukc lhc Korcun
housc convcnicnl lor conlcmporury Iilc vhiIc rcluining ils slrong poinls. C/uliu/danu is
un cxumpIc ol such u modicd Korcun housc. Thc phologruph is by Furk Young-chuc. u
spcciuIisl in urchilccluruI phologruphy.
103 Kim Kai-chun, 1958
Completed 2008, lecture hall of Kookmin University Graduate School
of Techno Design
Image courtesy of Park Young-chae
Dandanvon. u Icclurc huII ul Kookmin Univcrsily. vus joinlIy dcsigncd by scvcruI Kookmin
Univcrsily prolcssors. Thc hcud ol lhc Gruduulc SchooI. 1con Scung-kyu. suggcslcd
muking u novcI Icclurc huII. vhiIc Frolcssor Kim In-chuI conlribulcd lhc idcu ol muking
il u lrudilionuI-slyIc Icclurc huII. CcIcbrulcd lurnilurc dcsigncr Frolcssor Choi Kyung-run
dcsigncd u high-gIoss lubIc suilubIc lor u Icclurc huII vhcrc lhc sludcnls sil on lhc oor.
und Frolcssor Byun Choo-suk mudc u sign bourd bcuring lhc Icclurc huIIs numc. Thc
ovcruII dcsign vus lhc vork ol Icuding Korcun inlcrior dcsigncr Frolcssor Kim Kui-chun.
und uIlhough lhc spucc is dcsigncd lor silling on lhc oor. il shovs u highIy conlcmporury
dcsign. Thc mosl slriking churuclcrislics ol lhis Icclurc huII urc lhc oor sculing in conlrusl
lo lhc chuirs und individuuI dcsks ol u convcnlionuI cIussroom. us vcII us lhc movubIc
ucryIic vuIIs hunging lrom lhc cciIing. Thc vuIIs scrvc lo urrungc lhc spucc in dicrcnl vuys
by dividing il inlo lhrcc smuIIcr Icclurc huIIs or combining lhcsc inlo onc Iurgc room. Thc
phologruph is by urchilccluruI phologruphy spcciuIisl Furk Young-chuc.
104 Yi Hyeong-nok, 1808?
Bookshcl[ uuJ Vutious Ulcusils
Joseon Dynasty (19th century), Eight-panel standing screen,
color on paper, 139.5x421.2cm
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Image courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Yi Hycong-nok vus un urlisl bcIonging lo lhc Iulc 1oscon slulc urlisls orgunizulion vho
cxccIIcd in lhc dccorulivc gcnrc knovn us lhc bookshcIl puinling. Hc is lhoughl lo huvc
bccn inucnccd by Kim Hong-dos slyIc ol gcnrc puinlings. This vork is considcrcd u nc
cxumpIc ol lhc Iulc 1oscon bookshcIl puinling. u lypc ol loIk sliII Iilc shoving u grid ol
Iibrury shcIvcs luslcluIIy sluckcd vilh piIcs ol books und olhcr urlicIcs lor cvcryduy usc
such us luns. inccnsc burncrs. und ccrumic vcsscIs. OriginuIIy lhc objccls vcrc prcciscIy
buIunccd in u symmclricuI urrungcmcnl. bul Iulcr lhc composilions bccumc morc cxibIc
und lhcrc vus usuuIIy nolhing shovn in lhc buckground. Thc poinl ol vicv crculcs u spcciuI
imprcssion. us il lhc puinling is Iooking ul lhc vicvcr rulhcr lhun lhc rcvcrsc. Thc Iilcruli
muinIy commissioncd lhcsc puinlings lo dccorulc lhc rooms ol lhcir sons. und muny vcrc
kcpl in lhc sludy. shoving hov lhc cuIlurc ol lhc limc cncourugcd Iilcrury sludy und
Icurning. AIso. lrom lhc vurious urlicIcs dispIuycd in lhc piclurc. vc cun upprcciulc lhc
dccorulivc luslcs ol lhc Iilcruli cIuss.
106 Documcul Chcsl
Joseon Dynasty (19th century), Chinese mahogany and paulownia wood,
National Museum of Korea
Image courtesy of National Museum of Korea
A documcnl chcsl (nunuap) vus u piccc ol lurnilurc uscd lor sloring imporlunl
documcnls or objccls. or lor kccping ilcms ol slulioncry such us brush hoIdcrs und ink
conluincrs. Il vus mudc in u vuricly ol shupcs. somc huving scvcruI druvcrs sidc by sidc und
compurlmcnls vilh doors vhiIc olhcrs rcscmbIcd lubIcs. dcsks. or pIuin boxcs. To l lhc
smuII. Iov-cciIingcd rooms ol u Korcun-slyIc housc. u nunuap vus usuuIIy nurrov und onIy
uboul 30cm high. UnIikc mosl documcnl chcsls. vhich vcrc mudc in puirs. lhis cxumpIc
consisls ol u singIc Iong chcsl in lhc shupc ol u dcsk. vilh lop und sidc bourds und lour
druvcrs. Thc ullruclivc vood gruin is Ic in ils nuluruI slulc. und vriling ulcnsiIs couId bc
dispIuycd on lop ol lhc chcsl. vhiIc smuII objccls such us documcnl boxcs couId bc kcpl in
lhc cmply spucc undcrnculh. Euch sidc bourd hus u scmi-circuIur culoul ul lhc bollom. und
cuch druvcr hus u pcuch-shupcd hundIc. Wilh ils slurdy slruclurc und simpIc dcsign. lhis
vus un uppropriulc piccc ol lurnilurc lor u schoIurs rcccplion room.
108 Bae Se-hwa, 1980
2010, walnut, 110x63x65cm
Private collection
Image courtesy of Gallery SEOMI, photographed by Park Myung-rae
Buc Sc-hvu. vho sludicd voodvorking und lurnilurc dcsign ul Hongik Univcrsily. pursucs
un ucslhclic ol hurmony vilh nulurc und Korcun-slyIc bcuuly lhrough voodcn lurnilurc
mudc vilh u slcum bcnding lcchniquc. Wilhoul going uguinsl lhc rcIulionship bclvccn
humun bcings und spucc. hc ulluchcs un imporlunl mcuning lo lhc roIc ol lurnilurc us u
mcdium cupubIc ol spiriluuI communiculion rulhcr lhun simpIy dcsigncd us un objccl.
This hus poinls ol conlucl vilh lrudilionuI Korcun vuIucs ol rcslruinl und cmplincss und
u IcisurcIy phiIosophy ol Iilc. Buc uscs dcsign lo bring oul lhc spiriluuI diuIoguc bclvccn
nulurc und humunily und bclvccn inlcrior und cxlcrior. Through lhc conccpls ol rcslruinl
und cmplincss lhul cIiminulc compIiculcd cIcmcnls lrom lhc lorm onc by onc. lhc proccss
ol muking u piccc ol lurnilurc lhul slunds lhc lcsl ol limc is compIclcd vilh orgunic lorms
bul vilhoul cxccssivc curvcs. Buc Sc-hvus lurnilurc cvokcs lhc gcnlIc ov ol nulurc. und
by crculing u ccuscIcss diuIoguc bclvccn cxlcrior spucc und inlcrior. il suggcsls u ncv modc
ol Iilc.
109 Kwon Jae-min, 1976
Gtow U lhc Liuhl-lublc
2009, walnut (wood carving), 220x83x150cm
Korean Cultural Centre UK
Image courtesy of the artist
Though born in ScouI. Kvon 1uc-mins lumiIy homc vus in Gungncung. und hc grcv up
in Gycongsungbuk-do. Hc guincd undcrgruduulc und gruduulc dcgrccs lrom lhc CoIIcgc ol
Arl ul Hongik Univcrsily. und bcgun his urlislic curccr vhiIc in gruduulc schooI lhrough url
luirs in Korcu und Europc. Mosl ol his chiIdhood vus spcnl surroundcd by mounluins und
scu. und lhis chiIdhood inucncc hus hcIpcd Kvon lo cxprcss lhc lhcmc ol nulurc lhrough
vood. lrunsccnding lhc boundury bclvccn url und dcsign. His vorks bcgun by rcproducing
nuluruI lorms. bul nov hc gocs bcyond lhc rcproduclion ol lorms lo shov lhc inlrinsic
churuclcrislics ol vood us u mulcriuI. Thcsc vorks shov lhc rcIulionship bclvccn lhc
symboIic lorms ol nulurc und lhc lunclions ol objccls lhrough lhc rcproduclion ol lorms.
110 Choi Byung-hoon, 1952
Actimuuc 07-244
2007, laminated walnut veneer (black varnished) on beech veneer,
black granite, 174x55x90cm
Vitra Design Museum
Image courtesy of the artist
Born in Gungvon-do in 1952. Choi Byung-hoon mujorcd in lurnilurc dcsign ul
undcrgruduulc und gruduulc IcvcIs in lhc CoIIcgc ol Arl ul Hongik Univcrsily. und is
considcrcd u pionccr in lhc cId ol Korcun conlcmporury url lurnilurc. Chois vorks cxprcss
in nuluruI lorms lhc nobIc ycl simpIc nuluruI bcuuly ol slonc und lhc csscncc ol vood us
conccivcd by Tuoism und Zcn Buddhism. Thcsc vorks prcscnl nol onIy lhc pruclicuIily
ol lurnilurc bul cvcn lhc csscncc ol lhc cIusivc Korcun spiril. Thc buIunccd gcomclricuI
slruclurc und lccIing ol orgunic grovlh in his vorks givc lhcm u spcciuI povcr lo connccl
mcmorics ol lhc pusl vilh lhc lulurc by bringing oul lhc spiriluuI slrcnglh in cuch nuluruI
subjccl und udding cIcmcnls lhul sublIy combinc lhc spiril ol nulurc vilh cuIlurcs
scnsilivily lo lorm. Thcsc vorks spcuk lo lhc imuginulion ol lhc gcncruI pubIic vilh u
simpIicily lhul lrunsccnds limc und gcnrc. vhiIc lcnding lovurd rcuIms ol scIl-cxuminulion
lhrough rccclion und mcdilulion.
112 Kang Ik-joong, 1960
WotlJ Exo Shuuuhui 2010. Kotcu Puviliou
2010, H. 19.8m, external installation on three-story steel structure
Image courtesy of Ahn Graphics
InsluIIulion urlisl Kung Ik-joong gruduulcd lrom Hongik Univcrsily und Ncv Yorks Frull
Inslilulc. und muinIy vorks in Ncv York. Using voodcn lrumcs und smuII cunvuscs onIy
Scm squurc lo shov lrugmcnls ol Iilc und lhc lhoughls in his mind lhrough piclurcs und
vriling. hc slrivcs lor u hurmonious gIobuI viIIugc on lhc busis ol u muIliclhnic und muIli-
cuIluruI socicly. Kung hus produccd muruIs lor lhc muin huII ol Sun Fruncisco InlcrnulionuI
Airporl und cnvironmcnluI scuIplurc lor lhc Ncv York subvuy. Kung vus commissioncd
lo dcsign lhc Korcun puviIion lor lhc Shunghui Expo by Muss Sludics Frcsidcnl Cho Min-
suk. Muss Sludics locuscs on lhc ccclivc compIcxily ol muIli-Iuycrcd siluulions umid
lhc numcrous lcnsions lhul dcnc lhc spuliuI condilions ol lhc lvcnly-rsl ccnlury: pusl
vs. prcscnl. IocuI vs. gIobuI. idcuI vs. rcuI. individuuI vs. group. This ycurs Korcu FuviIion
cxprcsscs lhc Korcun cuIluruI churuclcrislics ol divcrsily und lusion by mcrging symboI und
spucc on lhc busis ol Korcus grculcsl invcnlion. lhc /anucu/ uIphubcl. Kung hus soughl lo
highIighl lhc puviIions Korcun idcnlily by dccoruling lhc cxlcrior ol lhc spucc vilh 3S.000
ol his url pixcIs und /anucu/ pixcIs. In uddilion. 42.000 LEDs. lhc Iighl sourcc ol lhc grccn
dcvcIopmcnl cru. urc insluIIcd bcnculh Kungs /anucu/ pixcIs. muking lhc Korcu FuviIion
uppcur lo oul in Iighl.
114 Min Byung-geol, 1968
3x3cm Movublc WooJcu 1vc Exhibiliou
2008, variable installation, wood
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Min Bycong-gcoI mujorcd in visuuI communiculion dcsign ul Hongik Univcrsily und
Musushino Arl Univcrsily. und hus vorkcd us u dcsigncr lor Ahn Gruphics und Noon
Dcsign. CurrcnlIy uclivc us u mcmbcr ol lhc dcsign group 1induIIuc. hc uIso lcuchcs ul ScouI
Womcns Univcrsily. This vork. urising lrom un inlcrcsl in lhc lormuI quuIilics ol vriling
ilscIl. cun bc undcrslood us lhc dcsigncrs conlinuous cxpunsion ol lhc vork lhrough lhc
rcpclilion ol moduIcs lo lorm vrillcn churuclcrs. Thc busic moduIc is u 3cm cubc ol vood.
vhich is cxlcndcd lhrough lhrcc-dimcnsionuI spucc lo shov u vuricly ol shupcs. Thc lhrcc-
dimcnsionuI scuIplurcs prcscnl dicrcnl lvo-dimcnsionuI siIhoucllcs dcpcnding on lhc
vicving ungIc. In lhcsc chunging shupcs cun bc lound Korcun /anucu/ scripl. lhc Icllcrs
ol lhc Wcslcrn uIphubcl. und Chincsc churuclcrs. According lo lhc chunging vicvpoinl.
u singIc shupc cun bccomc u Icllcr ol u dicrcnl mcuning. u ncv scuIplurc. und lhc ncv
mcuning ol un cnlircIy dicrcnl vrillcn churuclcr.
116 Shin Yun-bok, 17581817 (?)
Bcuuli[ul Womuu
Joseon Dynasty (19th century), color on silk, 114.2x45.7cm
Gansong Museum of Art
Image courtesy of Gansong Museum of Art
Shin Yun-bok. uIong vilh Kim Hong-do und Kim Dcuk-sin. is rcgurdcd us onc ol lhc lhrcc
grcul gcnrc puinlcrs ol lhc 1oscon Dynusly. Thcsc puinlcrs Ic us u vivid piclurc ol lhc
IilcslyIc und cIcguncc ol lhc Iulc 1oscon pcriod in lhcir rcuIislic dcpiclions ol lhc cIolhing
und cvcryduy urlicIcs ol lhc limc. Thc prcscnl vork shovs lhc dccorulivc lushions ol lhc
pcriod by porlruying u young vomun vilh u coiIcd vig. vcuring u shorl juckcl und vidc
skirl. bushluIIy ngcring hcr pcndunl und lhc cord ol hcr juckcl. Wilh hcr smuII. round
lucc. pIump chccks. smuII moulh. lhin cycbrovs. und Iong cycs. shc is lhc vcry piclurc ol u
lrudilionuI-slyIc Korcun bcuuly. Hcr IiIuc juckcl vilh purpIc lics luckcd inlo u grcyish-bIuc
skirl dycd vilh indigo shovs uII lhc grucc ol lrudilionuI Korcun cIolhing. Hcr coy gIuncc und
sIighlIy Iovcrcd hcud. und lhc onc vhilc shoc shoving undcr lhc hcm ol hcr skirl. slir lhc
hcurl ol lhc bchoIdcr.
118 Notiuuc
Joseon Dynasty
Image courtesy of Park Jeong-hoon
A notluac is u lrudilionuI ornumcnl lor vomcns cIolhing. hung lrom lhc juckcl lic or
skirl. und vidcIy uscd nol onIy vilhin lhc courl und uppcr cIusscs. bul cvcn umong lhc
common pcopIc. Thcrc urc rccords ol urislocrulic vomcn hunging u notluac lrom lhcir
vuisl bcIl us curIy us lhc Goryco Dynusly. bul us lhc juckcl bccumc shorlcr in lhc Iulc
Goryco pcriod. lhc notluac bcgun lo bc hung lrom lhc juckcl lic. vhich is hov il vus usuuIIy
vorn in lhc 1oscon Dynusly. Aotluac vcrc vorn lor slulc ccrcmonics in lhc puIucc und lor
spcciuI occusions ul homc. vhiIc simpIc oncs mighl bc vorn ul ordinury limcs us vcII. In
urlislocrulic lumiIics. lhcy vcrc hundcd dovn us hcirIooms lrom gcncrulion lo gcncrulion.
Thc uppcr purl. vhich ulluchcd lhc notluac lo lhc juckcl. mighl bc goId. siIvcr. judc. or coruI.
vilh slrings ulluchcd in dccorulivc knolvork. In oulvurd uppcuruncc notluac vcrc dcIiculc.
vuricd. und sumpluous ornumcnls. und in spiril lhcy cmbodicd lhc hopcs ol vomcn lor
prospcrily. sons. Iong Iilc. good hcuIlh. und lhc luIIImcnl ol uII lhcir vishcs.
120 Pillows
Vin Collection by Gang Geum-seong
Design by Gang Geum-seong
Produced by Suryusanbang
Image courtesy of Suryusanbang, Photographed by Park Jeong-hoon
Thc Korcuns ol oId mudc lhcir sIccping pIuccs morc comlorlubIc by cmbcIIishing lhcir
piIIov cuscs vilh uII kinds ol slilching und cmbroidcry. FiIIov cuscs vcrc mudc round or
squurc dcpcnding on lhc shupc ol lhc piIIov. FinvhccI dcsigns. scvn inlo lhc piIIov by
curcluIIy connccling picccs ol siIk in dicrcnl coIors. cmbodicd lhc Korcun bcIicl in lhc
vc dircclionuI coIors vhich vouId drivc oul ncgulivc cncrgy und promolc prospcrily
uccording lo lhc principIcs ol Yin und Yung und lhc vc curdinuI dircclions. FuinslukingIy
hund-cmbroidcrcd slilch by slilch. lhcsc piIIovs mighl dicr in lhc composilion ol lhcir
dcsign. bul lhcir mcuning vus IurgcIy lhc sumc. Dicrcnl piIIovs vcrc mudc lor usc by
mcn und vomcn. vilh lhc vomcns piIIovs bcing smuIIcr lhun lhc mcns. smoolhcr in
shupc. und usuuIIy cmbroidcrcd vilh ovcr dcsigns. Thc pcony. vhich givcs o u slrongcr
lrugruncc in lhc dcplhs ol vinlcr. vus rcgurdcd us u symboI ol lumc und lorlunc. und lhc
vomcn ol Korcus royuI und urislocrulic lumiIics vcrc cnumorcd ol ils rich und Iuxuriunl
uppcuruncc. und dccorulcd lhcir cIolhcs und bcdding vilh bcuuliluI pcony dcsigns.
122 Yuui (FotucJ Btuss 1ublcwutc)
Created by Yi Bong-ju, 1926
Holder of Important Intangible Cultural Property No. 77
Image courtesy of Ahn Graphics
Yuul is u lcrm lor vcsscIs mudc ol bruss. lhc churuclcrislic Korcun uIIoy comprising 7S
coppcr und 22 lin. Thcrc vus uIrcudy u govcrnmcnl occ cuIIcd lhc Chcoryujcon
producing brussvurc in lhc SiIIu pcriod. und in lhc Goryco Dynusly. brussvurc vus uscd
lor lhc lubIcvurc ol lhc urislocrucy und in Buddhisl hundicrus. und vus cvcn cxporlcd
lo Chinu. In lhc 1oscon Dynusly. il vus uscd lor lhc culing ulcnsiIs ol lhc uppcr cIuss.
Brussvurc cun bc mudc cilhcr by cusling (pouring lhc moIlcn mcluI inlo u moId) or by
lorging. in vhich lhc bruss uIIoy is hculcd. sprcud lhin. und shupcd by rcpculcd hummcring.
Thcrc is uIso u lcchniquc cuIIcd huIl-lorging lhul combincs cusling und lorging. bul lhc
purc lorgcd brussvurc. vilh ils dcmunding produclion lcchniquc. hus Iong bccn rcgurdcd
us lhc bcsl. Scvcn crusmcn vilh ovcr 20 ycurs cxpcricncc lorm u lcum lo mukc lorgcd
brussvurc. und il lukcs uboul six duys vork lo compIclc u singIc vcsscI.
124 BuckjcucumJouu Duchvuuuuo
Baekje period, gilt-bronze incense burner, H. 64cm W. 11.8kg
Treasure No. 287, Buyeo National Museum
Image courtesy of Buyeo National Museum
This giIl-bronzc inccnsc burncr lrom lhc uncicnl Korcun kingdom ol Buckjc vus uncurlhcd
vilh uboul 450 olhcr rcIics lrom u pil ul lhc vcsl ol u lcmpIc silc bclvccn Nuscong und lhc
lombs ol Ncungsun-ri. Mcusuring 64cm high und vcighing 11.Skg. lhc Iurgc inccnsc burncr
consisls ol lour muin purls: lhc body. lhc Iid. lhc phocnix on lhc lop. und lhc pcdcsluI. Thc
Iid is dccorulcd vilh u sccnc ol dccp mounluins in lour or vc licrs. us vcII us 16 humun
gurcs. incIuding musiciuns. miIilury gurcs. und mounlcd hunlcrs. pIus 39 unimuIs. On
lhc lop ol lhc Iid. u phocnix slunds vilh ils vings sprcud und u bcud in ils bcuk. vhiIc vc
hoIcs urc borcd lhrough lhc brcusl ol lhc phocnix und uround lhc vc musiciun gurcs
lo Icl lhc inccnsc smokc comc oul. Thc body ol lhc burncr rcscmbIcs u Iolus ovcr in luII
bIoom. vilh vurious unimuIs urrungcd on lhc surlucc ol lhc Iolus Icuvcs. vhiIc lhc pcdcsluI
lukcs lhc lorm ol u drugon hoIding lhc Iolus ovcr in ils moulh us il Iis up ils hcud us
il usccnding lo lhc hcuvcns. This inccnsc burncr is cspcciuIIy rcmurkubIc lor ils dislincl.
rcuIislic. und lhrcc-dimcnsionuI rcprcscnlulion ol lhc mounluins. Wilh ils oulslunding
crculivily und scnsc ol lorm. uddcd lo u rcIigious und phiIosophicuI ccIcclicism bIcnding
Buddhism und Tuoism. il dcmonslrulcs lhc hundicru und urlislic cuIlurc. rcIigion.
phiIosophy. und cvcn lhc produclion lcchniqucs ol lhc Buckjc cru.
126 Pcusivc BoJhisullvu
Three Kingdoms period (early 7th century), gilt copper, H. 93.5cm
National Treasure No. 83, National Museum of Korea
Image courtesy of National Museum of Korea
In lhis scuIplurc. lhc Bodhisullvu Muilrcyu. much Iovcd by lhc pcopIc lor his roIc in suving
uII Iiving crculurcs in lhc ncxl vorId. is shovn in lhc poslurc knovn us /anuasayu. Thc
/anuasayu poslurc churuclcrizcs u slyIc ol Buddhisl scuIplurc in vhich lhc gurc is shovn
mcdiluling. sculcd on u Iolus pcdcsluI vilh lhc righl Icg rcsling on lhc Ic und lhc righl
hund supporling u sIighlIy Iovcrcd lucc. Il originulcs in lhc uncicnl scuIplurcs ol Indiu.
und vus lrcqucnlIy produccd in Korcu during lhc Thrcc Kingdoms pcriod. This cxumpIc is
oulslunding lor ils prolound und myslcrious cxprcssion. vilh lhc cnds ol lhc cycs sIighlIy
ruiscd und lhc moulh curIing inlo un cnigmulic smiIc. ils buIunccd mcdilulivc poslurc vilh
lhc ngcrs louching lhc chcck. und lhc cIcgunl und cIuborulc lrculmcnl ol ils cIolhing.
127 Scosuu Muuc Sumjou Bulsuuu
Late Baekje Period (late 6th century), granite relief, H. 2.8m (main gure)
National Treasure No. 84
Location: 2-1 Yonghyeon-ri, Unsan-myeon, Seosan-si,
Image courtesy of BBU Studio
A Buddhu curving muy bc u scuIplurc inciscd inlo lhc rock on hiIIy Iund. or u sluluc curvcd
insidc u hoIIovcd-oul cuvc. Thc Buddhu lriud ol Scosun is curvcd inlo u cIi in u vuIIcy on
Ml. Guyusun. und is nol cusiIy sccn. Thc curIicsl surviving Buddhu curving in Korcu. il vus
mudc ul u limc vhcn Buckjc vus u slrongIy Buddhisl kingdom. huving rsl ucccplcd lhc
rcIigion 200 ycurs bclorc. und is lhoughl lo huvc bccn mudc ul lhc commund ol lhc slulc.
Scosun vus u slrulcgic poinl lor cxchungc bclvccn Buckjc und Chinu. und onc lhcory hoIds
lhul lhc scuIplurc vus mudc lo pruy lor lhc sulcly ol pcopIc crossing lhc YcIIov Scu. Thc
luII slunding Buddhu in lhc ccnlcr is unkcd by u slunding Bodhisullvu on lhc righl und u
Bodhisullvu sculcd in lhc /anuasayu poslurc on lhc Ic. Thc scuIplurc is mudc so lhul lhc
luciuI cxprcssions on lhc gurcs chungc vilh lhc sunIighl und limc ol duy. Thc cIcur smiIc
in lhc sIighlIy ruiscd corncrs ol lhcir moulhs is knovn us lhc SmiIc ol Buckjc.
134 DouuuwolJo
Late Joseon Dynasty (c. 18241828), color on silk,
16-panel folding screen, 273x576cm
National Treasure No. 249
Korea University Museum & Dong-A University Museum, Busan
Image courtesy of Korea University Museum
Donuuvo/do is u puir ol loIding scrccns vilh 16 puncIs. puinlcd by urlisls ol lhc Iulc 1oscon
slulc urlisls orgunizulion. und shoving lhc ovcruII urrungcmcnl ol lhc buiIdings und
grounds ol lhc lvo cuslcrn puIuccs. Chungdcokgung und Chunggyconggung. Adding
u lhrcc-dimcnsionuI cccl. lhc birds cyc vicvpoinl Iooks dovn lo lhc puIuccs und
surrounding hiIIs ul u sIunl lrom lhc righl. Thc buiIdings. bridgcs. vuIIs. und Iundscupc
lculurcs such us ponds und sloncs urc dcpiclcd in vivid dcluiI jusl us lhcy uppcur in rcuIily.
Wilh lhc numc ol cuch buiIding und objccl vrillcn in ink. lhc puinling hus grcul vuIuc us u
hisloricuI documcnl. lor il providcs imporlunl inlormulion nol onIy on lhc uppcuruncc ol
1oscon puIuccs. bul on lhc urrungcmcnl ol puIucc buiIdings und Iundscupcs.
136 Buck GutJcu o[ Nukscoujuc vicwcJ [tom Chwiuujcouu Puviliou
Location: Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Image courtesy of BBU Studio
Chungdcokgung is u 1oscon Dynusly puIucc udjoining Chunggyconggung FuIucc lo lhc
cusl. As onc ol lhc pIuccs vhcrc lhc royuI lumiIy Iivcd righl up lo lhc cnd ol lhc dynusly. il
hus prcscrvcd ils originuI lorm vcII. und ils bcuuliluI buck gurdcn is cspcciuIIy ccIcbrulcd.
Chviunjcong FuviIion is u spol vilhin lhc puIucc lrom vhich lhc vhoIc ol lhc grounds
cun bc sccn. vhiIc Nuksconjuc is modcIcd on lhc slruclurc ol u privulc housc rulhcr lhun u
puIucc. und is suid lo huvc bccn lhc pIucc vhcrc quccns rcsidcd vhcn in mourning. Bccuusc
il vus u pIucc ol mourning. il is rcIulivcIy pIuin. vilhoul lhc muIlicoIorcd puinlvork ol
olhcr puIucc buiIdings. Thc buck gurdcn is urrungcd in lcrruccs. vilh bcuuliluI vuIIs ol brick
oulIining u vuricly ol shupcs on lhc Iovcsl IcvcI. Thc ovcr bcds urc pIunlcd vilh dicrcnl
lrccs und grusscs on cuch IcvcI so lhul onc cun cnjoy lhc vuricd Iook ol nulurc chunging
lrom Iuycr lo Iuycr. In spring lhc pIum bIossoms urc much udmircd.
138 Choi Jeong-hwa, 1961
Guus. Gctms. uuJ Slccl
2009, installation of plastic baskets, dimensions variable
Image courtesy of National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
A gruduulc ol lhc puinling dcpurlmcnl ul Hongik Univcrsily. Choi 1cong-hvu vorks nol
onIy us un urlisl bul uIso us u dcsigncr. slugc dcsigncr lor conlcmporury duncc. und Im
urlislic dircclor. FrccIy inlcrchunging high quuIily und Iov. hc rcbcIs uguinsl lhc cIilism
ol high url. rcluscs lo scl up cxcIusivc boundurics uround url. und nds lruc url vilhin
cvcryduy Iilc by shoving u nosluIgic ulluchmcnl lo chcup und humbIc objccls mudc
vilh un ucslhclic ol lhc ruv. Hc Iikcs lo go lo lhc murkcl und buy lhings Iikc oId bunncrs.
scrubbing cIolhs. cooking loiI. und pIuslic buskcls lo usc in his vorks. Guns. Gctns. and Slcc/
is un insluIIulion vork lrom lhc cxhibilion Bcginning ol u Ncv Eru hcId by lhc NulionuI
Muscum ol Conlcmporury Arl in lhc lormcr Dclcnsc Sccurily Commund CompIcx in 2009.
using pIuslic buskcls ol muny coIors lo crculc u spucc rcscmbIing u muzc. Combining lhc
Europcun conccpl ol lhc muzc gurdcn vilh u vicv ol Gycongbokgung FuIucc. il givcs lhc
vicvcr u novcI spuliuI cxpcricncc us vcII us visuuI pIcusurc.
140 Lee Sea-hyun, 1967
Bclwccu RcJ 99
2009, oil on linen, 300x300cm
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Acr compIcling u muslcrs dcgrcc ul Hongik Univcrsily. Lcc Scu-hyun gruduulcd lrom lhc
ChcIscu CoIIcgc ol Arl und Dcsign in London. und vcnl on lo vork in lhc UK. Expcricncing
cuIluruI dicrcnccs. hc cumc lo rcccl on vhul nulurc mcunl lo him us u Korcun. und
bcgun lo cxlrucl vicvs ol Korcus nuluruI sccncry lrom his mcmory und lo puinl lhcm in
rcd on cnormous cunvuscs. Thc rcd Iundscupc puinlings ol lhc Bclvccn Rcd scrics spcuk ol
lhc puin ol young Korcuns Iooking ul lhcir dividcd nulion. und shcd ncv Iighl on u Korcun
cnvironmcnl lhul is gruduuIIy bcing dcslroycd. On u cunvus lhul combincs lrudilionuI
Iundscupc puinling lcchniqucs lrom lhc 1oscon Dynusly vilh lhc pcrspcclivc lcchniquc ol
Wcslcrn puinling. Lcc lrccIy mixcs inlcrior und cxlcrior spuccs. nighl und duylimc vicvs.
und brings logclhcr lhc mounluin sccncry ol Korcus Dc-MiIilurizcd Zonc vilh rcuI sccncs
lrom Ml. Buckdusun in lhc norlh lo Ml. HuIIusun in lhc soulh. lo porlruy un idcuIizcd ulopiu
in u dcIiculc und cIuborulc munncr.
142 ItoJuuu Housc ul Uuhvcouuuuu Pulucc
Location: Unni-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Image courtesy of Yim Seock-jae
Unhycongung is u privulc housc vhcrc lhc Iulc 1oscon Dynusly king Gojong Iivcd lrom
birlh unliI hc usccndcd lhc lhronc ul lhc ugc ol lvcIvc. Gojong vus born und ruiscd in u
privulc housc bccuusc his lulhcr. lhc Rcgcnl Ducvongun. uIlhough ol royuI birlh. vus nol
high cnough in lhc ordcr ol succcssion lo Iivc in u puIucc. Whcn Gojong bccumc king umid
lhc poIilicuI vorlcx ol lhc Iulc 1oscon cru. lhis privulc housc ucquircd lhc lilIc puIucc und
u ncv numc. Unhycongung. As u rcsuIl. Unhycongung uords un opporlunily lo inspccl
lhc slruclurc ol un urislocrulic housc. Bccuusc Gojong bccumc king ul such un curIy ugc.
his lulhcr lhc Rcgcnl Ducvongun hundIcd lhc ucluuI busincss ol govcrning und hcId morc
povcr lhun lhc king himscIl. Thc Ajucdung buiIding vhich lhc Ducvongun Iikcd lo usc hus
disuppcurcd. und lhc Irodung buiIding in lhc phologruph scrvcd us lhc inncr buiIding or
vomcns quurlcrs. AccordingIy. il is buiIl lo u squurc pIun. vilh u courlyurd in lhc middIc
und no door Icuding dircclIy oulsidc.
144 Ahn Kyu-chul, 1955
Olhct Pcolcs Rooms
2006, 840x840x200cm, mixed media installation
Cyan Museum of Art
Image courtesy of the artist
Acr gruduuling vilh u dcgrcc in scuIplurc lrom ScouI NulionuI Univcrsily. Ahn Kyu-chuI
sludicd ul lhc Slullgurl Acudcmy ol Finc Arls. und is nov lcuching ul lhc Korcu NulionuI
Univcrsily ol Arls. His vorks dcuI vilh lhings vhich huvc no idcnlily und urc nol visibIc
lo lhc cyc. or vilh imugcs lhul huvc bccn lorgollcn or ncgIcclcd. Ol/ct Pcop/cs Roons. onc
ol lhc vorks in his Roons scrics. consisls ol sixlccn squurc rooms urrungcd in lour rovs ol
lour. Euch room mcusurcs 1S0x1S0cm. cquuI in urcu lo onc pyconu. lhc Korcun unil ol oor
spucc. AII lhc rooms urc conncclcd vilh cuch olhcr on uII lour vuIIs by sIiding doors. Thc
vork uscs u loluI ol uboul S0 doors. uII ol lhcm coIIcclcd lrom dcrcIicl houscs ol 1upuncsc
viIIugcs in Niigulu Frclcclurc ycurs ucr lhc scvcrc curlhquukc. Euch door hus ucquircd ils
ovn hislory. bul dcspilc lhcir vurying shupcs lhcy uII rcscmbIc cuch olhcr. Whcn vicvcrs
cnlcr lhis spucc ol doors. lhcy cuch huvc dicrcnl mcmorics und cxpcricnccs. und cunnol
knov vhcn or by vhom lhc doors vcrc uscd. In lhc proccss. lhcy cxpcricncc lhc coIIcclivc
und unconscious ucslhclic scnsc lhul Iics dormunl vilhin lhc shupcs ol lhcsc doors.
146 Koh Myung-keun, 1964
BuilJiuu 2S
2007, lm and plastic, 70x50x50cm
Private collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Huving gruduulcd vilh u dcgrcc in scuIplurc lrom ScouI NulionuI Univcrsily und u
gruduulc dcgrcc in phologruphy lrom lhc Frull Inslilulc. Koh Myung-kcun hus crculcd u
lrcsh pcrsonuI ocuvrc by mcrging phologruphy und scuIplurc inlo u kind ol lrunspurcnl
pholo-scuIplurc. Thc imugcs hc hus coIIcclcd urc copicd onlo ovcrhcud projcclor Im und
usscmbIcd inlo highIy individuuI scuIpluruI vorks lhul producc u ncv slruclurc ol lccIing
by rcccling und ovcrIupping limc und spucc. Tuking lhrcc busic rcuIms us his subjccl
mullcrnulurc. buiIding. und lhc bodyKoh slrivcs lo bring oul lhc phcnomcnoIogicuI
csscncc ol cuch rcuIm und shov hov lhcy corrcspond vilh cuch olhcr. Rulhcr lhun slu
buiIding inlo lhc inlcrior ol u lrunspurcnl scuIplurc. hc lorms un urlislic spucc so lhul lhc
conluincr lhul hoIds buiIding sccms Iikc u hoIy pIucc or ccrcmoniuI silc.
148 1ouukbo (Pulchwotk Wtuiuu-clolh)
Late Joseon Dynasty (19th century), 57x57cm
The Museum of Korean Embroidery
Image courtesy of The Museum of Korean Embroidery
A ioua//o is mudc by slilching muny Icovcr picccs ol cIolh logclhcr so lhul lhcy cun bc
uscd lor sloring. prcscrving. or currying lhings. In lhc 1oscon Dynusly. vhcn lubrics vcrc
cxpcnsivc. lhc picccs Ic ovcr lrom muking cIolhcs or bcdding vouId bc ulluchcd logclhcr
lo lorm u cIolh lhul vus uscd by common pcopIc lor vrupping lhings or covcring u dinncr
lubIc. As lhcy vcrc chicy mudc lrom nuluruI mulcriuIs Iikc siIk und rumic cIolh lhul
dccuy cusiIy. lhc ioua//o lhul survivc loduy vcrc moslIy mudc in lhc Iulc 1oscon pcriod.
Considcrcd u vcry dislinclivc und originuI lhcmc lor Korcun-slyIc dcsigns. lhc coIors und
slilching pullcrns ol ioua//o urc nov bcing uppIicd lo cIolhing. lurnilurc. hundicrus. und
urchilcclurc. Thc coIors muy bc sublIc puslcI loncs. muIlicoIor dcsigns in primury coIors.
or singIc-coIor pullcrns cmphusizing undycd cIolh. Bccuusc lhcy vcrc mudc lrom Icovcr
picccs. mosl ioua//o huvc u compIcx dcsign ol irrcguIur shupcs.
149 Chae Eun-mi, 1967
GolJ Liuhl Silhoucllc Ctvslul 2
2009, gold leaf injection model and mother-of-pearl, 105.6x105.6x7cm
Collection of the Royal Family of Dubai
Image courtesy of the artist
Born in Ichcon. Gyconggi-do. Chuc Eun-mi gruduulcd lrom lhc CoIIcgc ol Arl ul Dunkook
Univcrsily und vcnl lo gruduulc schooI bclorc going ubroud lo sludy ul lhc Tokyo NulionuI
Univcrsily ol Finc Arls und Music. Shc uscs nuluruI Iucqucr us un udhcsivc lor goId Icul lo
bring oul ils Iuslcr. und mukcs ncv usc ol u lrudilionuI mulcriuI. molhcr-ol-pcurI. lo crculc
vorks lhul shov u simpIc ycl sophisliculcd scnsc ol lorm. Chuc ulluchcs giIdcd cubcs vilh
nuluruI Iucqucr lo givc u briIIiunl shccn. und uscs u ncv lcchniquc ol coIoring goId Icul.
vhich shc cuIIs goId coIor-cId puinling. lo linl lhc goId Icul vilh lhc vc dircclionuI
coIors lhul bcur cosmic signicuncc und vc inlcrmcdiury coIors lhul rcprcscnl lhc
lundumcnluI lorms ol nulurc. Through lhcsc lcchniqucs. Chuc uims lo cxprcss u communuI
Iilc in vhich vc urc conslunlIy giving und rccciving inucnccs und going lhrough chungcs
umid u busicuIIy hurmonious rcIulionship.
150 Shin Sang-ho, 1947
2008, glazed ceramic, 500x450cm
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the artist
A nulivc ol ScouI. Shin Sung-ho gruduulcd lrom Hongik Univcrsily und vcnl on lo lcuch ul
his uImu mulcr lrom 19S0 lo 200S. His vorks bcgun us lrudilionuI ccrumics. bul gruduuIIy
chungcd lo morc scuIpluruI lorms. Iuying u loundulion lor conlcmporury Korcun ccrumics.
Toduy. Shin is cxpunding lhc conccpls ol puinling und ccrumics vilh rcd puinlings in
vhich cIuy puncIs urc puinlcd in muIlipIc ovcrIupping Iuycrs ol coIor bclorc ring in lhc
kiIn. Hc is uIso uclivcIy conducling rcscurch lovurd dcvcIoping lhc cId ol urchilccluruI
ccrumics. Thc Iunguugc rclcrrcd lo in lhc lilIc ol lhis vork is nol lhc spokcn Iunguugc vc
ucquirc vhiIc groving up. bul u kind ol inlormulion uboul lhc psychoIogicuI vorId ol lhc
urlisl. inlcrprclubIc onIy by u spcciuI rcudcr. Il is un ubslrucl Iunguugc ol coIor lormcd by u
codc ol slrucluruI Iincs und coIors. vilh lhc inncr vorId ol lhc subconscious or lhc urlisls
primilivc psychc luking lhc lorm ol undicrcnliulcd numbcrs.
152 LucquctcJ Box IuluiJ wilh Molhct-o[-Pcutl
Joseon Dynasty (17th18th century), wood inlaid with mother-of-pearl,
National Museum of Korea
Image courtesy of National Museum of Korea
Molhcr-ol-pcurI is u dccorulivc mulcriuI mudc by shuving lhc shcIIs ol ubuIonc or pcurI
oyslcrs inlo lhin Iuycrs. culling lhcm inlo vurious shupcs. und inIuying lhcm inlo lhc surlucc
ol un objccl. UsuuIIy lhc surlucc is dcnscIy dccorulcd vilh dcsigns ol chrysunlhcmum.
pcony. or scroIIs. In lhc 1oscon Dynusly. molhcr-ol-pcurI vus uscd lor u vidc rungc ol
objccls. lrom smuII urlicIcs Iikc boxcs lor sloring cIolhing or slulioncry lo Iurgc picccs ol
lurnilurc such us vurdrobcs. This box hus u squurc ul Iid und ils hcighl is onIy uboul onc-
lhird ol lhc Icnglh ol lhc sidcs. Thc vhoIc lop ol lhc Iid is IIcd vilh u dcsign ol lvcIvc
Iurgc ovcrs hummcrcd inlo lhc surlucc in molhcr-ol-pcurI. Four lhick slcms bcur lhrcc
ovcrs cuch: u chrysunlhcmum. u pcony. und u Iolus ovcr. Thc sidcs urc dccorulcd vilh
pIum bIossoms. orchids. bumboo. und pincs. Thcsc subjccls urc common in 1oscon Dynusly
hundicrus und ccrumics. und uppcur cspcciuIIy lrcqucnlIy on inIuid molhcr-ol-pcurI
producls lrom lhc mid-1oscon pcriod (17lh1Slh ccnlurics).
154 Han Ki-chang, 1966
1hc GutJcu o[ Roculucu
2010, X-ray lm on panaex fabric, LED program, mixed media,
600x146cm (p.154), 450x900cm (p.156)
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Hun Ki-chung vus born in Scosun. Chungchcongnum-do. und gruduulcd lrom lhc Gruduulc
SchooI ol Educulion ul Korcu Univcrsily. Hc muinIy locuscs on ccoIogicuI lhcmcs druvn
lrom his ovn cxpcricncc. Wilh X-ruy Im us u mcdium. hc shovs lhc boncs ol lhc humun
body in lhc lorm ol pIunls und Iundscupcs. so lhul lhc lvo vorIds ol Iilc und dculh cocxisl
in his vorks. Il dculh is rcprcscnlcd by lhc humun skcIclon und lhc coId. dry Im lhul
rcvcuIs ils slruclurc. Iilc is rcprcscnlcd by lhc ubunduncc. vurmlh. und Iuxuriuncc ol lhc
ovcrs. Wilh puIc bIuc ovcrs Iil up uguinsl u durk buckground. lhc vork shovs u vislluI
bcuuly und hus bolh dccorulivc uppcuI und subsluncc. In u sliII Iilc ol ovcrs in luII bIoom.
lhcrc is u hinl lhul uIlhough lhc ovcrs muy uunl lhcir bcuuliluI lorm lor u limc. lhcy viII
cvcnluuIIy viIl. Cun il uIso bc u ncncnlo notl'Lilc is shorl. Do nol bc loo proud ol youlh.
Dculh is uIvuys by our sidc.
158 Bibimbu
Image courtesy of Ahn Graphics
Bl/ln/ap. uIso knovn us uo/donu/an. is u dish mudc by udding vcgclubIcs. mcul. scusonings.
und gurnishcs lo cookcd ricc und mixing lhcm logclhcr vilh scsumc oiI und spiccs. Thc
/l/ln/ap ol 1conju is mosl ccIcbrulcd. und lhc ingrcdicnls chungc vilh cuch scuson. Thcrc
is u lrudilion ol muking /l/ln/ap on lhc cvc ol Lunur Ncv Ycur lo signily lhul uny Icovcr
lood viII nol bc curricd ovcr lo lhc ncxl ycur. In gcncruI. lhc ricc is boiIcd und pul inlo
individuuI bovIs. lhcn cookcd vcgclubIcs. mcul. und cggs urc pIuccd on lop lo mukc u
pIcusing urrungcmcnl ol shupcs und coIors. und lhc vhoIc is mixcd logclhcr ul lhc lubIc.
UnIikc Chincsc or Wcslcrn lood. in vhich lhc dishcs urc scrvcd in u prcscribcd ordcr.
Korcun lood is churuclcrizcd by un opcn spucc scrving slyIc in vhich lhc ricc. sidc dishcs.
und uII olhcr loods urc broughl lo lhc lubIc ul lhc sumc limc. und vilh /l/ln/ap you cun scc
uII lhis in u singIc dish.
166 Musks
Garak Gaksikeuni mask 35.0x38.0cm
Tongyeong Malttugi mask 29.0x22.4cm
Tongyeong Somu mask 22.0x18.5cm
Tongyeong Bibi Yangban mask 14.5x23.0cm
Garak Sangju Seonsan Yangban mask 20.5x15.5cm
Dongnae Yaryu Malttugi mask 33.4x47.0cm
National Museum of Korea
Image courtesy of National Museum of Korea
Musks vcrc originuIIy mudc lor prcscrving u lucc or lor usc in pcrlormunccs. und in Korcu
lhcy vcrc muinIy uscd lor muskcd duncc-drumus. As lhc musks vcrc usuuIIy burncd ucr
lhc pcrlormuncc. nol muny lrudilionuI musks huvc bccn prcscrvcd. Thc rsl chicl curulor
ol lhc NulionuI FoIk Muscum ol Korcu. Song Scok-hu (1904194S). u pionccr ol Korcun
loIkIorc. unlhropoIogy. und muscum sludics. vus inlcrcslcd in muskcd duncc-drumu und
coIIcclcd muny musks in lhc 1930s. Among lhc musks hc coIIcclcd vcrc lhc MuIllugi. Somu.
und Bibi Yungbun musks uscd in lhc Tongycong Ogvungduc Nori pIuys. lhc Guksikcuni und
Sungju Sconsun Yungbun musks ol lhc Guruk Ogvungduc Nori pIuys. und lhc MuIllugi musk
ol lhc Dongnuc Yuryu pIuys. uII nov prcscrvcd in lhc NulionuI Muscum ol Korcu.
168 Bouusuu 1ulchum
Image courtesy of BBU Studio
1a/c/un is Korcun muskcd duncc-drumu. HisloricuI documcnls rccord lhul il vus pcrlormcd
us u courl duncc in lhc SiIIu pcriod. und cuch rcgion hus ils ovn vcrsion vilh dicrcnl
nurrulivc slruclurcs und uniquc slyIcs ol musk. 1a/c/un pcrlormunccs vcrc gcncruIIy givcn
ul Duno (lhc h duy ol lhc h Iunur monlh) und uIso on lhc IocuI govcrnors birlhduy
or lhc duy vhcn u govcrnor lukcs occ. ul vcIcoming lcslivilics lor lorcign cnvoys. und
ul la/c/un lcslivuIs. Thc cosls vcrc bornc by vcuIlhy pcopIc und mcrchunls in lhc urcu.
providing un occusion lor lhc IocuI pcopIc lo cnjoy lhcmscIvcs. Thc phologruph shovs
Bonusan 1a/c/un. u muskcd duncc-drumu lhul hus bccn pusscd dovn in lhc Bongsun urcu
ol Hvunghuc-do. Norlh Korcu. This duncc vus onc ol lhc murkclpIucc cnlcrluinmcnls
pcrlormcd in pIuccs lhul hcId murkcls cvcry vc duys. Bccuusc ol ils udvunlugcous
gcogruphicuI posilion connccling norlh und soulh. Bongsun lrcqucnlIy hoslcd cvcnls lo
vcIcomc vurious slulc cnvoys. As il vus uIso un imporlunl dislribulion poinl lor lhc rcgions
ugricuIluruI producc. il muinluincd u vcry uclivc la/c/un lrudilion. As u murkclpIucc
cnlcrluinmcnl. Bonusan 1a/c/un ccnlcrcd on slorics lhul cxprcsscd lhc joys und sorrovs ol
lhc common pcopIc in u comicuI vuy. vilh vc slorics in scvcn ucls. Thcy ocn lculurcd u
monk giving in lo vorIdIy pIcusurcs und rcnouncing lhc Iilc ol Buddhism. u scrvunl muking
lun ol un urislocrul. lcusing ol lhc cIdcrIy. und conicl bclvccn vilc und concubinc.
169 NotiJuu
Founded 2004
Image courtesy of Noridan
Noridun bcgun us lhc SYFAC (ScouI Youlh Fuclory lor AIlcrnulivc CuIlurc). u scIl-cmpIoymcnl
projccl or busincss-slurling projccl run lhrough lhc crculivc cuIlurc und urls progrum ol
lhc Huju Ccnlcr joinlIy opcrulcd by ScouI Cily und Yonsci Univcrsily. Il is u cuIlurc und urls
busincss lhul produccs dcsigns vilh lhc viluIily ol Iilc. buiIding u gIobuI communily lhrough
innovulivc pcrlormuncc. cduculion. und dcsign vork und lhrough nclvorking in cvcry scclor
ol socicly. Noridun compriscs u pcrlormuncc dcpurlmcnl lhul prcscnls ncv conccpls in
lhculricuI und slrccl pcrlormuncc. un cduculion dcpurlmcnl lhul providcs crculivc cuIlurc und
urls progrums. und u dcsign dcpurlmcnl lhul produccs pIuygrounds und scuIplurcs lhrough
sociuI scrvicc dcsign. Slurling us lhc Echo Fcrlormuncc Group in 2004. Noridun bccumc lhc
rsl compuny in lhc cuIlurc und urls cId lo bc ccrlicd us u sociuI cnlcrprisc busincss by
lhc Minislry ol Lubor in 2007. und il is nov uclivc us u Icuding sociuI busincss lor youlh.
170 Gwon Osang, 1974
RcJ Suu
20052006, color print, mixed media, 75x155x158cm
Arario Gallery
Image courtesy of Arario Gallery
Gvon Osung vus born in ScouI und gruduulcd lrom lhc scuIplurc dcpurlmcnl ol Hongik
Univcrsily. Thc prcscnl vork bcIongs lo lhc Dcodotanl 1ypc scrics lhul hc bcgun in 199S.
u phologruphic scuIplurc scrics lhul uims lo movc uvuy lrom lhc lrudilionuI mulcriuIs ol
scuIplurc und crculc u Iighl scuIplurc. Onlo lhc lypicuI subjccl ol scuIplurc. lhc humun body.
urc puslcd ul phologruphs ol lhul body. so lhul by mixing und dislorling lrudilionuI scuIplurc
und lhc mosl conlcmporury modc ol imugc rcproduclionlhc phologruphlhc boundury
bclvccn lhc lvo is rcdruvn. Gvon crculcs churuclcrs lrom phologruphs curcluIIy lukcn lo
shov lhc vhoIc shupc ol u pcrson lrom hcud lo loc. und lhrough dicrcnccs in vicvpoinls or
bclvccn ul und lhrcc-dimcnsionuI lorms. lhc churuclcrs gruduuIIy lrcc lhcmscIvcs lrom lhc
ucluuI shupc und posc ol lhc modcI.
172 Kim Deuk-sin, 17541822
Cul Suulchiuu u Chick
Joseon Dynasty (late 18th19th century), thin color on paper, 22.5x27.2cm
Gansong Museum of Art
Image courtesy of Gansong Museum of Art
Kim Dcuk-sin is knovn us onc ol lhc lhrcc grcul gcnrc puinlcrs ol lhc 1oscon Dynusly. uIong
vilh Kim Hong-do und Shin Yun-bok. und hc is suid lo huvc bccn much inspircd by Kim
Hong-do. This is onc ol lhc vorks in vhich his humor und originuIily slund oul. und ils
Korcun lilIc. Yanyodoc/udo. mcuns u puinling (do) ol u lcruI cul (yanyo) slcuIing (do) u chick
(c/u). Al u pcuccluI counlry housc. u lhicving bIuck cul runs o vilh u ycIIov chick. WhiIc
lhc slurlIcd hcn und olhcr chicks up uboul. lhc lurmcr lrics lo chusc lhc cul bul luIIs o
lhc vcrunduh. und his vilc runs oul on hcuring lhc noisc. Thc sccnc is dcpiclcd vilh grcul
vivucily. und uIlhough cxprcsscd rulhcr crudcIy in compurison vilh Kim Hong-dos rcncd
scnsc ol lorm. lhc puinling is highIy vuIucd lor ils IivcIy porlruyuI ol unimuIs und lhc Iilc ol
lhc common pcopIc.
174 Lee Joong-keun, 1972
Culch Mc I[ You Cuu
2009, photographs, computer graphics, digital print, diasec, 150x150cm
Private collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Born in Scongnum. Gyconggi-do. Lcc 1oong-kcun gruduulcd lrom lhc lcxliIc url dcpurlmcnl
ol Gycongvon Univcrsily. und urrivcd on lhc Korcun url sccnc vilh u uniquc individuuI
idiom lormcd lhrough divcrsc cxpcrimcnls in bringing url inlo cvcryduy Iilc und mcrging
il vilh dcsign und hundicrus. In digiluI pullcrn vorks suuscd vilh lhc urlisls dislinclivc
scnsc ol irony. purudox. und humor. or in spuliuI insluIIulion vorks lhul cxpund lhcsc
pullcrns. lhc muin ullruclion Iics in nding lhc symboIic mcunings ol lhc pIuyluI riddIc-
Iikc lilIcs und conlcnls lhul cxisl bcyond lhc visuuI churuclcrislics. Lccs vorks muy Iook
dccorulivc. bul vilhin lhcm urc vurious imugcs und conlrudiclions bornc by Korcun socicly.
uIong vilh u comicuI munduIu ol duiIy Iilc. In lhis vork. lhc urlisl shovs u porlruil ol
Korcuns Iiving in lhc conlcmporury cupiluIisl cru us un oplicuI imugc lhul sccms lo rcpcul
und cxpund ilscIl cndIcssIy.
175 Kwon Ki-soo, 1972
2010, Acrylic on canvas on board, 220x220 cm
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Born in 1972. Kvon Ki-soo Iivcs und vorks in ScouI. Wilh u dcgrcc in OricnluI puinling
lrom Hongik Univcrsily. Kvon Ki-soo crculcs gruphic lunlusics compriscd ol lcchnicoIor
vunds ol bumboo. popping pIum bIossoms. und cxpunscs ol briIIiunl monochromc. Mosl
ol lhcsc vorks urc inhubilcd by u modcrn icon ol his ovn crculion: un uIlcr cgo numcd
Dongguri. A simpIicd Iinc gurc vilh un unvurying cxprcssion. Dongguri hus ncilhcr
gcndcr nor idcnlily. und ocn uppcurs vilh un cmolicon urmy ol simiIurIy umbivuIcnl
smiIcy-luccd cIoncs. Thc urlisl lrcqucnlIy pIuccs lhis curloon-Iikc prolugonisl vilhin sccncs
lhul urc disccrnibIc lo lhc vicvcr us lrudilionuI Korcun Iundscupcs. In crculing lhis lcmporuI
conlusion. Kvon insligulcs u diuIoguc bclvccn lrudilion und modcrnily. uIIuding lo his
churuclcrs hisloricuI dispIuccmcnl und lhc impossibiIily ol conlcxluuI und cuIluruI crusurc.
176 Kim Hong-do, 17451806 (?)
Kang Se-hwang, 17121791
1iuct uuJ Piuc 1tcc
Joseon Dynasty (late 18th century), ink and light colors on silk, 90.4x43.8cm
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Image courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
AnimuI puinling. uIong vilh porlruil puinling. is u cId lhul rcquircs uccurucy in dcpiclion.
AIlhough il did nol bccomc un cslubIishcd gcnrc in lhc 1oscon Dynusly. muny rcuIislic und
comicuI unimuI puinlings vcrc produccd in lhc Iulc 1oscon pcriod vhcn morc imporluncc
cumc lo bc ulluchcd lo rcuIislic dcpiclion. Thc ligcr vus lumiIiur lo Korcuns us un uuspicious
guurdiun spiril unimuI. un objccl ol lcur. und u symboI ol miIilury nobiIily. Thc ligcr
puinling bccumc slundurdizcd us lhc quinlcsscnliuI Iulc 1oscon unimuI puinling. vilh vorks
ol simiIur lorm uppcuring umong orlhodox gcnrc puinlings und loIk puinlings. This vork.
shoving u ligcr coming oul lrom undcr u pinc lrcc. vus u joinl produclion by Kung Sc-
hvung und Kim Hong-do. u lcuchcr und sludcnl vho vcrc bolh umong lhc Icuding urlisls
ol lhc Iulc 1oscon Dynusly. Thc lcuchcr. Kung Sc-hvung. vus u Iilcruli puinlcr und lumous
url crilic vilh u disccrning cyc lhul Icd lhc url vorId ol his duy. Hc hcIpcd Kim Hong-do und
providcd lhcorclicuI supporl lor his puinlings. In lhis puinling. Kung is suid lo huvc puinlcd
lhc pinc lrcc in lhc luslcluI slyIc ol u Iilcruli puinling. vhiIc Kim puinlcd lhc ligcr vilh vcry
dcluiIcd und rcuIislic brushvork.
177 Whilc Potccluiu 1ut wilh Muuic uuJ 1iuct Dcsiuu iu Cobull Bluc UuJctuluzc
Joseon Dynasty (late 18th century),
H. 42.0cm D. 16.1cm (mouth) 16cm (base)
Gyeongju National Museum
Image courtesy of Gyeongju National Museum
Thc ligcr is u lumiIiur unimuI lo lhc Korcun pcopIc. uppcuring in u vidc vuricly ol slorics
und vorks ol url. Il ocn uppcurs logclhcr vilh lhc mugpic in loIk puinlings. lhc piclurcs
lhul lhc ordinury pcopIc Iikcd lo puinl und dispIuy. In lhc 1oscon Dynusly. lhc ligcr.
vhich rcprcscnlcd lhc rsl Iunur monlh. vus puircd vilh lhc mugpic. vhich symboIizcd
huppincss. in puinlings lhul vcrc hung on lhc lronl gulc ul lhc Lunur Ncv Ycur lo bring
huppincss und joy lor lhc coming ycur. Thc ligcr lhul uppcurs in lhcsc piclurcs is nol
usuuIIy shovn vilh u crcc Iook. bul is mudc lo Iook u IillIc uvkvurd und comicuI. shoving
lhc humor ol loIk puinling. In lhis porccIuin jur. vc cun scc lhul lhc prccious cobuIl bIuc
pigmcnl. dicuIl lo imporl und vcry cxpcnsivc. hud comc lo bc uscd us u mcdium lor
puinling lhcsc loIk-slyIc subjccls loo.
178 Buuchcouu Bolllc wilh IuciscJ Fish Dcsiuu
Joseon Dynasty (15th-16th century), H. 19.5cm
The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka
Image courtesy of The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka
InIuid ccIudon lrom lhc Goryco Dynusly is vidcIy knovn us quinlcsscnliuIIy Korcun
pollcry. InIuid ccIudon vus moslIy produccd lo bc lrcusurcd und upprcciulcd rulhcr lhun
ucluuIIy uscd ul lhc lubIc. In lhc Iulc Goryco pcriod. hovcvcr. lhcrc vus incrcusing dcmund
lor pruclicuI. muss-produccd ccrumics. Thc rcsuIl vus u lorm ol pollcry in vhich lhc busic
lorm vus mudc lrom ccIudon cIuy. lhcn covcrcd vilh Iiquid porccIuin cIuy. Thc covcring
(/unianu) ol vhilc cIuy ovcr ccIudon (c/conuia) guvc lhc numc /unc/conu. Thc shupc ol
/unc/conu vurc lcnds lo bc coursc. und somclimcs lhc vhilc cIuy covcring is so curcIcssIy
uppIicd lhul rough brush murks cun sliII bc sccn. Bul lhc rough. coursc produclion ol lhcsc
/unc/conu ccrumics is considcrcd lo huvc u churm ol ils ovn. und lhcy urc nov coming
lo bc sccn in u ncv Iighl us u nc cxprcssion ol lhc curIy 1oscon Dynuslys scnsc ol lorm.
EspcciuIIy in picccs Iikc lhis onc. vilh ils rough sh dcsign. lhc spcciuI churms ol /unc/conu
vurc cun bc upprcciulcd lo lhc luIIcsl. Thc shupc is uIso unusuuI. vilh lhc moulh ol lhc
bollIc on lhc sidc. Knovn us ianuuun. lhis lypc ol vcsscI scrvcd us u bollIc lor pruclicuI usc.
lo bc IIcd vilh vulcr or Iiquor und ulluchcd lo lhc vuisl by u cord.
180 Jang Seung-hyo, 1971
2009, original 3-dimensional photo collage, 140x240cm
Private collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Born in Busun. 1ung Scung-hyo look undcrgruduulc und gruduulc dcgrccs in scuIplurc ul
Hongik Univcrsily bclorc compIcling u muslcrs dcgrcc ul Ncv York Univcrsily. Working
proIicuIIy bolh in Korcu und ovcrscus. hc lrunsccnds lhc gcnrc boundurics bclvccn
scuIplurc. phologruphy. und vidco lo buiId u uniquc ocuvrc ol his ovn. 1ungs vorks urc
lormcd lrom cvcryduy imugcs lhul urc broughl logclhcr und inlcrvovcn us in u puzzIc. 1ung
hus choscn u vuy ol vorking in vhich oncs ovn idcnlily is cndIcssIy conrmcd lhrough
lhc Iundscupc und lhc surrounding horizon. Hc bcIicvcs lhul by cslubIishing oncscIl. onc
cun cslubIish lhc vorId. AIlhough lhc mcuns ol cslubIishmcnl is lhc lvo-dimcnsionuI
phologruph. lhis mcdium lor rccording limc und spucc is rcborn us u soIid lhrcc-
dimcnsionuI scuIplurc. crculing un imugc ol u ncv kind. Lapula is mudc lrom phologruphs
lhul lhc urlisl look vhiIc Iiving in Ncv York. In his cycs. Munhullun lukcs on lhc shupc ol u
giunl cily ouling in lhc sky. lorming u ulopiun imugc lhul uIso hus u durk sidc.
182 Yoo Seung-ho, 1974
2000, ink on paper, 116x77.5cm
National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
Image courtesy of the artist
Yoo Scung-ho conccnlrulcs on using vriling lo crculc piclurcs lhul borrov vcII-knovn
imugcs lrom url hislory. Sccn lrom u disluncc. his vorks Iook scrious. bul sccn up cIosc
lhcy urc lormcd lrom lhc rcpclilion ol humorous vords. Pu/a is u Iundscupc puinling
lrom Chinus Norlhcrn Song Dynusly rcinlcrprclcd vilh Yoos dislinclivc humor. Furodying
un OricnluI cIussic vilh un imugc lormcd by vriling pu/a (onomulopociu lor lhc sound
ol Iuughlcr) dcnscIy uII ovcr lhc cunvus. Yoo Icuds lhc vicvcr lo rclhink lhc conccpls ol
imilulion und rcproduclion lhul huvc bccomc such imporlunl issucs in conlcmporury url.
184 Sung Dong-hoon, 1966
Siuuiuu 1tcc
2007, stainless ceramic, H. 12m
Korea Ceramic Foundation
Image courtesy of Korea Ceramic Foundation
Sung Dong-hoon crculcs cxpcrimcnluI vorks lhul inlcrprcl purc imuginulion lhrough
lhc lccIings. Hc gruduulcd vilh u dcgrcc in pIuslic urls lrom Chung-Ang Univcrsily. und
is currcnlIy vorking us u visiling prolcssor ul lhc NulionuI Univcrsily ol Coslu Ricu. vhiIc
producing hybrid vorks lhul cross gcnrcs und mix dicrcnl cuIluruI buckgrounds. His
Slnulnu 1tcc is lhc vorIds Iurgcsl ccrumic musicuI inslrumcnl. BuiIl on lundumcnluI
conccpls ol nulurc. sound. und ccrumics. il vus crculcd lo commcmorulc lhc 4lh WorId
Ccrumic BicnnuIc 2007. Korcu. Wilh 2007 ccrumic vind chimcs hunging lrom u lrcc-shupcd
slruclurc. il is u nuluruI inslrumcnl lhul is mudc lo producc sound using lhc vind. Ils
shupc rcscmbIcs u cIoud cuughl in lhc brunchcs ol u lrcc. und lhc ccrumic bcIIs suspcndcd
in ils uppcr purl producc dicrcnl loncs und rhylhms uccording lo lhc slrcnglh und
dircclion ol lhc vind. Thc sh. cIcphunl. und cIoud shupcs ulluchcd lo lhc vind chimcs udd
grculIy lo lhc bcuuly ol lhc Slnulnu 1tcc by rcccling lhc Iighl.
186 Chcouuuvouusu 1cmlc Ducuuujcou Hull
Goryeo Dynasty (built 1265)
Treasure No. 824
Location: 28 Cheongnyong-ri, Seoun-myeon, Anseong-si,
Image courtesy of Ahn Graphics
Firsl buiIl in lhc curIy Goryco Dynusly. Chcongnyongsu TcmpIc vus grculIy cxpundcd in
lhc limc ol King Gongmin ol Goryco (r. 13511374). According lo Icgcnd. u monk numcd
Nuong vho scrvcd lhc king vus vundcring uround in scurch ol u lcmpIc silc on vhich
lo pursuc Buddism. Whcn hc cumc lo lhis spol. hc suv u bIuc drugon (c/conunyonu)
riding on u cIoudhcncc lhc lcmpIcs numc. Thc Ducungjcon HuII (lhc muin buiIding
ol u Buddhisl lcmpIc) vus purl lhc cxlcnsions mudc in King Gongmins limc. In Korcun
urchilccluruI hislory. vhcrc lrcqucnl vurs huvc Ic lcv oId voodcn buiIdings slunding. il
is u rurc cxumpIc ol u Goryco Dynusly buiIding prcscrvcd in ils originuI lorm. UnIikc lhc
Ducungjcon HuII ol mosl lcmpIcs. ils sidcs urc Iongcr lhun ils lronl. Whul is mosl surprising
is lhul lhc coIumns ol lhc sidc vuIIs urc mudc lrom sloul bcnl lrccs dicring in lhickncss.
vilh lhc burk rcmovcd lo shov lhc nuluruI gruin. AIso sccn in lhc Munscru FuviIion ol
Sconunsu TcmpIc. lhc usc ol bcnl limbcrs givcs lhc buiIding u primilivc und dynumic
187 Ctossbcums o[ Muusctu Hull. Scouuusu 1cmlc
Seonunsa Temple founded 577, Manseru Hall built 1613
Location: 500 Samin-ri, Asan-myeon, Gochang-gun, Jeollabuk-do
Image courtesy of Park Young-chae
Sconunsu lcmpIc vus loundcd in lhc Buckjc Kingdom. bul by lhc Goryco Dynusly onIy onc
pugodu rcmuincd slunding. und il vus conlinuuIIy rcbuiIl unliI il rcuchcd ils prcscnl lorm.
Munscru is u puviIion Ioculcd bclvccn lhc Suchconvungmun gulc. vhcrc lour lcursomc-
Iooking monslcrs guurd lhc lcmpIc. und lhc Ducungjcon HuII lhul houscs lhc lcmpIcs muin
Buddhu sluluc. Thc buscs lhul supporl lhc coIumns ol Munscru urc uII ol nuluruI slonc.
vhiIc lhc coIumns urc lhick. bcnl Iogs. Whcrc lhc busc mccls lhc coIumn. lhc rough surlucc
ol lhc slonc hus bccn Ic inlucl und lhc vood curvcd lo l lhc shupc ol lhc slonc. This
mclhod produccs u slrongcr joinl lhun grinding lhc surluccs ul.
188 Lee Ji-yen, 1979
Sluts 1wiuklc iu lhc Skv
2010, digital photo collage, 84x112cm
Private collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Lcc 1i-ycn vus born in ScouI und gruduulcd lrom lhc Muslcr ol Finc Arl progrum ul
GoIdsmilhs. Univcrsily ol London. Hcr coIIugc dcpicling u pubIic bridgc in London vus shol
ul dicrcnl limcs und ungIcs us lhc rsl ol u scrics lhul pursucs u vuricly ol qucslions vilhin
lhc broud lhcmc ol gIobuIism. By dismunlIing u rcuI spucc. il is lurncd inlo un imuginury
spucc. und lhc pcopIc vilhin il. cxisling bclvccn unonymily und individuuIily. crculc u
scnsc ol rhylhm. Thc pcopIc in lhcsc phologruphs rcsonulc vilhin u limc und spucc lhul hus
no bcginning or cnd. In Lcc 1i-ycns vorks. muny dicrcnl pIuccs in lhc vorId rcuppcur us
u conccpluuI spucc bclvccn ulopiu und dyslopiu. und uIlimulcIy lhcsc dicrcnl spuccs viII
comc logclhcr lo crculc unolhcr. Iurgcr spucc.
190 Yi Hwan-kwon, 1974
2008, sculpture
Grandfather 172x135x110cm, Grandmother 105x151x105cm,
Father 160x136x115cm, Mother 127x107x115cm,
Son 113x76x76cm, Daughter 102x80x70cm
Museo Mec, Spain
Image courtesy of the artist
Yi Hvun-kvon vus born in ScouI und hoIds undcrgruduulc und gruduulc dcgrccs in
cnvironmcnluI scuIplurc lrom Kyungvon Univcrsily. His vorks urc muinIy conccrncd
vilh lhc mcluphorphosis ol lhc humun body und spucc. Whcn u vidc-scrccn Im is
shovn on lcIcvision. lhc piclurc muy uppcur slrclchcd. und vhcn hc suv lhis us u chiId
Yi drcumcd ol journcying inlo lhul slrclchcd vorId. Il vus lhis mcmory lhul inspircd his
inlcrcsl in lhc mcluphorphosis ol lhc humun body und spucc. und sincc 199S hc hus bccn
crculing lrunslormcd gurcs und sccncs buscd on pcopIc uround him. Thc lilIc ol lhis vork.
Janudo/dac. rclcrs lo lhc ouldoor slorugc pIucc lor pols hoIding lhc vurious lcrmcnlcd
suuccs uscd in lrudilionuI Korcun cooking. Thc ianudo/dac vus muinluincd und pusscd
dovn by Korcun vomcn lhrough lhc gcncrulions. und lor Korcuns il cvokcs u lccIing ol
domcslic nosluIgiu. In purlicuIur. lhc sighl ol lhc Iurgc und smuII pols on u snov-covcrcd
ianudo/dac rcmindcd Yi ol u lumiIy spcnding lhc vinlcr logclhcr. Thc lumiIy rcprcscnlcd
in lhc vork consisls ol lhrcc gcncrulionsgrundpurcnls. purcnls. und chiIdrcnund is
modcIcd on lhc lumiIy ol onc ol lhc urlisls lricnds.
198 ScouuJcokJucwuuu-siujouu
Unied Silla period (771), Bronze, H. 375cm D. 227cm (mouth) TH. 11-25cm
National Treasure No. 29, Gyeongju National Museum
Image courtesy of Gyeongju National Museum
Thc muking ol Korcus Iurgcsl surviving bcII vus bcgun by King Gycongdcok ol SiIIu (r.
742765) lo pruy lor lhc souI ol his Iulc lulhcr. King Scongdcok (r. 702737). As Gycongdcok
dicd bclorc il vus nishcd. Scongdcoks grundson King Hycgong (r. 7657S0) compIclcd lhc
projccl und numcd il lhc Sucrcd BcII ol lhc Grcul King Scongdcok. As il vus originuIIy hung
in Bongdcoksu TcmpIc. il is uIso knovn us lhc Bongdcoksu BcII. Anolhcr numc. EmiIIc BcII.
comcs lrom u Icgcnd lhul lhc bcII produccs lhc sound ol u crying chiId cuch limc il is slruck
bccuusc u chiId vus sucriccd vhcn muking il. On lhc lop ol lhc bcII is u sound chumbcr
lhul incrcuscs lhc rcsonuncc. u slrucluruI lculurc lhul is lound onIy on Korcun bronzc bcIIs.
Thc yonunyu Ioop lor hunging lhc bcII is curvcd vilh u drugons hcud. Thc body ol lhc bcII
hus broud vcrlicuI slrips dccorulcd vilh un urubcsquc dcsign. vhiIc lhc imugcs ol Buddhisl
gurcs cngruvcd on lhc middIc purl ol lhc bcII shov lhc cIuborulc lcchniqucs ol Unicd
SiIIu curving in ils goIdcn ugc.
200 Han Won-suk, 1971
2008, 3088 speakers, H. 375cm D. 227cm
Gwacheon National Science Museum
Image courtesy of the artist
Born in ScouI. Hun Won-suk gruduulcd lrom lhc muslcrs progrum in Dcsign lor lhc
Environmcnl ul ChcIscu CoIIcgc ol Arl und Dcsign. London. und lhc docloruI progrum
in urchilccluruI cnginccring ul lhc Univcrsily ol Tokyo. und is currcnlIy uclivc us bolh
un urlisl und un urchilccl. Addrcssing lhcmcs ol ccoIogy lor urbun dcvcIopmcnl und lhc
cnvironmcnluI crisis. hc uscs rccycIcd mulcriuIs Iikc cigurcllcs und oId cur hcudIighls lo
crculc vorks vilh u slrong scuIpluruI lccIing. Hyconuycon rcproduccs lhc sound ol lhc
Sconudco/dacvanuslnionu (Sucrcd BcII ol lhc Grcul King Scongdcok). vhich cmunulcs
lrom cuch ol lhc 30SS spcukcrs lhul lorm lhc vork. Hyconuycon givcs ncv Iilc lo vuIucs lhul
huvc bccn discurdcd ucr Iosing lhcir originuI lunclion. vhiIc providing un opporlunily lo
rcuIizc lhc imporluncc ol lhc vuIucs lhul urc shurcd in conlcmporury duiIy Iilc.
202 Cciliuu Sltuclutc o[ Sovojcouu Puviliou
Location: Back garden of Changdeokgung Palace, Waryong-dong,
Jongno-gu, Seoul
Image courtesy of BBU Studio
Danc/conu is dccorulivc urchilccluruI puinling vilh dcsigns ol muny coIors. HisloricuIIy.
danc/conu is lhoughl lo originulc in lhc dccorulion ol uIlurs in uncicnl limcs. Danc/conu
dccorulion vus nol gcncruIIy uIIovcd lor privulc houscs. und couId onIy bc uscd lor puIuccs.
govcrnmcnl buiIdings. und Buddhisl urchilcclurc. In lhc 1oscon Dynusly. us lhc slruclurc
ol buiIdings bccumc morc compIcx. lhc danc/conu dccorulion uIso bccumc morc Iuvish.
coIorluI. und vuricd in dcsign. Thc muin coIors lor danc/conu urc bIuc. rcd. vhilc. bIuck. und
ycIIov. und by mixing lhcsc. muny olhcr coIors urc obluincd. Onc lhcory hoIds lhul lhc
usc ol lhcsc vc coIors is rcIulcd lo lhc conccpl ol lhc vc curdinuI dircclions (incIuding
ccnlcr). Soyojcong. vilh ils nc danc/conu coIoring. is u puviIion in lhc buck gurdcn ol
Chungdcokgung FuIucc. Il hus u vicv ol u bcuuliluI sccnc lo lhc vcsl vhcrc u IillIc vulcr
chunncI ovs uround u big rock cuIIcd Soyoum. As vc cun lcII lrom lhc numc Soyo. vhich
mcuns vundcring sIovIy ul viII. lhc Soyojcong urcu is u pIucc vhcrc lhc king vouId lukc
u IcisurcIy slroII uvuy lrom govcrnmcnl busincss.
204 Nam June Paik, 19322006
1hc Motc lhc Bcllct
1988, installation with 1003 TV monitors, H. 18.5m
National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
Image courtesy of Ahn Graphics
Num 1unc Fuik. u pionccr ol vidco url. slurlcd oul in lhc cId ol music. Hc lhcn vorkcd vilh
lhc FIuxus group. vhich rcjcclcd cxisling conccpls ol url und dcvcIopcd unli-lrudilionuI
pcrlormuncc url. bclorc dcvcIoping his ovn cxpcrimcnluI url. His vidco url lukcs us ils
lhcmcs lhc cuIluruI churuclcrislics ol Eusl und Wcsl. lhc inlcruclion bclvccn lhcm. und
his inlcrcsls in cuIluruI und humun hislory. Tuking ils numc lrom un oId suying. 1/c Motc
l/c Bcllct vus crculcd lo commcmorulc lhc 19SS ScouI OIympics. Thc vork symboIizcs
conlcmporury muss communiculions. using 1003 TV monilors lo rcprcscnl Korcus nulionuI
loundulion duy. Oclobcr 3. vhiIc lhc imugcs on lhc monilors comprisc u coIIugc ol divcrsc
vidco imugcs lrom rcuI Iilc. Brcuking dovn lhc lorms ol visuuI url bound by convcnlionuI
ul surluccs und inlcrnuI Iogic und producing ncv visuuI cccls. 1/c Motc l/c Bcllct brings
oul ncv cupubiIilics lor lcIcvision us u mcdium.
206 Dubolu
Unied Silla period (756), H. 10.4m W 4.4m (base)
National Treasure No. 20
Location: Bulguksa Temple, Jinhyeong-dong, Gyeongju-si,
Image courtesy of Park Jeong-hoon
Thc numc Dubolup mcuns lhc pugodu lhul houscs lhc satlta rcIic ol Dubo Buddhu. lhc
Buddhu ol lhc Fusl. Thc pugodu vus crcclcd in lronl ol lhc muin Buddhu HuII ol BuIguksu
TcmpIc in lhc Unicd SiIIu pcriod by Kim Duc-scong. u povcrluI mun ol dccp Buddhisl
luilh vho is bcsl knovn lor cxcuvuling un urliciuI cuvc in lhc mounluin bcsidc BuIguksu
TcmpIc und insluIIing u Buddhu sluluc insidc il lo crculc lhc Scokgurum Grollo. Dubolup
slunds ul lhc cuslcrn sidc ol lhc muin Buddhu HuIIs lronl yurd. lucing unolhcr pugodu.
Scokgulup. on lhc vcslcrn sidc. uccording lo lhc lypicuI Buddhisl urchilccluruI pruclicc ol
crccling u puir ol pugodus. Thc conslruclion ol lhc Dubolup und Scokgulup pugodus on lhc
cuslcrn und vcslcrn sidcs ol lhc yurd loIIovs u pussugc in scriplurc vhich slulcs lhul vhcn
lhc Buddhu ol lhc Frcscnl (Scokgu Ycoruc) prcuchcs. lhc Buddhu ol lhc Fusl (Dubo Ycoruc)
slunds bcsidc him. conrming vhul hc suys. In conlrusl lo lhc compIclcIy undccorulcd
Scokgulup pugodu. Dubolup cxuclIy rcproduccs lhc compIcx slruclurc ol u voodcn pugodu
in slonc. vilh lhc busc ol cuch slorcy IuvishIy dccorulcd vilh cxquisilc slonc curving.
Ils lorm slunds oul umong Korcun pugodus lor lhc supcrb cccl crculcd by ils buIunccd
proporlions. ils briIIiunl scuIpluruI lcchniquc. und ils slriking conlrusl vilh lhc pIuin
Scokgulup pugodu.
208 Choe U-Ram, 1970
Uuu Lumiuo (Aumoisl Avcutium CitticJiu URAM)
2008, aluminum, stainless steel, carbonate, servo motor, LED, control PC,
custom CPU board, 430x430x520cm
Image courtesy of the artist, photographed by Keizo Kioku
Born in ScouI. Choc U-Rum hoIds undcrgruduulc und gruduulc dcgrccs in scuIplurc lrom
Chung-Ang Univcrsily. und ucr gruduuling hc vorkcd lor lhrcc ycurs us u dcsigncr lor u
robolics compuny. Choc uscs lcchnoIogy rulhcr lhun lrudilionuI urlisls mulcriuIs lo crculc
virluuI Iilc lorms such us mighl cxisl in u scicncc clion Im. Mudc ol uIuminum und
sluinIcss slccI. his vorks movc sIovIy vhiIc giving o Iighl. Whcn you Iook cIoscIy ul lhcsc
mcchunicuI crculurcs. lhcy urc bcuuliluI und myslcrious. und you vondcr hov lhcy vcrc
mudc. Choc U-Rum uims lo opcn up ncv lccIings lor pcopIc lhrough his vorks. Wilh his
grundlulhcr vho dcvcIopcd Korcus rsl uulomobiIc. lhc SibuI. und his purcnls vho mujorcd
in url. Choc spcnl his chiIdhood druving pIuns lor robols und usscmbIing lhcm. bul on
discovcring scuIplurc vhiIc ul high schooI hc bcgun lo drcum ol bccoming u scuIplor rulhcr
lhun u scicnlisl. Il vus his chiIdhood cxpcricnccs lhul Icd him lo udd movcmcnl lo his
209 Yee Soo-kyung, 1963
1tuuslulcJ Vusc
2007, ceramic trash, epoxy, 24K, 170x80x85cm
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Ycc Sookyung hoIds undcrgruduulc und gruduulc dcgrccs in puinling lrom ScouI NulionuI
Univcrsily. Shc bcIicvcs lhul uII porccIuin und ccIudon vurc. born lhrough lhc lcsl ol rc.
is bcuuliluI. Bul shc suys lhul uny misshupcn picccs vhich do nol mccl lhc slundurd ol
bcuuly urc mcrciIcssIy dcslroycd. und lhc brokcn lrugmcnls lhul urc discurdcd bccuusc lhcy
urc dislorlcd. discoIorcd. or chippcd. urc mcrcIy dclormcd shupcs lhul cunnol uspirc lo lhc
urchclypc ol bcuuly rcprcscnlcd by lhc vhilc porccIuin ol lhc 1oscon Dynusly or Goryco
ccIudon. Ycc gulhcrs logclhcr lhcsc lrugmcnls lhul cunnol uspirc lo lhc urchclypc ol bcuuly
und usscmbIcs lhcm inlo u ncv urchclypc. lling lhc picccs logclhcr ovcr u pcriod ol monlhs
unliI lhcy givc risc lo slurlIing ncv shupcs. Thc curious shupcs shov un iconocIusm ol bcuuly
lhul cun ncvcr bc ulluincd by u singIc piccc ol porccIuin or ccIudon pollcry.
210 MuujuJo
Late 18th century, ink and color on paper, each 74.2x42.2cm
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Image courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Fuinlings produccd lor cvcryduy usc. or lor dccorulion ol lhc Iiving spucc in imilulion ol
currcnl lrcnds in nc url. urc cuIIcd loIk puinlings (nln/va). Mosl vcrc produccd by ilincrunl
puinlcrs or unknovn urlisls vilhoul lormuI lruining. und rulhcr lhun uiming ul originuIily
lhcy curry on u lrudilion ol loIIoving convcnlionuI lypcs lhul huvc bccomc slundurdizcd
by rcpculcd usc. Among lhcsc. lhc nuniado is u lypc ol loIk puinling lhul invoIvcs puinling
Chincsc churuclcrs logclhcr vilh u rcprcscnlulion ol lhcir mcuning. Thc puinling vus
lormcd lrom Iurgc Chincsc churuclcrs. vilh imugcs lrom slorics rcIulcd lo lhc mcuning ol lhc
churuclcrs puinlcd vilhin lhc slrokcs ol lhc churuclcrs lhcmscIvcs. AIso knovn umong lhc
common pcopIc us ovcr vriling (//olucu/ssl). nuniado vcrc popuIur in lhc Iulc 1oscon
Dynusly. lrom lhc Iulc cighlccnlh lhrough lhc ninclccnlh ccnlury. This cxumpIc loIIovs
orlhodox pruclicc. und is lhoughl lo bc onc ol lhc oIdcr cxlunl cxumpIcs ol nuniado puinling.
Thc churuclcrs urc vrillcn in lhick. boId slrokcs. vilh vurious imugcs dcIiculcIy porlruycd
vilhin lhc slrokcs ol lhc churuclcrs. und lhc coIoring is brighl. muking gcncrous usc ol
primury coIors.
212 Hong Ji-yoon, 1970
Miusltcl. Romuucc. uuJ Fuulusv ul Wouhvoto uuJ ChcouuuJouu
2007, colored acrylic and ink painting on Korean rice paper
210x900cm, video installation, 3 min 15 sec
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Hong 1i-yoon vus born in ScouI und gruduulcd vilh u dcgrcc in OricnluI puinling lrom
Hongik Univcrsily. Shc muinIy produccs puinlings lhul usc lrudilionuI OricnluI lcchniqucs
in u conlcmporury vuy. uIong vilh vidco insluIIulions lhul cxlcnd lhcsc puinlings. Hong
uIlimulcIy considcrs hcr vork lo bc u lorm ol poclry. und shc uims lo incIudc poclry.
cuIIigruphy. und puinling vilhin cuch vork vhiIc muking lrcc usc ol mulcriuIs Iikc Korcun
pupcr. vriling brushcs. und ink. Hcr vorks urc churuclcrizcd by lhcir Iurgc scuIc. covcring
vhoIc vuIIs ol lhc cxhibilion huII. und lhcir brighl uorcsccnl coIors. Thc coIorcd slripcs
lhul uppcur in lhcsc vorks sccm lo rcprcscnl Korcus lrudilionuI vc dircclionuI coIors. und
lhcy shov u supcrb conlcmporury scnsc ol coIor lhul loduys digiluI mcdiu cunnol mulch. Hcr
piclurcs ol ovcrs. in purlicuIur. usc lhc lrudilionuI lcchniquc ol puinling vilhoul druving
un oulIinc. und lhc ovcr shupcs und poclic lcxls hurmonizc vilh lhc vcrlicuI or horizonluI
slripcs ol coIor lo crculc u vibrunl und dccorulivc cccl. Thc Iurgc und smuII picccs ol Korcun
vriling und churuclcrs inscrlcd umong lhcsc shupcs udd lo lhc briIIiuncc ol lhc vhoIc vork
vhiIc hcighlcning lhc poclic uvor.
214 Kim Joon, 1966
BitJ LuuJ Chtvslct
2008, digital print, 210x120cm
Private collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Kim 1oon gruduulcd lrom lhc puinling dcpurlmcnl ol Hongik Univcrsily. His lulloo puinlings
huvc buiIl up u uniquc Iunguugc ol lorm lhrough symboIic und mcluphoricuI cxprcssions lhul
convcy u vivid scnsc ol humun dcsirc und rcuIily. Sincc 2000. hc hus broughl ncv chungcs lo
his lulloo puinlings vilh vidco und lhrcc-dimcnsionuI projccls. cxpcrimcnling vilh imugcs ol
lhc body lhul rcIulc lo sociuI rcuIilics. Through digiluI imugcs und vidco url. hc hus prcscnlcd
vorks lhul movc lrccIy bclvccn rcuI und virluuI vorIds. Wilh groups ol nudcs lhul lorm
u brighlIy coIorcd pullcrn. hc sccms lo govcrn us Iikc u god ol lhc virluuI vorId. AIlhough
lhcsc urc somclimcs no morc lhun u mirugc-Iikc iIIusion. Kims ncv urlislic cxpcrimcnls vilh
mcdiu und lulloo muy vcII uchicvc u posilion umong lhc Iunguugcs ol lorm lhul rcprcscnl our
216 Jeong Seon, 16761749
1hc Gcumuuuu Mouuluius
Joseon Dynasty (1734), thin color on paper, 94.1x130.7cm
National Treasure No. 217, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Image courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
1/c Gcunuanu Mounlalns. u muslcrpiccc ol lhc Icuding Iulc 1oscon Iundscupc urlisl 1cong
Scon. is u lruc vicv Iundscupc puinling lhul shovs lhc inncr Gcumgung Mounluins lrom u
birds-cyc vicv in circuIur lormul. Moving uvuy lrom his conlcmporurics cuslom ol imiluling
Chincsc Iundscupc puinlings. 1cong Scon puinlcd ucluuI Korcun sccncs lhul hc suv vilh his
ovn cycs. Among his muny puinlings ol lhc Gcumgung Mounluins. lhis onc is lhc Iurgcsl.
und vilh ils cmphusis on bIuc loncs uguinsl slrong conlrusls ol Iighl und shudc und ils vivid
rcuIizulion ol lhc shupcs und lcxlurcs ol lhc rocks. il shovs his slyIc lo luII udvunlugc. In lhc
uppcr purl ol lhc puinling urc vrillcn lhc lilIc. lhc puinlcrs pcn numc. und somc vords ol
pruisc lor lhc puinling.
218 Kim Yoon-jae, 1982
Missiuu Gcumuuuu Mouuluius Sctics 2
2009, acrylic, ink, and color on mixed media, 45x45x45cm
Private collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Kim Yoon-juc is u young urlisl vho cxpcrimcnls vilh combinulions ol lhc conlcmporury
humun body und Iundscupc puinlings lrom lhc pusl. Korcun mcn huvc lo go lhrough ovcr
lvo ycurs ol miIilury scrvicc. und during lhis limc Kim vorkcd ul lhc Dc-MiIilurizcd Zonc und
lcII in Iovc vilh ils unspoiIcd nuluruI bcuuly. Sincc lhc cnd ol lhc Korcun Wur. lhc DMZ hus
bccn slriclIy oul ol bounds lo bolh civiI und miIilury pcrsonncI. und hus dcvcIopcd u nuluruI
ccoIogy cIosc lo ils originuI viId slulc. Kim suys il vus his Iovc ol lhis nuluruI Iundscupc lhul
molivulcd him lo producc his vorks. Morc rcccnlIy. hc hus bccn dcvcIoping vorks buscd
on lhc lruc vicv Iundscupc puinlings ol lhc Icuding 1oscon Dynusly Iundscupc urlisl 1cong
Scon. Rcurrunging 1oscon Dynusly Iundscupc puinlings us conlcmporury scuIplurcs. in lhc
Mlsslnu Gcunuanu Mounlalns scrics Kim Yoon-juc crculcs scuIplurcs ol humun luccs und
lrunslorms lhc hcuds inlo u kind ol Iundscupc puinling. Thcsc Iundscupcs urc nonc olhcr lhun
1cong Scons puinlings rcuIizcd in lhrcc dimcnsions.
220 Lee Lee-nam, 1969
Ncw Gcumuuuu 1cuJo
2009, video installation, LED TV, 500x300x50cm, 7 min 30 sec
Private collection
Image courtesy of the artist
OriginuIIy lrom Dumyung. 1coIIunum-do. Lcc Lcc-num gruduulcd vilh u dcgrcc in scuIplurc
lrom Chosun Univcrsily und u docloruI dcgrcc in vidco url lrom Yonsci Univcrsily. Hc hus
bccomc vcII knovn lor his vidco url bolh in Korcu und ovcrscus. und rcccnlIy his vorks
huvc uscd Sumsung EIcclronics LED TV. This vork rcinlcrprcls un cighlccnlh-ccnlury
puinling ol lhc Gcumgung Mounluins by 1cong Scon lrom lhc vicvpoinl ol un urlisl Iiving
in lhc lvcnly-rsl ccnlury. Whcn you slund bclorc il. you scc u virluuI vorId crculcd by
digiluI mixing und lusion lhul cunnol bc sccn in 1cong Scons puinling: lhc chunging ol
lhc lour scusons. modcrn cIcclricily pyIons umong lhc mounluin pcuks und vuIIcys. und
lumous buiIdings lrom uround lhc vorId such us Shunghuis OricnluI FcurI Tovcr und Ncv
Yorks Timcs Squurc BuiIding. shoving lhc cncrouchmcnl ol cupiluIisms consumcr socicly
on u pIucc lhul vus oncc grccn und pcuccluI.
222 Jeon Joon-ho, 1969
BooYooHuDu 4
2003, digital animation, 7 min 10 sec
National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
Image courtesy of the artist
Born in Busun. 1con 1oon-ho gruduulcd lrom lhc CoIIcgc ol Arl ul Dong-Eui Univcrsily
und rcccivcd u muslcrs dcgrcc lrom lhc ChcIscu CoIIcgc ol Arl und Dcsign in London.
Through unimulion vorks lhul usc bunknolcs lo impIy rcIulionships bclvccn hislory.
poIilics. povcr. cconomy. und idcoIogy. hc dcuIs vilh sociuI issucs such us cupiluIism in lhc
ugc ol gIobuIizulion. lhc bordcrIcss cconomy. und lhc gup bclvccn rich und poor. 1cons
BooYooHaDa scrics is u vork ol unimulion comprising sccncs in vhich lhc urlisl vundcrs
uround in scurch ol humun lruccs in lhc cmply spuccs ol Gyconghocru FuviIion. Ojukhcon
Housc. und lhc Dosunscovon Conluciun Acudcmy. vhich huvc bccomc lhc buckground
imugcs ol bunknolcs. Imugcs in vhich pcopIc sccm lo bc moving uround insidc moncy
crculc un umbiguous spucc bclvccn rcuIily und non-rcuIily und bclvccn mulcriuIism und
224 Kim Hong-do, 17451806 (?)
1hc Wushiuu Plucc. [tom 25-lcu[ Album o[ Gcutc Puiuliuus bv Kim Houu-Jo
Late Joseon Dynasty, color on paper, 28x23.9cm
Treasure No.527, National Museum of Korea
Image courtesy of National Museum of Korea
Onc ol lhc mosl imporlunl puinlcrs ol lhc 1oscon Dynusly. Kim Hong-do is considcrcd
lo huvc broughl Iundscupc puinling und gcnrc puinling lo u ncv IcvcI. In gcnrc puinling.
hc Ic muny und vuricd vorks lhul givc us u vivid vicv ol Iilc in lhc Iulc 1oscon pcriod.
Compurcd lo unolhcr Icuding gcnrc puinlcr. Shin Yun-bok. vho conccnlrulcd on lrunk
und sophisliculcd dcpiclions ol lhc rcIulionships bclvccn mcn und vomcn. Kim Hong-
do locuscd morc on vorks lhul cmbody u kind ol sociuI sulirc by comicuIIy bul luslcluIIy
porlruying lhc duiIy Iilc ol lhc common pcopIc. This puinling shovs u sccnc ol vomcn
vushing cIolhcs in u oving slrcum. An unusuuI lculurc is lhc incIusion ol lhc muIc gurc
hiding his lucc vilh u lun us hc pccps oul ul lhc vomcn lrom bchind u rock. vhich udds u
louch ol incidcnl lo Kim Hong-dos churuclcrislicuIIy humorous dcpiclion ol lhc vomcns
humbIc. unudorncd uppcuruncc.
226 Debbie Han, 1969
SculcJ 1htcc Gtuccs
2009, Lightjet print mounted on aluminum, 180x250cm
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Image courtesy of the artist
Dcbbic Hun is u Korcun-Amcricun urlisl vhosc vork cxpIorcs lhcmcs ol idcnlily.
cuIluruIizulion und pcrccplion. Thc vurious scuIplurc und pholo scrics shc hus produccd
in rcccnl ycurs locus on conlcmporury sociclys cuIluruI dynumics und lhc sociuI rcuIily ol
Asiu. SpccicuIIy. Huns vorks porlruy Korcu loduy us il is sccn lrom lhc insidc. rcvcuIing
hov lhc sociuI dynumics ol Korcu cvidcncc cIushcs ol ils lrudilion vilh Wcslcrnizulion.
Thc Gtaccs scrics chuIIcngcs lhc Euroccnlric slundurd ol bcuuly by combining Wcslcrn
cIussicuI goddcss hcuds vilh bodics ol ucluuI. modcrn-duy Korcun vomcn. Thcsc vorks
simuIluncousIy cmbrucc lhc Eusl und Wcsl. scuIplurc und humun. und lhc pusl und prcscnl.
lhcrcby chuIIcnging lhc vicvcr lo rccxuminc lhc mcuning ol idcnlily. uulhcnlicily. und
subjcclivily in loduys vorId.
228 Lee Young-mi, 1972
Bclwccu Dtcum uuJ Mcmotv: Flouliuu IsluuJ
2009, variable installation, ceramics and mixed media,
each piece 35x15x17cm
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Born in ScouI. Lcc Young-mi mujorcd in ccrumics ul Hongik Univcrsily bclorc sludying ul
Tsinghuu Univcrsily in Bcijing. und shc nov vorks in Chinu. Lccs vorks mugicuIIy cxprcss
lhc hislory ol lhc prccious mcmorics und lccIings lhul cuch ol us chcrish by borroving lhc
lorm ol lhc ccrumic buriuI mound gurcs (doyonu) lhul vcrc uscd us gruvc goods in uncicnl
limcs. Thc vhoIc proccss ol producing lhcsc vorks is curricd oul by lrudilionuI mclhods.
lorming lhc shupcs lrom porccIuin cIuy und ring lhcm ul u high lcmpcrulurc ol 1330C
lo bring oul lhc vhilcncss und lrunsIuccncy ol lhc porccIuin lo lhc luIIcsl. Thc gurcs in
Bclvccn Dtcan and Mcnoty: F/oallnu Is/and combinc unimuI und humun shupcs. cuch vilh
u dicrcnl poslurc und cxprcssion jusl Iikc ourscIvcs. mcluphoricuIIy rcvcuIing lhc vurious
ulluchmcnls und unxiclics lhul vc lccI lovurd Iilc lrom duy lo duy.
230 Bae Joon-sung, 1967
1hc Coslumc o[ Puiulct Muscum R. Lcus Lc 2
2009, oil on canvas, lenticular printing, 181.8x290.9cm
Private collection
Image courtesy of Yeonhui-dong Project
Gvungju nulivc Buc 1oon-sung hoIds undcrgruduulc und gruduulc dcgrccs lrom
ScouI NulionuI Univcrsily. Wilh his Coslunc of Palnlct scrics hc providcs u codc lor
communiculion vilh conlcmporury url. combining puinling vilh lhc IcnlicuIur prinling
lcchniquc lo prcscnl uniquc visuuI imugcs in vhich puinling und phologruphy ovcrIup. Hc
uIso crculcs ncv imugcs by borroving lhc vorks ol muslcr urlisls Iikc Ingrcs. Duvid. und
VcIusqucz. sublIy bIurring lhc bordcrs ol limc und spucc. 1/c Coslunc of Palnlct rclcrs lo lhc
cIolhing puinlcd by lhc urlisl. und signics lhc Iuycrs lhul lhc puinlcr crculcs. Thc scrics
uscs u muIli-Iuycrcd. lhrcc-dimcnsionuI lcchniquc lo producc u dislinclivc ocuvrc in vhich
nudc phologruphs ovcrIup vilh lumous Wcslcrn puinlings. Thc cIolhcd vomcn in lhc
originuI vorks uppcur dicrcnlIy lrom dicrcnl ungIcs und posilions. und u dcsirc lo rcvcuI
lhc nudc Icuds lhc vicvcr lo movc uround.
232 Lee Yong-baek, 1966
2008, bre-reinforced plastic and iron plates, 400x340x320cm
Artists collection
Image courtesy of the artist
Born in Gimpo. Gyconggi-do. Lcc Yong-buck gruduulcd vilh u dcgrcc in puinling lrom
Hongik Univcrsily. lhcn sludicd puinling und scuIplurc ul lhc Kunslukudcmic DsscIdorl.
Sincc rclurning lrom Gcrmuny. hc hus spcnl uboul lvcnly ycurs producing vorks in u
vuricly ol lorms using modcrn lcchnoIogy und mcdiu. Bcsidcs mcdiu url. hc hus vorkcd
in puinling. scuIplurc. und olhcr lorms ol url. uddrcssing lhcmcs ol rcproduclion und
symboIism. rcuIily und clion. und lhc dc-ccnlcring ol idcnlily. In Lcc Yong-bucks pIuslic
scuIplurc Plcla. vhich uIIudcs lo u scuIplurc ol lhc Virgin Mury Iumcnling vilh 1csus in hcr
urms. lhc Virgin Mury lukcs lhc roIc ol u moId. und 1csus u gurc cusl in lhc moId: onc is
lhc sccd und lhc olhcr is lhc skin lhul guvc birlh lo lhc sccd.
Special Advisor
Lee O-Young Writer, Former Minister of Culture
Editor in Chief
Seung H-Sang Architect, Principal of Iroje Architects & Planners
Board of Editors
Bae Bien-U Photographer, Professor of Seoul Institute of the Arts
Min Joo-sik Professor of Aesthetics, Yeungnam University
Yoon Jin-sup Art Critic, Professor of Honam University
Lee Joon Deputy Director of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Kim Bong-ryol Architect, Professor of Korea National University of Arts
Ahn Sang-soo Typographer, Graphic Designer, Professor of Hongik University
Yim Seock-jae Architecture Professor of Ewha Womans University
Choi Joon-sik Religious Studies & Korean Studies Professor of Ewha Womans University
Lee Dae-hyung Curator, Director of Curating Company Hzone
John Rajchman Professor in the Department of Art History and Archeology, Columbia University
Korean Beauty
2010 Edition
Publisher Seo Kang-soo
Published by Korean Culture and Information Service
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
15 Hyojaro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Tel: 82-2-398-1914~20
Fax: 82-2-398-1882
Printed October 28, 2010
Issued November 10, 2010
Special Advisor Lee O-Young
Editor in Chief Seung H-Sang
Board of Editors Bae Bien-U, Min Joo-sik, Yoon Jin-sup
Authors Lee Joon, Kim Bong-ryol, Ahn Sang-soo,
Yim Seock-jae, Choi Joon-sik,
Lee Dae-hyung, John Rajchman
Translators Andrew Killick, Cho Sukyeon
Copyeditor Gene H. Lee
Managing Director Kim Ok-chyul
Producer Park So-hyoun
Art Director Moon Jang-hyun
Designer Seok Soo-ran
Photographers Lim Hark-hyoun, Cho Ji-young
Coordinators Lee Dae-hyung, Kim Bo-mi
Editing Assistants Moon Hee-chae, Kim Moon-jeong
Printing Geum Gang Printec
Prepress Ace Color
iPad App Director Sung Ki-won
iPad App Designer Jung Eun-hye
iPad App Programmer Won Jae-yeon
2010 Korean Culture and Information Service
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized
in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including
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without permission in writing from the copyright holders.
Printed and bound in Korea.
ISBN 978-89-7375-120-4 03600

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