Interpreting Modernism in Korean Art
Fluidity and Fragmentation
Kyunghee Pyun, Associate Professor of History of Art at the Fashion Institute of Technology;
Jung-Ah Woo, Associate Professor of Art History at Pohang Institute of Technology
Moderated by Jenny Wang Medina, Emory University
Thursday, February 3, 2022
Co-sponsored by Columbia University Seminar
Modernism is a double-edged knife to people in Asia and also in Korea. It was an impetus behind rapid development in science and technology, but also a painful process of colonization and adaptation. In many other Asian countries, modernization in every sector of society is intricately entangled with struggles in regards to Westernization and the anxieties of colonialism. The contributors of this book reconsider the influences of Western art, which was often transported through colonizing countries on the colonized soil, both in its practices and its scholarship from the early twentieth century to the present moment. By re-examining individual artists’ disparate personal and social circumstances in various genres of painting, sculpture, architecture, design, photography, and installation, the book will demonstrate that the induction of modernism is by no means a linear flow of information, but a multifaceted and highly complicated process of reception, appropriation, and transformation, reflecting both the cultural interaction and the persistent tension over the geopolitical relations of the two worlds.