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Integral Stain: Art and Life in Sixties Korea

Integral Stain: Art and Life in Sixties Korea

Young Man Jung, 1973.

Dr. Joan Kee, History of Art Department, University of Michigan

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

10383 Bunche Hall

How might we think of North and South Korean artistic production as coterminous rather than irrevocably divided? Looking at examples of South Korean photography and North Korean painting in the years when the ceasefire signaling the provisional end of the Korean War (and the beginning of postwar Korean art) threatened to devolve into a new world war, this talk explores alienation as a virtual commons for a richer and more complicated history of contemporary art in Korea. Notable is the image and function of the stain, whether it be a dark blot on the surface of a painting or a photographed smudge diminishing the consistency of an image's surface. More than a trace of lapsed attention or a symptom of chance, the stain as both image and trope played an integral role in mediating between aesthetic and political concerns that so colored lived experience in sixties Korea.

Dr. Joan Kee is Associate Professor in the History of Art at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (2013), Models of Integrity: Art and Law in Post Sixties America (2019) and the co-editor of To Scale (2015).


Sponsor(s): Center for Korean Studies, Art History

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