Organized Panel Session
If the term ‘contemporary’ concerns the condition of our current moment in its global entirety, ‘Contemporary Korean Art’ is an oxymoron, in which apparently contradictory ideas of the global and the national appear in conjunction. This panel presents studies that have engaged in the task of rethinking the categories of ‘contemporary’ and ‘Korean’ in art today.
Jung-Ah Woo and Eunyoung Park examine the heated debates on postmodernism of the late 1980s and the early 1990s from two opposing angles: while Woo focuses on conservative artist groups that promoted postmodernism as an advanced mode of artistic practices, Park examines the critical responses to it by Yiso Bahc, one of the most prominent artists and writers who supported Minjung Misul(People’s Art), a social realist art movement, also in terms of postmodernism. Soo Yon Lee explores how the second generation Minjung artists of the late 1990s utilized the cyberspace as alternative community for political engagement. Young Joo Lee presents her own artistic practices of animation, performance, and installation, which reflect her personal experiences of multiculturalism and border crossing. Virginal Moon, Assistant Curator of Korean Art at LACMA will serve as a discussant of this panel.
In approaching ‘contemporaneity,’ the authors consider 1989 as the beginning of a new era with the fall of communism and the emergence of globalized economy. However, they share a more radical understanding of temporality as a politicized project that does not designate a certain style or period so much as to legitimate specific political and social agenda.