3 keys to understanding South Korean contemporary art
Contemporary Art | The 2016 Art Paris Art Fair highlights South Korean contemporary art, bringing together the work of some 70 historical, renowned and emerging artists. Appreciating the specificity of Korean production means plunging into a symbiotic back-and-forth between history and geography, culture and economy, tradition and ultra-modernity, isolation and diversity. Here are three key concepts for understanding Korean art now.
Contemporary Korean art is an aggregate of the nation’s history, geography and politics. After a student-led popular uprising, democracy is ushered in with the adoption of a new constitution in 1987. The country swiftly throws off 40 years of dictatorial rule, a long period of Japanese colonization (1905-45), and a stint as a Cold War hotspot where Eastern and Western blocks had divided the territory into a Moscow-dominated north and a Washington-influenced south. The scar formed by the border zone between the two Koreas transforms the South into an insular political space, with a surprising capacity for reinvention.
In the span of a few decades, the country moves from agrarian self-sufficiency to a […]
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