Session Abstract: This panel of specialists in art history and literature examines the growing interest in and appreciation of cultural objects and environments in 17th to 19th century Korea. Presenting intriguing cases which unveil how Koreans developed a culture of appreciating objects, the panel inquires into their changing perceptions of and attitudes toward their material surroundings, revealing their increased awareness of the utility and power of objects in enriching culture and creating nurturing human environments.
Jungeun Lee investigates the emergence of decorative paintings of cultural objects, probing the way they express the shifting cultural trends and patronage of the time. Jeongsoo Shin addresses the literati’s love of stones, examining the development of stone connoisseurship and its impact on Korean life. Dongjae You scrutinizes the popularity of the paintings of One Hundred Boys, focusing on how they address the values and wishes of late Chosŏn people. Sookja Cho explores cartography as a window on Koreans’ avid efforts to locate themselves in an expanding cultural sphere, both real and imaginary.
Each instructive paper reveals more about the significance and power of objects in shaping reality and cultivating humanity, exposing the creative hearts and archival minds which Koreans cultivated. The vignettes of Korean lives which we present here also illuminate the intensity and complexity of Koreans’ sensibilities regarding the advancement of their cultural surroundings in an emergent, enlarged world, rich with new knowledge and information. We hope this panel will help to build a more nuanced and sophisticated cultural history of late Chosŏn Korea.
Paper Presenter: Jungeun Lee – Ewha Womans University
Paper Presenter: Jeongsoo Shin – Academy of Korean Studies
Paper Presenter: Dongjae You – Sungkyunkwan University
Paper Presenter: Sookja Cho – Arizona State University