Lecture Title: The Image of Korean Women based on the Tale of Chunhyang
Date / Time: 24th September 2008, 18:30-19:30
Lecturer: Prof LIM Jeong Taeg (Director, Institute of Media Arts, Yonsei Univ.)
A Tale of Chunhyang:
13th Century, young Mongryong, Namwan Province’s governor’s son, falls in love at first sight with beautiful Chunhyang, Wolmae’s daughter. Wolmae was the former governor’s courtesan, and she’s now retired. The former governor died before being able to keep his promise to marry Chunhyang’s mother.
The two youngsters (about 15 years old) get secretly married (Chunhyang, as a courtesan’s daughter, belongs to a lower social class than Mongryong). Very soon, Mongryong’s father is appointed as a Minister in Seoul (Hanyang) and his son has no other choice than following him and studying in Korea’s capital city in order to become a high State representative. The two young married people swear faithfulness to each other until they meet again, and Chunhyang remains alone without any news from him for three years.
A new man, Byun, arrives to govern Namwan. Harsh and pitiless and having heard of Chunhyang’s great beauty, he tries to force her to his service. In spite of the law which obliges her to obey him (as a courtesan’s daughter), Chunhyang refuses because, she says: “As one can serve only one King, one can love only one man”. Tortures she’s given are powerless to make her change her mind and she’s fated to Death. Meanwhile, Mongryong passed his exams brilliantly and is charged by the King with a secret mission: to control how the State provinces work. He goes to Namwan where, disguised as a beggar, he learns his faithful wife’s imprisonnment and fate. He intervenes at the last moment, helped by his soldiers, and all is well that ends well!
Professor LIM Jeong Taeg is the director of the Institute of Media Arts at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. He studied German Literature at Yonsei University and received his Ph.D. at the University of Konstanz in Germany for German 18th Century Literature. Since 1988, he has been teaching literature, film studies and digital art. In 1998 he founded the Institute of Media Arts, which critically examines the digital era’s cultural phenomena. As the director of this Institute he has been leading various projects on film, media art, cultural content, culture planning and policies for ten years. Now he is also a member of the evaluation committee for NURI (New University for Regional Innovation), which is a project supported the Ministry of Education & Science Technology. He also works as the advisor of the Asian Hub-City of Culture, an organization supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Since November 2007, he is leading a new government project called “Imagination and Technology”, which continues until 2017. For this project, he established the “Imagination Development Center”, which develops educational programs focusing an imagination and creativity. He published books and various articles on literature, film theory and digital art.
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