Royal Asiatic Society lecture: Humour and Eighteenth-Century Korean Art

It’s not often that the one-time parent organisation the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch (est 1900) puts on an event that is anything to do with Korea. But the upcoming talk at the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (est 1823) looks well worth the wait.

Humour and Eighteenth-Century Korean Art

Karin Warch (SOAS)
Royal Asiatic Society | 14 Stephenson Way | London NW1 2HD
Tuesday 21st April 2015 at 6.30 pm
Free and open to all


Since the mid twentieth century, Korean art scholarship has grown and developed to distinguish itself from that of China and Japan. One characteristic that emerged and which has persisted is humour. Discussion will focus on the question of humour and its association with Korean art and its promoted perceptions and receptions on the global stage. The history of humour and its association with Korean art will be introduced within key historical, social and political Korean contexts, tracing the notion of humour as a continuous rhetoric in Korean art scholarship and perception. Questions to be considered are key terminology, its development, and when humour was first used to describe or define Korean art.

김홍도 (단원) Kim Hong-do (Danwǒn) (1745 – ca.1806): Threshing
김홍도 (단원) Kim Hong-do (Danwǒn) (1745 – ca.1806): Threshing from Album of Genre Paintings by Danwǒn, late 18th century, ink and light color on paper
National Museum of Korea, Treasure No. 527.

Karin Warch is a PhD candidate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology and has been an undergraduate tutor within the Department for three years. Outside SOAS, she has also been a visiting lecturer on Korean painting for Sotheby’s Institute of Art and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Before coming to SOAS she earned a masters degree in East Asian Art History from the University of Kansas with an emphasis on Korean painting, and a bachelor of fine arts in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She plans to complete her research degree in 2015.


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