LKL book database logo

Interpreting Modernism in Korean Art: Fluidity and Fragmentation

This book examines the development of national emblems, photographic portraiture, oil painting, world expositions, modern spaces for art exhibitions, university programs of visual arts, and other agencies of modern art in Korea.

With few books on modern art in Korea available in English, this book is an authoritative volume on the topic and provides a comparative perspective on Asian modernism including Japan, China, and India. In turn, these essays also shed a light on Asian reception of and response to the Orientalism and exoticism popular in Europe and North America in the early twentieth century.

The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, the history of Asia, Asian studies, colonialism, nationalism, and cultural identity.

Table of Contents


  1. Modernity, Modernism, and the Modern in Korean Art and Culture – Jung-Ah Woo and Kyunghee Pyun

Part I: Korean Modernity and Modernism

  1. Korean Art in the Historiography of Multiple Modernities – Kyunghee Pyun
  2. Modernism and Avant-Garde in Korean Art – Youngna Kim

Part II: Inventing a Modern Nation: Visual Culture at the Turn of the Century

  1. The Search for Modernity in Korean Ink-wash Painting – Mingi Kang
  2. Royal Propaganda and National Identity in Emperor Gojong’s Portrait Photography – Heangga Kwon
  3. From Patriotism to Capitalism: Transformation of Korean National Symbols Under Colonial Rule – Soohyun Mok

Part III: Visualizing Colonial Modernities

  1. Modernity and Authenticity in Korean Pictorialism: From Pungsok Painting to Art Photography – Hye-ri Oh
  2. “Vernacular Modernism” in Korea: Lee Quede’s Hyangtosaek and Yanagi Muneyoshi’s Folk Art Movement – Yeon Shim Chung
  3. Korea, Last Retreat in Wartime for Murayama Tomoyoshi, a Modernist – Toshiharu Omuka

Part IV: Cultural Consumption and Modernism

  1. Magazine Covers and Colonial Modernity: Politics of the Korean Face – Yuri Seo
  2. Korean Modernists and the Nangnang Parlour Coffeehouse in the 1930s – Younjung Oh
  3. Cultural Network in 1930s Korea: Avant-Garde Practices and Individual Artistry – Inhye Kim

Part V: Modernism as Ideology: Revision and Appropriation

  1. Architecture as a Profession in Modern Korea – Hyunjung Cho
  2. Imitation or Necessity: A Framework for Postwar Korean Art in Contemporary Art Criticism – Chunghoon Shin
  3. Never a Failed Avant-Garde: Interdisciplinary Strategy of the Fourth Group in 1969–1970 – Sooran Choi


  1. Contemporaneity of Korean Contemporary Art – Jung-Ah Woo

Source: publisher’s website

Entry on here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.