Sooa Im McCormick, June 2

Speaker: Sooa Im McCormick (Curator of Korean Art, Cleveland Museum)

Korean Paper, a Trendy Item in Late Ming Literati Circle

Discussant: Yoon-Jee Choi (PhD student, Department of Art History)

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021
4:45 – 6:45 pm CST, Zoom meeting (please find the registration link below)

 

Abstract:

Any wars result in, not to mention significant loss of life, economic destruction, and human dislocation, but also opportunities for unexpected cultural and material transfers. Korean papers of variety including Mirror Surface Paper 鏡面紙, White Silky Paper 白綿紙 were among stable tributary gifts to the Ming imperial court, but during the Japanese invasion (1592-1598) they were increasingly demanded than before. These imported Korean papers were not exclusively used in the imperial court, but soon gained a new life as a trendy commodity when it entered the circle of leading literati artists such as Dong Qichang.

By locating Korean paper in the material world of late Ming-period literati artists, this research attempts to uncover how gift-exchange in a tributary system between China and Korea fashioned new artistic identities of Korean paper, to examine what materialistic features of Korean paper led late Ming artists to involve it in their artistic endeavors, such as the case of Dong Qichang’s River and Mountains on a Clear Autumn Day 江山秋霽圖 in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and finally to highlight the role of Korean imports in Chinese visual and material culture.
Dong Qichang 董其昌, River and Mountains on a Clear Autumn Day 江山秋霽圖 (1624–27), Handscroll: Ink on Korean paper, Painting only: 38.4 x 136.8 cm, The Cleveland Museum of Art.

 

Zoom Registration Link:
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Dr. Sooa Im McCormick is Curator of Korean Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art. She holds a PhD from the University of Kansas and a Master’s degree from Rutgers University. Recently, she curated the exhibitions Interpretation of Materiality: Gold (4/30/2021-10/24/2021), as well as Gold Needles: Korean Embroidery Arts (3/8/2020-10/25/2020). While pursuing her curatorial career, Dr. McCormick remains active as a cutting-edge scholar. Her publications include “Re-Reading the Imagery of Tilling and Weaving of Eighteenth-Century Korean Genre Painting in the Context of the Little Ice Age,” in Anthology of Mountains and Rivers (without) End: Eco-Art History in Asia (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019) and “The Politics of Frugality: Environmental Crisis and Eighteenth-Century Korean Visual Culture,” in Forces of Nature (Cornell University Press, 2022).

 

Yoon-Jee Choi is a PhD student whose research revolves around material culture and inter-regional influence within East Asian art history, particularly concentrating on the latter half of Joseon Dynasty and modern Korean art history. She received her BA in Division of International Studies and History of Art from Ewha Womans University. She has completed her coursework for her MA in History of Art and is currently working on her thesis on Korean monkey paintings during the late Joseon Dynasty. She has interned for the National Museum of Korea and worked as a research assistant for the Asian Museum Institute in Seoul. Her current interests lie in Korean paintings that reflect diverse foreign interactions during the late 19th century.

Boyoung Chang, APR 9

Speaker: Boyoung Chang (Postdoctoral Fellow East Asian Art, Department of Art History

Faraway, so close: North Korea in Contemporary Visual Culture

Discussant: Saena Ryu Dozier (Recent graduate; PhD in Asian Literatures, Cultures, and Media; University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)

Friday, April 9th, 2021

4:45 – 6:45 pm CST, Zoom meeting (please find the registration link below)

 

Abstract:

What is the perception of North Korea of the rest of the world and how has it been mediated through visual arts? Are there alternative ways to represent the country without othering it? This research problematizes the stereotyped representations of North Korea and suggests alternative ways to understand North Korea through the visual arts. The national division caused two Koreas to show different paths to development, and the North has been isolated as one of the few communist countries in the world. With the demise of the international Cold War, it has been further stigmatized and ridiculed, mostly in the West. Either they satirize the dictatorial rule of North Korea or supposedly ‘look into’ the hermit kingdom, I argue, what the images of North Korea eventually reveal is the inaccessibility to the country. On the contrary to the assumption of providing a penetrating view of the country, this paper also discusses, some contemporary Korean artists bring the impossibility of fully experiencing the other Korea to the fore and visualize the mediated experience of the country. By incorporating their proxy experience of the North, their works anchor North Korea in history and in relation to South Korea, instead of accentuating its otherness and isolation from the rest of the world.

João Rocha, Kim Jong-Il Looking at Things (2010-)

 

Zoom Registration Link:

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Dr. Boyoung Chang is a postdoctoral researcher in the Center of the Art of East Asia in the Department of Art History at The University of Chicago. Her research focuses on contemporary Korean photography. She is interested in how the history of Korean photography intertwines with the nation’s dynamic modern and contemporary history. Her research interests also include several topics in global photography and contemporary Asian art, such as the aftermath of World War II, the ramification of the cold war, globalization, and cultural identity.

Chang has published such articles as “Post-Trauma: How contemporary Korean photography reconstructs political history of Korea” in the Korean Bulletin of Art History and is now working on a book project that addresses the history of Korean photography from the mid-20th century to the present day, with a particular interest in the socio-political landscapes around artistic productions.

 

Dr. Saena Dozier received her PhD in Asian Literatures, Cultures, and Media from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2020.  She was a Korea Foundation research fellow and a Diversity Predoctoral teaching fellow at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.  Dr. Dozier’s expertise is in Korean culture and media with an emphasis on Korean cinema.

She published “Coming Home: Finding Our Space of Innocence Through Sagŭk Films” in the International Journal of Korean History. Her upcoming article “Ever-Evolving Nostalgia: A Quest for Innocence in Sagŭk Films” will appear on Écrans de nostalgie, Special Issue of Cinémas.

Maya Stiller, Jan 13

Speaker: Professor Maya Stiller (Associate Professor of Korean Art and Visual Culture, The University of Kansas)

Elite Graffiti, Kinship, and Social Capital: Pilgrimages to Kŭmgangsan in Pre-1900 Korea

Discussant: Zhenru Zhou (PhD candidate, Department of Art History)

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

4:45-6:45 pm, Zoom meeting (please find the registration link below)

 

Abstract:

In this talk Professor Stiller will preview her forthcoming book, Carving Status at Kŭmgangsan: Elite Graffiti in Premodern Korea, which establishes the importance of site-specific visual and material culture as an index of social memory construction. Stiller argues for an expansion of accepted historical narratives on travel and mountain space in pre-modern East Asia. Rather than studying Asian pilgrimage routes as strictly religious or tourist, in the case of Kŭmgangsan, they were also a method of constructing social memory. Kŭmgangsan is one of the most prominent sacred mountains in Korea. Embarking on a journey to Kŭmgangsan to view and contribute to its sites of memory was an endeavor that every late Chosŏn (ca. 1598-1910 C.E.) Korean hoped to achieve in their lives. Carving Status is the first historical study in a Western language to examine this practice. Specifically, this book uses a combination of disciplinary approaches from art history, literature, and social history to analyze autographic inscriptions and to argue that Kŭmgangsan’s Buddhist monasteries, pavilions, and waterfalls became not just venerated cultural sites but also locations for claiming permanent elite social memory. The growing number of carved inscriptions over time also shows intense social competition. Thus Stiller shows that, unlike other sacred mountains in Asia, Kŭmgangsan was not just a destination for religious pilgrims and tourists, but an important site of social engineering.

 

Zoom Registration Link:

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Professor Maya Stiller teaches Korean art history at the University of Kansas. She was born and raised in West-Berlin, Germany, and has lived and worked across Europe, East Asia, and the United States. With a double major in Korean Studies and Art History, she spent several years living in Korea and Japan, followed by a doctorate in East Asian Art History from Freie Universität Berlin. She came to the United States in 2008 to study Korean Buddhism and received a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies and Korean History from UCLA in 2014. Her peer-reviewed journal articles have been published in the Journal of Asian Studies, the Journal of Korean Religions, and Cahiers d’Extreme-Asie. Her book Carving Status at Kŭmgangsan: Elite Graffiti in Premodern Korea is forthcoming with University of Washington Press.

 

Zhenru Zhou is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History, the University of Chicago. She studies religious art and architecture in China and along the Silk Routes, with a focus on the medieval Buddhist cave-temples in Northern China. Her dissertation project explores the complexity of cave architecture in the tenth-century Dunhuang.

Boyoung Chang, May 22

Boyoung Chang, PhD., Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Art History

“Reconstructing the Nation: contemporary Korean photography since the 1990s”

Discussant: Tingting Xu, PhD candidate, Department of Art History

Friday, May 22, 2020

4:30-6:30 pm, Zoom meeting (please find the registration link below)

Abstract: This presentation discusses the photography of South Korean photographers, focusing on the medium’s relationship with the political and societal changes in and around the country that started in the late 1980s. Focusing on art photography that took various formats from documentary to the performative, encompassing the staged, portraits, and snapshots, it addresses the development of a medium that is intertwined with the transformation of Korean society. Represented with democratization and globalization, South Korea reorganized its political system and opened its doors to the world in this era. I argue that the transformation of contemporary Korean art photography is not only a reflection of this essential reconstruction of the nation’s identity but that of the medium itself, with its performative nature, mediating the process. The exploration starts from the early practices of the mid-20th century Korean photography and moves on to the thematic discussions of how contemporary photography addressed the key issues that mark the transition. When the long history of military dictatorship ended and democracy arrived in Korea, the nation reestablished its identity by declaring a break from the past, refashioning its history, and building new relationships with other countries, including North Korea. This research argues that the history of Korean photography parallels these shifts. Unlike the photographers of the past, contemporary photographers, with newly obtained freedom and various photographic languages, revisited the repressed history, reinterpreted official history, and deconstructed it according to the changed socio-political climate. As the state-led globalization transformed Korean identity into the international context, Korean photography too went through the process of challenging the preexisting notions and striving to position itself in global photography. Fully incorporating the social, political, and cultural history of Korea and the surrounding international contexts, this research takes an interdisciplinary approach in articulating the history of the nation’s photography. With an emphasis on a need to contextualize artistic practices into its society, it improves the understanding of contemporary Korea and its photographic practices.

Suntag Noh, Forgetting machines, 2005-2011

 

Zoom Registration Link: https://uchicago.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIrcOqtrj0jq6en_pocBCWxbUtdUN6KzA

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Boyoung Chang is a postdoctoral researcher in the Center for the Art of East Asia in the  Department of Art History. She specializes in contemporary Korean photography with a particular interest in how the history of Korean photography intertwines with the nation’s dynamic modern and contemporary history. Chang earned her doctorate at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her dissertation, “Reconstructing the Nation: Contemporary Korean Photography since the 1990s,” that she discusses today focused on how Korean art photography developed in parallel with the transformation of South Korea since the late 1980s. Her teaching and research interests also include the aftermath of World War II, the impact of the Cold War, globalization, and cultural identity seen through contemporary Asian art and photography.

Tingting Xu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on the history of photography in China, and the intercultural and intermedial practices of Chinese artists in early modern and modern periods.  Her first Chinese book, Niche: In or Out – Interviews and Perspectives on Contemporary North American Photographic Artists, written when she was a MFA student at the Parsons School of Design, won two author’s prizes in China. She works as an assistant curator at the Peabody Essex Museum in 2018, helping organizing a coming major exhibition on nineteenth-century photographs of China. She is a recipient of The Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (2018-2019), and the Joan and Stanford Alexander Award of the Houston Museum.

 

April 29 Douglas Gabriel

Friday, April 29, 4:30 to 6:30pm, CWAC156

Revolution from 360 Ft. Below: On the Pyongyang Metro and the Problem of Ground

Douglas Gabriel
Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University

Among the deepest subway systems in the world, the Pyongyang Metro is marked by a radical disjunction with the space of the North Korean capital above it. Rather than referencing street names or landmarks above ground, each of the 17 stations on the Metro’s two lines is named after and elaborately designed according to a revolutionary theme, ranging from Camaraderie to Prosperity. Further, the Metro stations contain no maps of Pyongyang, and, in turn, city maps do not indicate the locations of the Metro stations. Frequently, the Pyongyang Metro is characterized as, on the one hand, a conspicuous form of propagandistic brainwashing, and, on the other hand, the result of a militaristic effort to conceal the locations of underground sites that could potentially serve as emergency bomb shelters. In contrast, this paper draws on visual evidence as well as previously unutilized primary sources in order to demonstrate that the bifurcation of the Metro and the city space stems from a highly singular understanding of the relationship between material reality and revolutionary ideas. I argue that the architectural design, lighting, sound, and mosaic murals of the Metro stations form a complex system of aesthetic effects aimed at suspending the North Korean revolutionary project within a dialectic of ground and transcendence.

Friday, April 29, 4:30 to 6:30pm, CWAC156
Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact xizh@uchicago.edu

VMPEA: Feb. 24, Insoo Cho.

Insoo Cho

Associate Professor, Korea National University of Arts

From Spirit Tablets to Portraits: Ancestor Worship and Portraitures in Korea

 

During the Chosŏn dynasty, the art of portrait painting enjoyed great prominence and was valued with high esteem. Often the most famous and skillful painters were hired to execute these venerable images. These portraits have been closely associated with ancestral worship and served their functions effectively in Confucian rites.

From the early Chosŏn period, Neo-Confucianism was adopted as the national ideology in Korea, and Confucian scholars made wooden name tablets inscribed with wishes for the spirits of the deceased ancestors to stay around even longer. With the elapse of time, however, the use of portraits in ancestor worship was allowed and gradually adopted as a social custom. The portrait paintings, as a result, were considered important objects for descendants to communicate with ancestors and express their filial piety.

This lecture will discuss the relationship between ancestral name tablets and portraits as well as the significance of portraits in rites of homage to deceased ancestors during the Chosŏn Dynasty. It also examines the process of adaptation and modification of Western painting style via China which enabled Korean painters to produce more realistic effigies.

 

Friday, Feb 24, 4-6 p.m.  CWAC 156

May 6-7, Screens in East Asia Symposium

THE SCREEN IN EAST ASIA AND BEYOND

A Symposium Organized by the Center for the Art of East Asia,
Department of Art History, University of Chicago, May 6-7, 2011
Location: Franke Institute for the Humanities, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago IL

The folding or standing screen is a mobile partition that creates a space at the same time that it acts as a division between spaces and groups of figures. As a fixture of daily life and ceremonial culture in East Asia for more than a thousand years, the screen deserves to be considered from multiple perspectives, including those of archaeology, architecture, literature, art, history, gender, and sociology. This symposium explores the complexity of screens as an art form in two and three dimensions, one that frames, divides and conceals and creates spaces and is produced in a variety of materials.

Friday, May 6

9:00 am Welcome and opening remarks

9:30 am-12:30 pm
Panel 1—Partitioning and Defining Space— Chair, Ping Foong, University of Chicago

Guolong Lai, University of Florida, “Warring States and Han Screens in Archaeological Contexts”

Katherine Tsiang, University of Chicago, “Pluralities of Screening and Representation in Late Northern Dynasties Burials”

Wei-cheng Lin, University of North Carolina, “Screening the Chinese Interior: Architectonic and Architecturesque”

Dawn Odell,Lewis and Clark College, “Screens and Thresholds of Insecurity in Colonial Jakarta”

Discussion

2:00-5:00 pm
Panel 2—The Screen in Ritual and Performance—Chair, Judith Zeitlin, University of Chicago

Melissa McCormick, Harvard University, “The Partitions of Parturition: White Screens and Disbodied Birth”

Hyunsoo Woo, Philadelphia Museum of Art, “Displaying Authority: Screen Paintings of the Joseon Court”

Elizabeth Lillehoj, Depaul University, “Screens as Record Paintings and Records of Painted Screens in Japan”

Jie Dong, Chinese Academy of Art, “Screens in Late Ming Printed Plays and Related Materials in Woodblock Prints”

Discussion

Saturday, May 7
9:00-11:15 am
Panel 3—Illusion and Representation—Chair, Janice Katz, Art Institute of Chicago

Eleanor Hyun, University of Chicago, “The Illusion of Things: Choson Dynasty Ch’aekkori Screens”

Chelsea Foxwell, University of Chicago, “Triangulations: Art and Historicity in a Nineteenth-Century Screen by Shibata Zeshin”

Dana Leibsohn, Smith College, “Asia Remade: The Fate of the Foreign in the Visual Culture of Spanish America”

Discussion

2:00-5:00
Panel 4—Medium and Materiality—Chair, Shih-shan Susan Huang, Rice University

Yukio Lippit, Harvard University, “The Screen-in-Itself: Surface and Materiality in Japanese Byobu”

Jenny Purtle, University of Toronto, “Circulation of Screens and Painting Styles: Jianyang Printed Books and Northern Fujian Painting

Reginald Jackson, University of Chicago, “Ellen Gallagher and Tawaraya Sôtatsu Meet on the Gold Leaf Grid”

Wu Hung, University of Chicago “Front and Back: Emperor Kangxi’s Screen and the Notion of Historical Materiality,”

Discussion

* This symposium is made possible with generous support from the Japan and China Committees of the Center for East Asian Studies, the Adelyn Russell Bogert Fund of the Franke Institute for the Humanities, and Mrs. Beth Plotnick.

Persons with a disability who believe they need assistance are requested to call 773 702-8274 in advance.

For addition information see:

http://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/caea/activities/conferences/