This study seeks to examine the historical discussion on Shinpa by tracking down its process of changes, focusing on the 1920s and 1930s. In the discussions of early modern Korea, the conflict between the new and old appears the most extensively in the realms of politics, society, and culture. Shinpa (新派), or the new wave, was in opposition to the old wave, and was a cultural discussion and a form of representation, symbolizing the early modernity of Korea. But it soon turned to be a symbolic word indicating older and lower quality of culture product.
I would like to argue that the meaning of Shinpa had been changed several times according to the process of Korean film production and discourse. In Chosun films, Shinpa was almost a kind of general style that films had to adopt as a matter of course. In the process of taste distinction in 1920s and 1930s, it was reduced down its meaning to old, unrealistic cliches. Around 1930, the left-wing film movement and the concept of film criticism emerged, and the popularity of foreign films, especially Hollywood films, Shinpa began to be depreciated in value, and it became an emblem of an old era, yellow-covered characteristics of Chosun cinema.
Critics influenced on the meaning of shinpa converted, however, basically it was a sign of the formation of mass culture and a distinction of taste at the same time.