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2011, Vol., No.30

  • 1.

    A Study on Walter Richard sickert’s painting

    Mi Ji Lee | 2011, (30) | pp.7~35 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract
    Sickert(Walter Richard Sickert, 1860-1942), is a painter who positioned himself in modern British painting circles through figurative paintings apart from of formalist modernism toward abstraction of the times. However, as British painting circles of the times accepted gradually Fry's post-impressionist interpretation toward abstraction, mainstream opinion tended to judge that Sickert's painting with strong figurative characteristics would be difficult to settle down in development of British painting. And Sickert examined the theme of music hall and theater in his lifetime, which is similar to French Impressionist painting in that he took the theme of music hall and theater, contemporary spectacles of modern society developing figurative paintings. However, Sickert' painting, in spite of having similar characteristics as French Impressionists, emanate obscure mood through ambiguous forms unlike them. This study tried to shed new lights on the value of Sickert paintings through his paintings with the theme of music hall and theater and confirm the significance in British painting circles of the times. Sickert was under the influence of Pre-Raphaelite and whistler when he started painting but soon he rebuilt his kingdom of art as he met Degas coming and going to Paris. Since Fry who influenced greatly British painting circles when Sickert was active also thought about developing British arts accepting new trend, it seemed Sickert and Fry headed the same direction. However, Fry's attiude having been busy to absorb the trend of Freach art so that he seemed to lose the national identity of paintings came to divert from Sickert. Consequently, Sickert searches for another modern art for the development of British paintings unlike Fry's tendency that dominated British painting circles at the time. Sickert approached the public, drawing both the visual reality of entertainment in the music halls and theaters of modern British society and the society and the social features behind the reality through his paintings with the theme of music hall and theater. Sickert drew the music halls and theaters that were developed for political purposes in the modern British society taking spectators as the object of observation. Because of this, sickert's paintings with the theme of music hall and theater as historical records were able to be positioned authentic in modern British painting circles though he belonged to nonmainstream group in the history of art. Such Sickert's paintings with the theme of music hall and theater also suggested the social role of painting for the originality and permanence of culture. Sickert's intent to deliver social sapect of the times in music hall and theater paintings also appeared in representing forms. He created a space by converging painting space on canvas with actual space. Sickert's paintings with the theme of music hall and theater is the base on which his painting can root in Britain and shows the new expression of paintings of the times to represent the moment of the real world to be the permanent connecting actual space to that of painting. There wasn't only the stream of modernism toward abstraction in modern Britich painting circles. There existed a unique inquiry on the modern art of Britain that would excite another modernism and Sickert played the role. Sickert paintings are worth noticing newly from the various angles of postmodern perspective accepting diversity.
  • 2.

    A Study on the Status and Background of Municipal Museums’ Exhibitions in Korea

    전인미 | 2011, (30) | pp.37~67 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract
    Local Autonomy of Korea started with the election for Local Council in 1952 by Local Government Act according to Decree no. 32 dated July 4th, 1949. It was interrupted by the 5.16 military coup, and reintroduced after 30 years’ absence with the election forthe head of local government and local council performed in July 27th, 1995. The central government tried to make the reintroduced Local Autonomy as a chance for the reformation of cultural environment as well as the change of administration at that time when economy of the country was stabilized and concerns for the culture were rising. ‘The reformation of cultural environment’ the central government expected signified equal improvement of the level of cultural enjoyment, and for this, the central government continuously emphasized expansion of the cultural infrastructure such like a museum and an art museum. The other hand Local government tried to use a museum as a strategy for local characterization to advertize its region. Local governments started to unearth their typical cultures distinguished from other regions and developed new materials with a financial support of the central government, and built museums for these materials competitively. The increasing rate of the number of public museums compared with the previous year reached a record by the effort of the central and local governments in 2001, and the goal for the construction of 500 museums by 2010 was performed already in 2007. But poor administration, neglect, and corruption concerning the collection occurred and started to be pointed from 2003 with a rapid increasing the number of museums, and actual condition investigation for theme museums by the Board of Audit and Inspection showed gravity of the problems of the public museums. The reason why the problems occurred repeatedly is that they just suggested the improvement direction under the focus at the efficiency of construction business with overlooking the importance of exhibition, the main function of a museum. This research was conducted on the assumption that the first cause of the problems of the museums was originated from the policy and plan for the expansion of museum. From the implementation of Local Autonomy the central government encouraged museum construction business by implementing the supporting policy for museum construction with reforming cultural administrative organization and method of the management of cultural financing. The function as ‘Committee’ in which various opinions of various people are accepted equally was not achieved well in the cultural administrative organization as intended. Furthermore, the fact that the administrative deputy mayor appointed by the central government without direct relationship with culture or art had the biggest power to decide whether they did the business or not raised a problem of lack of professionalism at planning and procedure of museum construction. Also, Museum and Art Museum Promotion Law in Korea does not impose legal controls on establishment of the collection policy, and the standard for prioritizing museum construction business do not include the question of ‘Do they have something worthy of display?’ For this reason there is no one among the public museums doing collecting activities based on definite collection policy. On the contrary, Expert employment of museum was signed into law at the time of the amendment of Museum and Art Museum Promotion Law in March, 2003. Nevertheless,46% of the museums operating currently does not hire the curator with the certificate, and 36 museums does not have a person concerning the curating. And the level of curator is divided into 4 steps by law, but all the people working at the museum are just called curator. This thesis was based on the comparison between records of culture infrastructure manual published by the Ministry of Culture, sports and Tourism and the results of the real door-to-door inquiries. Current situation of the collection, manpower, and operating program provided by the manual is much different from the truth, even not operated museums with shutdown of the building were registered in the museum list as the ones in operating or in course of preparation. The government said the culture infrastructure list was published to raise the level of cultural enjoyment by inducing citizen’s visit and participation with giving a information about domestic culture infrastructure and cultural activities. But the list giving wrong information was not actually functioning but showing the number of culture infrastructure like a cultural policy clinging the expansion in numbers of museum. The central government is still imputing a certain money for the construction of public museum for the purpose of the expansion in numbers of museum without right research for the present situation of the museum being operated. We can say the museums are being operated just when they collect and display worthwhile materials to possess through the curatorial efforts of the member of museum with specialty, not when the construction of the building is accomplished. The government should make an effort to improve them based on the examination of “how the museum is being operated” before setting the standard of “how many museums should be constructed”.
  • 3.

    The meaning of death in postmodern vanitas imagery

    Jung, Hun-Yee | 2011, (30) | pp.69~100 | number of Cited : 12
    Abstract
    This study deals with the images of death that are prevalent in postmodern art, it is not an iconographic study on death images though. The purpose of the study is to investigate and question the aesthetic meanings hidden behind the impossible task of representing death. Death has been one of the most important subject matter throughout the history of western Art. From the stick like figure of ‘the shaft of dead man’ in the cave art of Lascaux to the ‘memento mori’ images of the Middle Age, from the ‘vanitas’ images of 17th century Dutch paintings to the sweet candies presented by Felix Gonzales-Torres, all these images ask the meaning of death, and by doing that question the meaning of life. What I concern is the facts that art has been a beacon that marks the resistance to death, although it is doomed to be failed, so that it has been encircled in the repetitive performance of representing an original absence. It was Andy Warhol who re-presented the theme of death in the post modern art scene. Whether his attitude toward death is neutral and indifferent or cynical and critical was the main issue in interpreting his ‘death and disaster’ series. Yet, when it comes to the case of Damien Hirst, we witness the ‘return of the real’, the actual dead bodies that are sacrificed for an art exhibition. The audience are expected to actually observes the decaying process of corpse in the gallery space. What does it mean? What is the aesthetics behind this “return”?It seems to me that the ‘death’ Hirst conceives stays only in the level of its materialistic dimension. It does not step a inch forward from the shocking spectacle of the corpse that is returned to an inanimate object. That is how he conceives art and what he earns from his speculation on the relationship between his art and death, yet this model of objective,bodily death can not suggest any meaning of death except “nothing”. Death can presents us the possibilities of something more than the shocking phobia of its marks of decaying process. A representation of death always accompanies responsibility within culture. As Felix Gonzales-Torres made his point on this subject, we should ask a question with responsibility; what is the relation of our art to the death of others? In this question, death is not a mere limit but a way that can affect us by the way that others have died before us, and by the way that we ourselves shall die. This is the political aesthetics of death that our art of today should reconsider.
  • 4.

    Critical study on Paul Gauguin's Primitivism

    Ma, Soon-Young | 2011, (30) | pp.101~125 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract
    This article is a critical reflection on Paul Gauguin's primitivism. After Goldwater's seminal research on Primitivism in Modern Art(1986/1938) the study on the subject was revived in 1980s accompanied by the interest in the arts of the trivial and the artefacts. Even the primitivism of Gauguin was mistakenly suspected as the result of the colonialist by some post colonial historians, Gauguin still is named as the father of primitivism. Gauguin's primitivism has it's root in 'noble savage' tradition from the romantic age. The artist, who may be born and grown up within the nature of the primitive, ventured the primitive living in polynesian islands of the french colonies. The subject such as primitive landscape, simple life of man and deep religious faith etc. is from the experience of the polynesia. The primitivism of Gauguin is classified as the 'Romantic Primitivism'because of his ventured living in primitive world and his subject and attitude too. But to complete primitivism the subject needs the appropriate form, which Gauguin developed from the Pont-Aven period. The modern form of his art with his primitive content is a special strategy of modern art at all. It is the reason the primitivism of Gauguin is called 'Modernist Primitivism'. In a respect the concept modernist primitivism seems to be an irony. But if we consider the naive religious character or the simple rural life described in paintings of modern form of Pont-Aven period the conflict or irony of Gauguin's primitivism will be resolved. The primitivism is a plan or a necessity of the european modernity, which implies the limit to be realized perfectly. The method of 'Cultural Primitivism' which considers art as a total cultural phenomenon may be the best way to approach the primitivism including Gauguin's.
  • 5.

    Critical Perspectives on Svetlana L. Alpers's Concepts in Methodology

    김경선 | 2011, (30) | pp.127~146 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract
    The character of the history of art began to be criticized for the narrowness of its range of subject matter and concentration on individual artists whom it classified as geniuses in the late twentieth century. It useful to define this change as being from the traditional study of the history of art to the study of art history. In the history of art, the subject is ‘art’, and the study is of the patterns of caution, however now, art is being increasingly perceived as a means as well as an end, and in art history the subject is ‘history’, especially social and cultural history. Here the goal of scholarship is to achieve a more profound understanding of individuals and societies, and works of art provide tangible evidence. Art history as a discipline, its new, critical and interdisciplinary methodology of art has become an intellectual advantage in a scholarly world of an increasingly permeable border between the humanities and the social sciences ; a world of relative rather than absolute quality. At present, the two most distinctive trends in the new art history are the interest in the social aspects of art and the stress on theory. The path-breaking work of Anglo-American scholars, Svetlana Leontief Alpers brings into focus the heterogeneous nature of art. She place much value on the basic art-historical notion of representation as well as circumstances and visual culture. In addition, Alpers thinks nowhere is this 'transparent view of art' less appropriate, then she propose to view art circumstantially. Appealing to circumstances mean not only to see art as a social manifestation but also to gain access to images through a consideration of their place,role, and presence in the broader culture. In addition to circumstantial studies have tended to concentrate on the artist as the viewer of his/her art or as the maker of a work to be viewed. Much attention is paid to how paintings have been seen. The pressure is outward from the work. But there is another account which has to do less with how the viewer is served, than with the satisfactions of the maker. The pressure is inward, on the artist in the making. Alpers has served the art historical community excellently by raising the intellectual stakes of Dutch art in seventeenth century and its European context. It gives new horizons for the interpretation of art and the phenomenon of picture making itself. Shortly, Alpers's methodology is an example of the centrality of art history among current disciplines by replacing a sector of the history of art within its proper context of intellectual history.
  • 6.

    The Asian Modern: Approaches to Defining the Contemporary in Asian Art

    John Clark | 2011, (30) | pp.147~192 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract
    The complexity and historical depth of ‘The Asian Modern’ in art is indicated beginning with the Indonesian artists Raden Saleh (1811-1880), Sudjojono (1913-1986), and F. X. Harsono (born 1949). Discussion is then made of contemporaneity through examining the work of K.C.S Panicker in India and Park Seo-bo in Korea, before going back to the work of F.X. Harsono [Indonesia] compared with that of Zhang Peili [China] for the 1970s through to the 1990s. Reference is also made to problems the notion of contemporaneity in art itself as theorized by Smith and Enwezor, and where modern and contemporary art in Asia fits this discussion or does not.
  • 7.

    Letter in Mail: Cai Guo-Qiang’s Peasant Da Vincis and the (Il)legibility of Transnational Art

    Yi Gu | 2011, (30) | pp.193~220 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract
    By focusing on the 2010 exhibition “Peasant Da Vinci” by Cai Guo-Qiang, one of the most acclaimed contemporary Chinese artists, this paper will examine the anxiety over legibility that was intensified by contemporary art’s engagement with identity politics. Instead of Cai’s trade mark pyrotechnic displays, “Peasant Da Vincis” featured works by ardent peasant inventors ― planes, robots, submarines, and helicopters, made of accessible materials in rural China such as water pump engines and wooden benches -arranged as installations. The exhibition demonstrated Cai’s determined distance from his earlier practices. While Cai’s firework pieces adorned the 2001 APEC in Shanghai and the 2008Olympics in Beijing, “Peasant Da Vincis” was intended to counter the 2010 World Expo held simultaneously in Shanghai, defining its subject as peasant in an effort to contrast the urban development theme of the Expo. Often criticized by Chinese scholars for his preoccupation with an international audience dominated by Euro-American curators and art institutions; in “Peasant Da Vincis”, Cai acknowledged his position as a diasporic artist occupying an in-between zone, eagerly embracing the task to convey messages to both sides. Accompanying Cai’s willingness to take specific positions was his promulgation of a universalist creativity that transcends the antagonistic divide between center and periphery,between current and passé, between elite and subaltern. This ideal of creativity was hardly inhabitable even in the utopian setting of Cai’s exhibition. In opposition to a largely negative critical reception, this paper acknowledges that “Peasant Da Vincis” challenged the popular idea of a smooth globalization of art that has persisted for nearly two decades. Approaching Cai’s “failure” as a reality check on the current conditions of transnational art, this paper will shed new light on familiar issues in the discussion of contemporary Asian art, thus unpacking the tensions between the local and the global, outlining the varied parameters of art’s social intervention, and calling for a theoretical rethinking of avant-garde art in Asia.
  • 8.

    The “Triumph” of Japanese Neo-Pop: A Historical Evaluation

    Hiroko Ikegami | 2011, (30) | pp.221~251 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract
    Who represents contemporary Japanese art today? The first name that comes to anyone’s mind would be Murakami Takashi, who held a successful solo show at the Palaces Versailles in 2010 and also holds the record price by a living Japanese artist with his signature work My Lonesome Cowboy (1998) having sold for $15.2 million in 2007 at Sotheby’s New York. In addition, Murakami’s gift as a curator was widely acknowledged when he organized for New York’s Japan Society in 2005 Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture ,which received an award of the “Best Thematic Museum Show in New York” from AICA USA, an American section of International Association of Art Critics. This paper examines this “triumph” of Japanese Neo-Pop in a historical perspective, by comparing Little Boy to the exhibition entitled The New Japanese Painting and Sculpture, the first large-scale exhibition of Japanese contemporary art in the United States, organized and traveled by the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1965-67. Despite the great distance of four-decades that separates Little Boy and The New Japanese Painting and Sculpture, it is helpful to compare the two exhibitions in terms of agency and discourse, asking such questions as “Who organized the exhibition?” and “What kind of narrative was created for the exhibit?” While the lack of these two ingredients marked The New Japanese Painting and Sculpture a critical failure, Murakami had a clear agenda regarding what to show and how to narrate his exhibit. The two exhibitions are also historically connected through the patronage of John D. Rockefeller 3rd, who promoted cultural exchange between the U.S. and Japan after World War II. While he revived the Japan Society as its president after WWII, his namesake foundation, The JDR 3rd Fund,supported The New Japanese Painting and Sculpture and funded Asia Cultural Council,from which Murakami received a grant to spend one year in New York in 1994-95. This connection points to another important issue in this paper: that is, the presence of America in postwar Japan. If such Anti-Art artists as Shinohara Ushio and Kojima Nobuaki dealt with this question in the 1960s, Murakami differently engaged the same question in the 2000s. With a well-planned discursive strategy, Murakami succeeded in establishing a narrative of Japanese contemporary art and culture that did not depend upon Euro-American models of modernism, through a joint labor with Alexandra Munroe,the then director of Japan Society Gallery who commissioned him to curate Little Boy. However, that narrative was based on his nationalistic historical determinism and narrative of victimhood based on Japan’s experience of two atomic bombs and defeat of World War II, which could undermine the actual diversity of Japanese contemporary art. As will be demonstrated with the case of Teruya Yūken, how the “U.S. problems” in postwar Japan is confronted varies from one artist to another within each generation. Through this historical analysis, this paper will present the “triumph” of Japanese Neo-Pop as an ambivalent legacy for the future generation of Japanese artists.
  • 9.

    Feminist Forms, International Exhibitions, and the Postcolonial Woman Artist

    Sonal Khullar | 2011, (30) | pp.253~282 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract
    This paper examines the institutionalization of feminist art in the West, and specifically, the inclusion of feminist art and artists from nonwestern centers in exhibitions such as Global Feminisms (2007, Brooklyn Museum of Art) and WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (2007, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles). Both exhibitions invoked the figure of the postcolonial woman artist even as their curators subsumed multiple histories of feminism within a single overarching narrative centered in the West. Nonetheless, through the tensions they produced, these exhibitions pointed to the difficulties of simultaneously establishing a unified project of feminism in which artists and artworks participate and allowing for multiple narratives and historical contingencies through which they come into being. This paper considers the problem of locating contemporary Indian artists in ‘purely’ national contexts even as it analyzes the imperfect translations from the national to the global that Global Feminisms and WACK! entailed. It also discusses an exhibition I conceived and developed in 2007-08, with curator Vidya Shivadas, “Fluid Structures:Gender and Abstraction in India, 1973-2008”, at Vadehra Art Gallery in New Delhi. The exhibition, which identified and theorized links between two generations of women artists in India, was in part a response to feminist art history and criticism in the United States.
  • 10.

    North Korean Art Responds to the Outside World

    Brian Myers | 2011, (30) | pp.283~316 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract
    The rapid deterioration of the information cordon that once sealed North Korea off from the outside world has had manifold effects on cultural life inside the country. The influx of South Korean culture and information has been of particular importance, as it threatens to undermine North Korea’s official myths. Unable to restore the cordon of old, the regime now finds itself forced to compete with heterodox culture for citizens’ attention. This state of affairs has brought about certain changes in the official culture, including the visual arts, that merit attention; the beauty ideal, for example, already shows clear signs of “South Koreanization”. The past decade or so has also seen a sharp increase in foreign travel to North Korea, and with it a commercialization of the North Korean art industry that includes the production-to-order of ironic propaganda-style pictures for foreign tourists. This development, too, has already had obvious effects on the country’s art scene, and may well further undermine artists’ support for the official culture. The following article is an attempt to introduce readers to the current state of the visual arts in North Korea and to discuss the ways in which the art scene appears to be responding to the influx of outside culture.
  • 11.

    Contemporary Korean Women Artists and the Exploration of Identity

    Jin Whui Yeon | 2011, (30) | pp.317~346 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract
    Korea became one of the most exuberant and productive centers in the world art scene. A number of artists actively participate in the well-known international art fairs and many Korean cities host world-wide art biennales. Artfacts.net, an international online museum guide, announced top 1,000 ratings of the most influential artists living or dead, five Korean women artists are included; Sooja Kim,Lee Bul, Jeong-a Koo, Haegue Yang, and Nikki Lee. While Sooja Kim and Lee Bul took their themes from Korean women’s culture for their early works, Jeong-a Koo, Haegue Yang and Nikki Lee, who started out later, have shown somewhat different ways of expression and themes. Working at France, Jeong-a Koo is well known for her new media and installation pieces. In her most well-known exhibition <Espace 315> of Centre Pompidou, the whole space is filled with geometric structures scattered on a huge space, suggesting connection to minimalism. However, she tackles some unexpected subject matters, such as a heap of sugar cubes. By repetitively displaying or accumulating small and trivial items, Koo’s works are opposed to the gigantism of minimalism in 1960s. Haegue Yang deals domestic utilities that stimulate the senses such as perfume injector,thermal heater, light bulbs, electric fan, air conditioner and humidifier. ‘Space’ is the biggest concern to her, and ‘blind’ becomes the most important subject matter. The artist said that she explores the relationship between space and people through the changeable boundary. Nikki Lee works on the variability and meaninglessness of social boundaries ― groups,races, nation, sex, culture ― by pretending to change into members of various different groups. Her works have a deconstructive nature because she chooses visible characteristics in positing a group and rejects a one-sided relationship between the whole and the parts. As the true nature of identity is ambiguous, a few apparent characteristics or socially recognized features are changeable and open. To discuss these women artists, Homi Bhabha's theory on mimicry, hybridity, and ambivalence is helpful. Bhabha considered the phenomenons of ambivalence and hybridity generated by the activities in the colonies to be the origins of significance, and thought that cultural negotiation, not the power of absolute or unilateral authority, was the result of desires and natural practices. According to Bhabha, art in Asia, including Korea, is always ambivalent, and it continuously breaks up among the appearances of authoritative Western art, repetition and fragments as difference. The structural contradiction of theories developed in the West and signs sometimes enervates the existence of signs that present 'Korean' images or even uproot their basis. For example, Haegue Yang’s <Yearning Melancholy Red>, Western critics often mentioned the understanding of senses and space, or related it to the Abstract Expressionism or Op art. However, there is ‘ambiguity’, which innately involves invalidation of boundaries that can't be easily defined under the Western perspectives. Through the screen(bal) that integrates as well as divides space and paper that blocks and passes light, winds, air and sounds, Koreans have experienced the trans-boundary condition that is open to external factors. There is an ambi-existing quality in Korean culture, which is distinguished from the ambivalence of the West. While the ambivalence signifies the coexistence of different things under the premise of contradiction, Korean ambi-existing quality refers to the duplicity of tolerance that enables the coexistence of contrary things without contradiction. Contemporary Korean artists exercise trans-boundariness that can transcend the epistemological premise of the West on ‘undefinable’ categories, and achieve positive simultaneity of elements that look contradictory to one another through hybridity. As a traditional Korean house does, Korean culture doubts the existence of clear boundaries,categories and division between things external and oneself. Stimulation from outside always exists, and it ceaselessly comes inside and out. Works of Jeong-a Koo, Haegue Yang and Nikki Lee all attempted to transgress the boundary. They created works that transgressed categorization and boundaries through different experiences that enabled them to break away from the framework of Western epistemology, and the evaluation of their works should be delivered through non-Western criticism and writing.