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The Arts of the Late Choson PeriodAnd the Aesthetics of Ho 豪 or “Unrestraint"

  • Korean Language & Literature
  • 2005, (54), pp.181-210
  • Publisher : Korean Language & Literature
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

신은경 1

1우석대

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article intends to examine the aesthetic characteristics of the arts of the late Choson period. This issue presupposes that the aesthetic characteristics of a certain age has a close relationship with the spirit of the times. A brief survey of literature notably the saseol sijo and the yadam, music, dance, and painting of the time reveals that these artistic forms have some salient features in common: a free-spirited mind, impromptu style in composition and performance, and artistic expressions based on sensuousness and materialism. This article clarifies that ho or “unrestraint” can constitute an aesthetic term to cover all of these features. With the exploration of the origin of the word “ho” and a historical ground that the “ho” can be placed in the boundary of aesthetics, the aesthetic connotation of the word is elaborated in section Ⅱ-3. As an aesthetic consciousness, the ho’s characteristics can be described as follows: first, it is an aesthetic type born of the principle of the yang, that is, masculinity, second, it is an aesthetic product of an extroverted mind toward the world which derived from the explosion of inner vitality and energy, third, it is an aesthetic consciousness based on an untrammelled mind that refuses any fixed frame and regulation, fourth, it is an aesthetic type that is intimately related to materialism. Finally, in section Ⅲ, it is articulated that how various artistic forms of the late Choson period such as the saseol sijo and the yadam, folk music, pungsokhwa or “genre painting,” and the talch’um or “mask dance” embody the aesthetic characteristics of “ho.”

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