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The Meaning of ‘Naturalism’ in Korean Art Discourse: Focusing on Kim Won-yong’s ‘Naturalsim’ and Lee Yil’s ‘Pan-naturalism’

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2024, 71(), pp.118-136
  • DOI : 10.17527/JASA.71.0.06
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Received : December 10, 2023
  • Accepted : January 31, 2024
  • Published : February 28, 2024

Jeong-eun Kim 1

1홍익대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to delve into the distinct aspects of Korean naturalism evident in both classical and contemporary art, centered on Kim Won-yong’s “Naturalism” and bridging modern Korean aesthetics with Lee Yil’s “Pan-naturalism” in a chronological framework. Yanagi Muneyoshi, Andre Eckardt, and Ko Yu-seop identified the characteristic of Korean art as “not artificial” and embraced it as “nature.” Yanagi attributed this non-artificial quality to Korea’s adaptation of its national character, shaped by its tumultuous history influenced by the geographical traits of the Korean Peninsula. Eckardt and Ko Yu-seop viewed Korean art’s non-artificiality as a reflection of pre-modern aspects of the Joseon Dynasty. Kim Won-yong discerned the essence of these discourses, defining the features of Korean art as “Naturalism.” He portrayed the Korean Peninsula as a peaceful place, and attributed the mild and optimistic national character to its source of naturalism. Lee Yil expanded Kim Won-yong’s naturalism concept to contemporary Korean art, validating Dansaekhwa as a distinct historical genre embodying our indigenous perspective of nature, coining the term “Pan-naturalism.” Lee Yil traced the philosophical roots of Pan-naturalism, particularly focusing on Taoist philosophy, possibly influenced by Lee Ufan’s critique of representationalism grounded in phenomenological reductionism. The folklore notion of “non-artificiality” and the Taoist concept of “non-action” have been commonly perceived as closely linked ideas, eventually evolving into a recognized form of Korean naturalism.

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