Cultural identity and representation in Korean contemporary art

erde_animation_crop1Earth, flash image, 2008

The beginning of this study consists how to interpret national specificity in contemporary art. I will analysis represented Korean contemporary art exhibitions focused on cultural identity. At this time I would like to introduce two major ways of thinking about cultural identity, the abstract of definition is as below.

The first proposition defines cultural identity in terms of collective one true self, hiding inside the many others, more superficial imposed selves, which people with a shared history and origin hold in common. Within the terms of this definition, our cultural identities reflect the historical experiences and common cultural properties which provide us. The concept of cultural identity played a critical role on the discourse which have a respectable expanded the boundaries of contemporary art. In order to rediscover this identity, we should be consider the profound research about today’s art tendency in this context, the analysis of national identity will be one of methodology to search for new forms of cultural identity.

The second proposition of cultural identity is related to first one but there is different view point of cultural identity. It recognizes that significant differences which are accompany with ontological questions like “what we really are” or “what we have become”. As compared with first sense, we can understand cultural identity reflecting on the present state of contemporary art. In other words, if the first one is related with historical context of cultural identity, the second one is connected with current issue of contemporary art.

These two perspectives are different but they are possible to intersect each other because identity discourse in contemporary art comes from multiplicity it means cultural identity also open the way of diversity for this discourse.

Before closing the definition, I would like to bring out the origin of this subject it began to personal interest to discover my national identity. But I don’t want to tied up nationalism, and I hope this work will become the passage looks toward to variety issues in contemporary art.


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