Form Makes Good: Tansaekhwa and Postwar Korean Art


Asia Society – Orientations Art Lecture Series

Evening presentation by Joan Kee, Assistant Professor, History of Art, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Drinks reception: 6:15 pm
Presentation: 7:00 pm
Close: 8:00 pm

A crucial 20th-century Korean artistic movement, Tansaekhwa (monochromatic painting) also became one of its most famous and successful. Promoted in Seoul, Tokyo, and Paris from the mid-1970s, Tansaekhwa grew to be the international face of contemporary Korean art and a cornerstone of contemporary Asian art. Yet its most profound legacy lies in how its representative works negotiated multiple currents central to postwar Korean art. From challenges arising from the separation between oil and ink painting to navigating the treacherous divisions between art and politics, artists like Lee Ufan, Park Seobo, Ha Chonghyun, Kwon Young-woo and Yun Hyongkeun foregrounded many of the tensions through which postwar Korean art was defined.

Joan Kee is the author of Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method. Currently an assistant professor of art history at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, she holds the first university position in North America specifically created for the study of modern and contemporary art in Asia. Since the late 1990s, she has written widely on East and Southeast Asian art for such publications as Artforum, Art Bulletin, Art History, Oxford Art Journal, Third Text, and the catalogue for the Korean Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale. Holding a JD degree from Harvard Law School, as well as a PhD in art history from NYU, she is interested in artistic responses to the law in the context of legal developments in post-1965 America, the focus of her latest book project. Her other interests include the problem of scale; revisionist histories of postwar abstraction, particularly of monochrome painting; issues of globalization and form; and modernity in ink painting.


Co-presented with

Event Details

Thu 17 Oct 2013
6:30 - 8 p.m.
9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Buy Tickets
HK$180 Asia Society members; HK$230 non-members
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