1st Edition

The Korean War and Postmemory Generation Contemporary Korean Arts and Films

By Dong-Yeon Koh Copyright 2021
    244 Pages 65 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    244 Pages 65 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This pioneering volume navigates cultural memory of the Korean War through the lens of contemporary arts and film in South Korea for the last two decades.

    Cultural memory of the Korean War has been a subject of persistent controversy in the forging of South Korean postwar national and ideological identity. Applying the theoretical notion of “postmemory,” this book examines the increasingly diversified attitudes toward memories of the Korean War and Cold War from the late 1990s and onward, particularly in the demise of military dictatorships. Chapters consider efforts from younger generation artists and filmmakers to develop new ways of representing traumatic memories by refusing to confine themselves to the tragic experiences of survivors and victims. Extensively illustrated, this is one of the first volumes in English to provide an in-depth analysis of work oriented around such themes from 12 renowned and provocative South Korean artists and filmmakers. This includes documentary photographs, participatory public arts, independent women’s documentary films, and media installations.

    The Korean War and Postmemory Generation will appeal to students and scholars of film studies, contemporary art, and Korean history.

    1. "Late Photography" and Cold War Memories  2. The Rise of DMZ Ecotourism and the Real DMZ Project  3. Documentaries on Family Tragedy: My Father’s Emails and Dear Pyongyang  4. Affective Memory: Sounds and Smells of the Korean War  5. Monuments, Memorials and Museums for War Veterans in South Korea


    Dong-Yeon Koh is an art critic and independent art historian currently serving on the Seoul International ALT Cinema & Media Festival Committee. She is an adjunct lecturer at Seoul National University.

    "Dong Yeon Koh’s monograph explores the polemical issues of memory, post-memory and trauma from the Korea War to the present in South Korea. With the diverse theoretical framework of post-memory, Koh analyzes documentary photography, Korean films and moving images by contemporary Korea artists who are often distant from the historical events and tragedies and have no direct experiences of them. It is essential reading for understanding post-war Korean history, visual art and culture." 

    - Yeon Shim Chung (Professor of Art History and Theory, Hongik University, Seoul, Korea)