Home > Catalogo > Studi e ricerche > Cultural Exchanges Between Korea and the West > When Camera Encountered ‘Chosŏn Beauties’
cover
cover

When Camera Encountered ‘Chosŏn Beauties’

Kisaeng Photographs, Tourism, and Postcards from the 1880s to Colonial-Period Korea

Yizhou Wang    University of Washington, Seattle    

VIEW PDF DOWNLOAD PDF

abstract

This chapter contributes to an under-researched topic: kisaeng 妓生 (Korean female entertainers or courtesans) in early photographs of Korea associated with tourism. It examines the photographic representation of kisaeng from the perspectives of American travelers and Japanese colonial agents respectively. The second section focuses on the period between the 1880s and 1910 when Korea began to open up to the world. It explores the earliest photographic records of kisaeng through the lens of American travelers, set parallel to descriptions from their travel writings. The third section, set during the colonial period (1910‑45), identifies a repertoire of visual practices associated with nation-building politics that celebrated kisaeng as idealized and civilized ‘Chosŏn Beauties’, or icons of traditional Korean culture, through the medium of photographic postcards initiated by the Japanese colonizers. It argues that such practices, relying on resources drawn from Korean entertainment culture, attempted to reshape Korea’s national identity and create an imagery of a ‘feminized’ Korea under Japanese colonial rule.

Pubblicato
30 Agosto 2023
Accettato
10 Dicembre 2022
Presentato
24 Novembre 2022
Lingua
EN
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-718-0
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-717-3

Keywords: KisaengNation buildingPostcardKorean photographyTourism

Copyright: © 2023 Yizhou Wang. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.