Lecture Looks at Development of the Modern Korean Art Canon

The Asian Stud­ies Pro­gram of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawaii School of Pacif­ic and Asian Stud­ies and the East-West Cen­ter will present a lec­ture by art his­to­ri­an Vir­ginia H. Moon Thurs­day, May 5, 2011. The title of Moon’s lec­ture is “The Graft­ing of a Canon: The Pol­i­tics of Korea’s Nation­al Trea­sures and the For­ma­tion of an Art His­to­ry.” It will take place in the East-West Cen­ter Art Gallery from 12:00 noon to to 1:30 p.m.

Vir­ginia Moon is an adjunct pro­fes­sor of the his­to­ry of Asian art at Mt. San Anto­nio Col­lege in Wal­nut, Cal­i­for­nia. She earned her B.A. in art his­to­ry at Yale Uni­ver­si­ty, her master’s degree in East Asian region­al stud­ies at Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty, and her Ph.D. in art his­to­ry at the Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. She is a can­di­date for a Korea spe­cial­ist posi­tion in the Asian Stud­ies Pro­gram.

Moon’s lec­ture, based on her dis­ser­ta­tion research, will deal with the devel­op­ment of today’s Kore­an art canon and in par­tic­u­lar the trans­for­ma­tion of the Nation­al Trea­sures sys­tem estab­lished under the Japan­ese colo­nial gov­ern­ment. That sys­tem, used in an attempt to val­i­date Japan­ese inter­pre­ta­tions of Kore­an his­to­ry, was retained by South Kore­an offi­cials after the occu­pa­tion in an effort to fur­ther their own polit­i­cal goals. The sys­tem of Nation­al Trea­sures has thus been inher­ent­ly polit­i­cal since its incep­tion and has, Moon argues, “shaped the per­cep­tion of his­to­ry, defined Kore­an art his­to­ry, mold­ed the way muse­ums present the art objects, and con­tributed to defin­ing nation­al iden­ti­ty itself.”

The lec­ture is free and open to the pub­lic. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, con­tact Tess Con­stan­ti­no at the Asian Stud­ies Pro­gram: tele­phone (808) 956‑6085 or e-mail t.constantino@hawaii.edu.