[KS] Choson Dynasty Sexuality

Frank Hoffmann hoffmann at koreaweb.ws
Sun Mar 2 11:45:31 EST 2008

>Shin Yun-bok aka Hyewon was not always so "innocent."

Quote:  J. Scott Burgeson

About the descriptions J. Scott Burgeson posted:
Just wanted to note that this all has extensively 
and intensely (!) been discussed in Korean art 
magazines and all kind of other media since the 
late 1990s. The authenticity of pornographic art 
work by famous Chosôn period painters that was 
rediscovered in the 1990s, by artists Sin 
Yun-bok, Kim Hong-do, and others, was at first 
questioned. That, however, was a rather short 
discussion, and it was generally accepted that 
what can't be true still is true. You may want to 
note that these images are much less 
sophisticated than, for example, Japanese erotic 
images, which is why I call them pornographic -- 
there is little to no sub-text, other than in 
Japanese art of the same period. As was pointed 
out by many other writers, these were basically 
1:1 copies of Manchu-Chinese art works -- you do 
not need to be an art historian to see this. All 
that was 'replaced' in these "Koreanizations" are 
whatever was left of cloth items and hair styles 
in the depicted scenes (Manchu-Chinese 
items/fashions now depicted as Korean). During 
the colonial period some Korean artists then 
again copied these images, as they were 
especially popular among Japanese collectors (one 
example is Ch'oe U-sôk, well known for his 
Tan'gun portrait and his 1929 depiction of 
Admiral Yi Sun-sin in Japanese warrior's garb 
[sic], also known for the Christian format [e.g. 
the triptych] used in his brush-and-ink paintings 
that depict Korean heroes of various periods). 
The porn industry was always a very lucrative 
one. Do we need to know more?


Frank Hoffmann

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