[KS] Yi Sang (Ha Yoong) Illustrations

hoffmann at koreaweb.ws hoffmann at koreaweb.ws
Thu Mar 26 00:20:34 EDT 2009

Hi Kevin, and All: 

Yi Sang was a trained architect, and after his graduation in March 1929 he
started to work as a draftsman for the Chsen Government-General's Bureau of
Public Construction [朝鮮総督府内務局建築課]. The cover designs
you are looking for are from the architecture journal _Chsen to
kenchiku_『朝鮮と建築』... by art historians, critics, and other
copy masters on a very regular basis misquoted as 『朝鮮の建築』,
which would indicate it is a publication about Korean architecture. But
this journal, published from 1930 to 1944, was indeed not so much about
Korean architecture as it was about world architecture and its introduction
to Korea, about city development models, if we wanted to use more recent
terminology. Articles from other international archtecture journals such as
_Wasmuths Monatshefte fr Baukunst_, _Art et decoration_, etc. were
translated into Japanese or referenced. Adolf Behne's (1885-1948) book _Der
moderne Zweckbau_ (1925,
_The Modern Functional Building_) was put out in
Japanese just three or four years after it was published in Germany. Behne,
who had also written extensively about Cubism and about Bruno Taut
(1880-1938) and Peter Behrens (1868-1940), thereby preparing Taut's amazing
popularity and influence in Japan, is also known as the father of
"Expressionist architecture," a term he invented. He was also responsible
for the introduction of detailed information on the Werkbund and the
BAUHAUS School. Yi Sang must sure have greatly been influenced by his
writings on Expressionist architecture and keenly followed up. _Chsen to
kenchiku _did what similar journals and books did in Japan, just for Korea:
introducing recent developments in international architecture -- at the
time that mostly meant BAUHAUS and other similar functional crimes against
humanity. Yi Sang's engagement with the journal is therefore no
coincidence. That wasn't really what you asked, but I thought it might be
of interest to
discuss some connections. 

I can only help you with a better image of the vol. 1 cover of _Chsen to
kenchiku, _already reprinted in _Mu_ (there in b/w) -- this here is in
color. For the other two you may have to take a photo from the original
journal (probably no copies in U.S. libraries). 

Also, in 1930 Yi Sang succeeded to get one of his oil paintings, his
self-portrait, exhibited in the "Western-style Department" of the annual
Chsen Art Exhibition (organized by the colonial government), the most
prestigious exhibition in colonial Korea. You find this on page 56 of vol.
10 (1931) of the exhibition catalogue. The photo quality is again pretty
horrible, and the original painting has disappeared. 

Please see the two photos attached here. 

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