It was during the 1920s that the study of the Korean aesthetic found intraditional art began. This research has continued to the present day,and the discovery of Korean aesthetic characteristics identified from thisstudy contributes to understanding the identity of Korean culture. Classic beauty in architecture and sculpture is defined by Eckardtas having symmetrical structure, balance, and impartiality, and asense of serenity, while revealing a distinct artless naivet accompaniedby moderation without excessive decoration. Yanagi Muneyoshis con-cept of the aesthetics of sorrow and folk art has been positivelyevaluated, and Ko Yu-seops planless planning illustrated by the useof natural timber can be called a pursuit of naturalness. Choe Sun-uargues that the Korean aesthetic is marked by plain colors and clothingand restrained expression. Cho Yo-han emphasizes the shamanic fea-tures represented by nonghyeonseong (freely vibrating without adher-ence to formality). Humor in Korean art as an aesthetic category hasalso gained wide recognition from many scholars.It would be unfair to say that one alone among these defines theKorean aesthetic. The Korean aesthetic is characterized by the classicalconcept of unification in diversity, as found in the works of Lee Ufan,Kim Hwan-gi, and Kim Chang-ryeol. In contemporary craft and industri-al production, traditional Korean colors can easily be applied to modernclothing, works of art, daily necessities, and household electronics.
This paper explores the beauty of Korean traditional architecture from acontemporary viewpoint. Because the practice of modern architecture inKorea is based on the Western model, this paper discusses the topic inrelation to the Western perspective of architectural beauty. Also, becausethe beauty of architecture is very closely related to cultural views of archi-tecture, this paper also discusses the beauty of Korean architecture inrelation to the general views of architecture. The issues addressed in thepaper are as follows: 1) the object of the beauty of Korean architecture, 2)the beauty of architectural form, 3) the beauty of architectural space, 4)the experience of beauty, and 5) the purpose of beauty. In short, thebeauty of traditional Korean architecture is not necessarily expressed inbuildings as independent units, but in the totality of the architecturalsite. The form and space of Korean architecture are not the goal ofarchitectural expression but simply form the backdrop of everyday life.Thus, the beauty of form and space should also be observed accordingto inherent cultural view of them. The way to experience the beauty ofKorean architecture is not necessarily through the visual experience of aspatial setting, but the continuous, temporal experience of responsivebodily feeling. The purpose of beauty is not to achieve a transcendentalideal through rational appraoch, but to vitalize lively quality of energyand to harmonize with the existing order of nature.
Traditional Korean music is classified into aak (ceremonial music)minsogak (folk music) and jeongak (classical music) or pungnyubangmusic, in which the traditionalaak and minsogak are merged. First, among aak, jongmyo jeryeak expresses the merit and virtue ofthe successive royal families, and munmyo jeryeak the learning andvirtue of the Confucian school. From this perspective, the lyrics, rhyth-mic structure, and restraint and simplicity of the dance movementsexpressed in ak embody the doctrine that great music is supposed tobe easy, and clearly reveal beauty of solemnity and grandeur.Next, jeongak best demonstrates the refined nature of the Koreanpeople. Sujecheon possesses the beauty of slow continuity and thebeauty of strength and gentleness that lead to the beauty of neutrali-ty, the ultimate principle of the Confucian cultivation of mind.Yeongsan hoesang also demonstrates the beauty of neutrality,through the beauty of slow continuity.Meanwhile, pansoris aesthetics can be found in the various formsof traditional literary art, a dynamic voice, and Confucian moral aes-thetic. Also, one cycle(batang) of sanjo as a whole moves from tensionto relaxation, but in its relationship to each rhythm or within the samephrase, the contrast of tension and relaxation shows an orderly struc-ture in its own way, spread across several layers.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the ideological tensions betweenJeong Do-jeon (1342-1398), who launched criticism against Buddhism,and Gihwa (1376-1433) who attempted to defend Buddhism inresponse to Confucian attacks during the early Joseon dynasty. Jeongand his Confucian colleagues first opened fire on the Buddhist circlewhere corruption was rampant. Accordingly, on the part of Buddhistpractitioners, any answers were to be made in response to this criti-cism. However, Gihwas remarks did not deal with the main point ofthe Neo-Confucian attacks. Rather, he attempted to reconcile with theConfucian counterpart in terms of the accommodation of Buddhism toConfucianism without presenting any explanation as to why Buddhismneeded to engage in worldly politics and how they could cope with theproblems caused by the secularization of Buddhism. As a result, theBuddhist-Confucian debate in the early Joseon dynasty ended up beinga victory for the Neo-Confucian camp, which presented itself as ameans to synthetically integrate their principles into the real world.Moreover, through its triumph, Confucian philosophy took an exclusiveplace as the political creed of the Joseon dynasty.
Yi Hwang was a Korean scholar who further developed Neo-Confucian-ism on the foundation of Zhu Xis philosophy. However, when some ofthe Neo-Confucian concepts and logic found in Zhu Xis philosophy areapplied to Yi Hwangs theoretical framework, the following problemsarise: (1) his emphasis on Xinjing fuzhu (Selected Scriptures on theMind-Heart with Notes) and personality cultivation is rather inclinedtowards Yangmings philosophy; (2) the concept of the issuance of idefies the very definition of i; (3) and the interpretation of Heaven as atranscendental being is highly controversial. Yi Hwang suggested thatthe ultimate Neo-Confucian goal is to practice its ideology in everydaylife. This affected the formation of his theory and thus causes theseproblems. Consequently, one cannot discuss the merits of Yi Hwangssimseong theory without examining his cultivation theory. ToegyesPhilosophy was produced in the course of dynamic theoretical interac-tion where ones learning is combined with cultivation and culminatesin practice. Therefore, pursuit of practice is the main constituent, notan obstacle, to the completion of Toegyes philosophy.
This article analyzes the emerging image of educational managermothers in the context of South Koreas neoliberal transformation,including educational reforms and the rapid expansion of the privateafter-school market. Although maternal support for childrens educa-tion is not entirely new in South Korea, the escalating private after-school market demands much more of mothers than formal schoolingever did. By critically scrutinizing the continuity and discontinuity ofthis emerging maternal image between the old and new rhetoric, thisarticle examines the newly intensified maternal roles for childrens edu-cation. In particular, by analyzing the media discourse, this articleexplores new aspects of this maternal subjectivity, which is closelyintertwined with South Koreas neoliberal transformations and its callsfor newly creative and competitive citizens. While resonating with theold ambivalent tone and centering on the experiences of middle-classfull-time mothers, this discourse reconstructs educational managermothers as necessary figures for childrens educational success. Thismaternal discourse thus enjoins diverse women to become managermothers, by obscuring the classed aspect of this image and emphasiz-ing the specific ability (neungnyeok) or nature (jajil)of mothers formanaging their childrens education.