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Beyond Imperial AestheticsTheories of Art and Politics in East Asia$
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Mayumo Inoue and Steve Choe

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9789888455874

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888455874.001.0001

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Reconciling the Animal and the City in Photography

Reconciling the Animal and the City in Photography

Kim Kichan’s Works in 1970s Korea

(p.174) 8 Reconciling the Animal and the City in Photography
Beyond Imperial Aesthetics

Youngjune Lee

Hong Kong University Press

By carefully analyzing South Korean photographer Kim Kichan's works on the ordinary people's lives in the streets of Seoul in the 1970s, this chapter problematizes two photographic ideologies that have informed South Korea's anticolonial minjung nationalism: photography as a truthful record of reality and as a nostalgic emblem of the past. Instead of indexing such notions of linear history, this chapter treats Kim Kichan's works as the interfaces located among diverse forces and elements in the matrix of history that far exceed the nationalist horizon of minjung imaginary. More specifically, Kim Kichan's photographs foreground the three-partite relationship ofhuman-animal-environment in narrow streets, providing a significant axis around which the very notion of the human and its agency are redefined.

Keywords:   Photography, Animality, Becoming, South Korea, Minjung

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