Youngna Kim, "Korean Art Since 1945: Challenges and Changes" (Brill, 2024)


In this beautiful new book, Dr. Youngna Kim draws on her vast understanding of Korean art to provide an overview of the peninsula’s contemporary art scene. Korean artists have become increasingly active at an international level, with many being invited for residencies and exhibitions all over the world. Nonetheless, for various reasons, the general understanding of Korean contemporary art remains insufficient.

Korean Art since 1945: Challenges and Changes (Brill, 2024) is volume 9 in the series Modern Asian Art and Visual Culture. The book draws on primary sources to discuss the ideological stakes that affected the art world, modernist art vs. political art, and the fluidity of concepts such as tradition and national identity. Moreover, the book also has a chapter on the art of North Korea. The book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in Korean studies or contemporary art.

Dr. Youngna Kim is Professor Emerita of the Department of Archaeology and Art History at Seoul National University and was the Director of the National Museum of Korea from 2011 until 2016. Dr. Kim received her bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College and her Ph.D. in the History of Art from The Ohio State University. She has many publications to her name about Korea’s ever-evolving art scene.

Buy Youngna Kim’s new book about Korean art before independence (only available in Korean) here.

Leslie Hickman is a translator and writer. She has an MA in Korean Studies from Yonsei University and lives in Seoul, South Korea. You can follow her activities at

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Leslie Hickman

Leslie Hickman is a translator and writer who earned her MA in Korean Studies from Yonsei University. On Twitter.

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