Past Exhibition

2013 Art Sonje Lounge Project #2: A Great Mission of The 20C Comics – The Comics and The Age

February 21 – April 07, 2013

Lounge 1F Art Sonje Center

2013 Art Sonje Lounge Project #2: A Great Mission of The 20C Comics – The Comics and The Age

Living in the world of the digital comics, we have sentiment and nostalgia for the ‘comic books’. <A Great Mission of the 20C Comics- The Comics and The Age> is an exhibition where we look into the Zeitgeist of the Korean Society impressed in the comic books of each period.

Over 100 years, the korean comics can be categorized into 6 periods in accordance with the socio-cultural and generational change ; Beginning, Early Days, Growing, Developing 1, Developing 2, New Challenge. The ‘Beginning period’ of the Korean Comics was starting with the cartoons of Lee, Do Young published in the first issue of Daehan Minbo in 1909 and lasted until the Liberation on August 15, 1945.

The ‘Early days’ was the period when modern comics began in earnest in Korea and covered to the times of the Liberation, of the Korean war, and of the April 19 Revolution, from August 15, 1945 to the April 19, 1960. The times just after the military coup on May 16, 1961 until 1969 was the period of ‘Developing’ when various comics appeared and activated the ‘comic book shop culture’, pouring the star writers and many best-selling works and forming its own genre of culture.

The period of ‘Developing 1’ from 1970 until 1979 was the era of the dictatorship extended since the military coup and the ’70s culture of the korean society was well revealed in the comics in those days. During the period of New Military Dictatorship, Singunbu, from 1980 until 1989, the end of the ‘comic book shop culture’ was overlapped with the beginning of the era of ‘comic magazines’ and shifted into the next period of ‘Develop 2’ of the korean Comics.

And the period of comic magazines in full scale in 1990s and the web-toon era of 2000s was the period of ‘a New Challenge’, characterized by the representation and appearance of the new media and by the fast change and circulation of a trend. The cartoon itself is a good media which effectively represents the Zeitgeist. Focusing on this fact, this exhibition is composed of two parts which depict Korea’s ever-changing Zeitgeist, Period of Early Days (Part 1, ‘50s) and Period of Developing 1 (Part 2, ’70s).

Part 1: Diverse Worlds of The 70’s Comics – Developing Period (1970-1979)

In Part 1 we first represent the comics of the period of the Developing 1 in the 1970s. Published in the comic magazines such as <SoNyun JungAng(JungAng Youth)>, <Okedongmu( Arm around)>, <SaeSoNyun(New Youth)> that were very popular and familiar to the people, the comics in the 1970s with representative characters such as ‘KkeoBeongYi’, ‘Robot Taegwon V’ and ‘Dokgo Tak’ provide the current comics readers a familiar approach to the memories to those days. This is the main reason why we start this exhibition with the comics in the 1970s. In addtion, in the 1970s various social and cultural changes in the Yushin system happened so that the impact of the external environments and the limits of the comic contents interacted so close to each other. Shortly after the announcement of the Yushin Constitution, the enforcement of the bad influence comics proceeded annually. However, the comic book shop, known as the derailing places of the children and youth, were flourishing continuously and in the comics read in those places as the form of cheerful, action, ghost, and romance stories, the enduring lives in those tough times depicted in them were deeply impregnated in the bottom of the heart of the comic readers, even until now.

February 21 - April 07, 2013
Lounge 1F Art Sonje Center
Curated by