Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Art as a mirror and window on cultural diversity in South Korea: A critical analysis of artworks by three contemporary artists with implications for art education
by Kang, Yoonjung, Ph.D., The Florida State University, 2014, 233; 3638016
Abstract (Summary)

Today's societies are becoming ever more culturally diverse. A traditionally mono-cultural society, South Korea is in the midst of remarkably rapid changes that have made cultural diversity a widely discussed topic in education and many other fields. Though art educators in South Korea have adopted some of the longstanding multicultural approaches developed by other countries, cultural diversity issues in South Korean society must be examined in the context of the country's unique history and cultural values. Based on the assumption that art reflects life, this study used a pragmatically grounded contextual art criticism model to examine art dealing with cultural diversity by three South Korean contemporary artists whose work may function as a barometer of our social and cultural climate. For the data collection, the researcher takes a role as the critic and three artworks from each of the selected three artists were chosen as research objects. The works of the three participating artists were carefully and critically analyzed in their authentic context including document examination and personal interview.

The critical analysis revealed several themes related to increased cultural diversity in South Korean society today: the influence of media on cultural understanding, a self-centered view of culture, less access to authentic traditional culture, missing the uniqueness and originality of local culture, generalization and prejudice vs. individuality, and multicultural groups in South Korean society. Though the role and the direction of the gaze may differ for each of the artists studied, all share the conviction that art can change society. Because art education is a means to this end, implications for art education are included for those who wish to meaningfully incorporate cultural diversity issues in South Korea classrooms. The findings of the study and their analysis point to the ways art can function as a mirror and window on today's culturally diverse societies in South Korea and many other places in the world.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Anderson, Tom
Commitee: Broome, Jeffrey, Gussak, David, Henne, Carolyn
School: The Florida State University
Department: Art Education
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 76/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Art education
Keywords: Art criticism, Art education, Contemporary art, Cultural diversity, Qualitative research
Publication Number: 3638016
ISBN: 978-1-321-21477-2
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