Kim Chi-Minjung Art Analysis

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As many scholars argue, minjung art came to the forefront following the Kwangju massacre. Because it was such a devastating event for the “people,” crude woodblock paintings are often used to portray the graphic and horrendous events that occurred. In Tomiyama Taeko’s piece [fig. 4], there is a naked and dead woman laying on the ground, her insides being shown to the audience to demonstrate the tragic future of her child not only because it lost its mother in the massacre, but also because it would have to live in a world without democracy. At the same time, the baby appears to be outside the mother’s carcass, showing the brutality of the massacre in which people’s stomachs were torn apart, and their babies left to die in the open. The nakedness…show more content…
Hoffman writes that Tomiyama was part of a “core group of artists that informed the first generation of Korean minjung artists,” and although she was criticized for being influenced by Western art, Tomiyama was nevertheless an important figure that contributed to the start of the artistic resistance movement. Another artist that is part of this core group is Hong Song-dam. Hong’s “May 27 – Daedong Sesang” painted in 1984 [fig. 5] also depicts the Kwangju massacre, but perhaps in a brighter light than Tomiyama’s piece. Daedong Sesang, or “The United World,” refers to a harmonious united utopia in Confucian ideology. However, as many people will remember, the result of May 27 1980 was far from utopic. Nevertheless, what Hong is trying to depict is perhaps more of a celebration of a sort of victory either of the success in collectivization, or the fact that the sacrifices in Kwangju was another step taken in the fight for democracy. The piece is satirical – how can the students be celebrating with smiles and kimbap while covered in blood and holding

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