Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access (SIA Only)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art Business

First Advisor

Kejia Wu

Second Advisor

Kathy Battista


This thesis is an attempt to pave a new perspective of Dansaekhwa thorough examinations of the existing criticisms on Dansaekhwa. Having emerged in the mid- 1970s, Dansaekhwa is acknowledged as the “Korean Modernism” in the history of contemporary art. Any concrete form is deliberately removed from a canvas, thus creating a flat surface and returning to the formalist idea of modernism. And, by adding a concept of spirituality as a content, the critics have solidified the idea of Dansaekhwa. Such existing criticism reflects that it focuses entirely on the context of art itself and does not include an interpretation from a historical and social perspective. In this thesis, one will point out that the existing criticisms of Dansaekhwa have separated the concept of aesthetic modernity from that of everyday modernity. And, by doing so, the critics have unconsciously supported Japanese idea of making boundaries between art and reality. In the process of creating a Korean identity, Dansaekhwa critics have embedded a cultural value produced during the colonial past into the discussion of the art movement.