A pioneering survey of Korea’s dynamic postwar avant-garde, with new translations of manifestos, articles, and primary sources
The 1960s and 1970s marked a period of exceptional change in Korea, propelled by rapid urbanization and modernization, and influenced by an authoritarian state at home and a globalizing world beyond. Young artists of the era were not immune to these unprecedented socioeconomic, political, and material conditions, responding with a groundbreaking and genre-defying body of avant-garde art known broadly as Experimental art (silheom misul). Both as individuals and in collectives, these artists broke definitively with their predecessors, redefining the boundaries of traditional painting and sculpture while embracing innovative―and often provocative―approaches to materials and process through performance, installation, photography, and video.
Only the Young: Experimental Art in Korea, 1960s–1970s accompanies the first exhibition in North America to examine this influential but understudied period. Featuring incisive new scholarship and lavish photography of works drawn from public and private collections across the globe, the volume also brings together translations of articles, artist manifestos, and other primary sources that offer a firsthand perspective on the ideas and discourses then shaping Korean art. What emerges is the story of how this generation of young Korean artists harnessed the power of art to confront and reimagine an ever-shifting present.