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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

The Politics and Aesthetics of the Wound: Performative Narratives of the People by <i>Zainichi</i> Korean Artists

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2015, v.55 no.1, pp.86-111
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2015.55.1.86


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Abstract

This paper examines the artworks of the artists in the Asia, Politics, Art Project (APAProject) from the perspective of “performative narrative of the people,” a notion suggestedby Homi Bhabha. The APA Project shows how the artworks of diasporic artistsinscribe otherness within the otherwise homogeneous space of the nation. The participantartists, as the second and third generations of zainichi Korean, do not hold thememory of traumatic events suffered by the first minority generation. However, theirworks utilize postmemory based on dim images of memories inherited from theirfamily histories. The elements, such as a grandmother’s chimajeogori and the lyrics ofan old Korean song, are woven by Oh Haji into unique narratives that are distinctfrom the “pedagogical narrative of the people,” emphasizing unity and continuity of thenation-state. Kim uses chimajeogori in a multi-layered manner to reveal the existentialconditions of students bounded by a violence that has historical roots, but she doesnot treat it as a simplistic oppositional sign against the dominant national ideology. These minority writers/artists and their works are illustrative cases of performative narrativesthat use and reconstruct images in the history and everyday life of a minority,splitting the homogeneous space of the nation and suggesting new public and diasporicspaces within it.

keywords
<i>Asia Politics Art Project</i> zainichi artists Homi Bhabha performative narrative of the people diasporas.

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