Today’s Ink Art in Korea and Taiwan//文貞姬//新水墨運動//

Today’s Ink Art in Korea and Taiwan


Prof. Junghee Moon 文貞姬

Moon, Junghee, Director, Center for Art Studies, Seoul, Korea,
Guest Prof. Doctoral Program in Art Creation and Theory, College of Visual
Arts, Tainan National University of the Arts.

Prof. Junghee Moon Received a Ph.D. from Central Academy Of Fine Arts in Beijing, China (1997). She previously taught in the Seoul National University and Ewha Women’s University before becoming the Director of Center for Art Studies, Korea from 2014 to present. She is the author of books Modern, Hybrid: Modern Art History of East Asia (Seoul: CAS, 2014) and Chen Chengpo (Artists, 2015). Prof. Moon also translated Three Perfection by Michael Sullivan into Korean (CAS, 2015).

Her current research interest focuses on documenting works of contemporary painters and the artistic interactions between Taiwan, China and Korea.

Recently Curated Exhibitions:

  • 2014.11 Solo And Duet: Contemporary Ink Painting In Taiwan And Korea, Red Gold Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan,
  • 11. Visions Of Macro And Mocro: Phenomena In Korea And Taiwanese Ink Paiting, Museum Of Art, Seoul National University, Korea
  • 12 Alter Abstract, The Intersection Between The Cold And The Hot: The Abstract Arts Of Taiwan And Korea, Red Gold Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 04. Modernization Of East-Asia Paintings : Sign And Objet, Lee Ungno Museum, Korea

When we look back on the history of ink and its position in East Asian painting, we find that the paintings reflect the social and cultural values of the society at the time. In other words, whenever the society underwent a transformation, there were shifts in the artistic style and value of ink painting. As for when exactly the shift to 20th century contemporary art took place in Korea and Taiwan, the dominant view of the art community seems to be that it was during the conflict of ideologies introduced by westernization with nationalism, against the background of realigned East Asian art practice due to Japanese influences. Meanwhile, developments in Japanese painting followed the steady course of Japan’s modernization, resulting in the birth of new artistic styles and content founded on nationalism which stood up to Western influences. So in a sense, Korea and Taiwan – who both experienced Japanese colonization – had created the new category of ‘Oriental Painting’ by integrating traditional ink with painting, as a mean of thwarting colonialism. Meanwhile, the succession of ‘ink’ and ‘painting’ as separate and contradictory concepts was the result of re-alignment of Oriental painting in the Japanese colonial era.

‘Oriental painting’ appeared in earnest through the Chosun Arts Exhibition (1922) and the Taiwan Arts Exhibition (1927). The ‘Oriental painting’ in the 1920s was in a sense, a historically destined step for both Korea and Taiwan. As for its context in the two countries, in Korea, oriental painting was a modification of shan shui (landscape) in ink into a Japan-influenced academic painting, while for Taiwan, it was represented by a form of colored painting minus the traditional values of shan shui. In other words, the conventional traditions of ‘ink’ faded under the colonial influences. But following the liberalization of Korea and Taiwan and their transformation into autonomous, democratic states, changes began to take place as the two nations began recovering their national pride, traditions and identity. But despite their shared destiny, Korea and Taiwanese ink painting began to develop distinct features in style and form due to historical developments that folded in the post-colonial era.


文貞姬│ Moon, Junghee




  • 2014 台水韓墨: 當代水墨的兩地面相, 台北: 赤粒藝術
  • 2015 巨視與微視:韓國與台灣的水墨現象, 首爾: 首爾大學美術館
  • 2015另類抽象,冷熱相交地帶:台灣與韓國的抽象藝術
  • 2017 東亞會繪畫的現代性: 符號與物質, 韓國, 大田: 李應魯美術館